Monograph of the living Zoila : A Fascinating group of Australian endemic Cowries

9783925919343: Monograph of the living Zoila : A Fascinating group of Australian endemic Cowries

2001 by ConchBooks, Germany, case binding in laminated boards stitched binding, about 16.5 by 24.5 cm (about 6 by 9 inches) 187 pages including 75 pages of discussion of the taxonomy of these shells and includes numerous black and white photos, maps and charts and also 54 full page plates of color photos and facing pages of their keys. There is little argument that the shells that make up the Genus Zoila in the Cypraeidae are among the most variable and most highly collectible shells in the family. But it is this great variability which makes the taxonomic placement of these shells such a controversial subject. While this book and the later 2004 "Australia's Spectacular Cowries" by Wilson and Clarkson cover the same shells their division of the shells into species and subspecies are very different from one another. Lorenz opts for a greater number of species and subspecies in his treatment while Wilson and Clarkson recognize a fewer number of these divisions and treat many of the variants as forms (which do not have scientific recognitions as valid taxa) of the species that they recognize. I think that anyone that is seriously interested in these shells should have both books on hand and try to see which approach works best for them. Most likely neither of these books will completely satisfy anyone's concept of these shells but at least both books make their points very well and the "truth" (if such a thing exists in a measurable way) probably will never be firmly resolved. Maybe that is the real fascination that these shells hold for us. This book is long out of print but we had the good fortune to get 8 new copies available in the stock of a good friend, Hugh Morrison who sells shell books in Australia and was willing to share his supply with us. When these books are gone we expect that it will be a very long time before we see any copies of this book again. We searched for years to find used copies of this book when it went out of print without any luck.

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