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Cavolinia uncinata (Rang, 1829a) subsp. uncinata (Rang, 1829a) forma uncinata (Rang, 1829a)


This is a large uncoiled thecosomatous pteropod, 0.8 cm long. It has a flat dorsal side with moderately developed ribs. There is no keel along the lateral sides. The caudal spine is curved and relatively long. The ventral side clearly vaulted. Shell sculpture consists of faint growth lines and transverse striation near the aperture. The dorsal lip curves over the aperture. Micro-zooplankton and phytoplankton are its food and it is a mucus feeder. It lives in the Atlantic Ocean, at shallow and moderate depths (Cavolinia u.u. uncinata line drawing).

Taxonomic Description

The shell has no colour, it has nearly straight projecting lateral spines, short caudal spine bending slightly dorsal, the shell aperture is either wide or narrow (Cavolinia u.u. uncinata). The ventral surface has a slight hammered structure and is globular. The ventral vaulting is, however, less developed than that in Cavolinia globulosa and more developed than that in Cavolinia tridentata. Transverse ribs are found on the ventral side, especially near the aperture. The caudal spine is not lost in adults. The embryonic shell itself is, however, usually broken off, leaving an open place of rupture. The caudal spine is curved dorsally especially in the posterior part. The dorsal side has five longitudinal ribs and two smaller ribs bordering the posterior slits of the aperture. The ventral side near the aperture is depressed medially, this depression is also found ventrally under the curved lip. The upper lip forms a kind of hood over the aperture. The Cavolinia u.u. uncinata radula formula is 1-1-1.
Shell length varies between 5.5 and 7.5 mm, its width varies between 4.0 and 6.6 mm.


A special description is not available.


This forma is a protandric hermaphrodite.


This forma is omni- or phytophagous. Copepod nauplii, Limacina inflata juveniles, tintiniids and thecate dinoflagellates have been found in the gut.


This forma was restricted to the Atlantic Ocean, see the Cavolinia u.u. uncinata map.

Geological Record

This forma is found in the Pliocene (Plaisancien) and Pleistocene of the Mediterranean.


Hyalea uncinata Rang, 1829: 114.
Lectotype : MHNP (dry collection)Paralectotypes: MHNP, 6 spec. (dry collection).
Type locality: Atlantic Ocean Col. Rang, [1837].

Cavolinia uncinata uncinata uncinata