Abstract

The Early Oligocene to Recent genus Lirabuccinum Vermeij, 1991, is a North Pacific clade of rocky-bottom predatory buccinid gastropods. A re-examination of all available material from eastern Asia and comparison of this material with western American species leads us to recognize four northwestern Pacific species: L. fuscolabiatum (Smith, 1875) from the Pliocene to Recent; L. japonicum (Yokoyama, 1926) from the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene; L. branneri (Clark and Arnold, 1923) from the early Middle Miocene, also known from the Oligocene in the eastern Pacific; and Lirabuccinum sp. from the late Middle Miocene. The genus originated in the eastern Pacific and subsequently spread to the western Pacific by late Early Miocene to early Middle Miocene time. Lirabuccinum exemplifies a common pattern among rocky-bottom North Pacific gastropods in that the early species have a thick, internally strongly ribbed or denticulate outer lip. As they adapted to the colder boreal realm during the Pliocene and Pleistocene, Lirabuccinum and such other clades as Nucella, Ceratostoma, and Ocinebrellus (all Muricidae) evolved thinner, less heavily reinforced outer lips.

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