The name Turritella declivis, as described by Adams and Reeve in the ‘The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Samarang’ (Adams & Reeve 1848–1850), is currently used for two distinct species of turritellid gastropod, one inhabiting the Agulhas Bank off South Africa and the other occurring off the Australian coast. Examination of the type material clearly shows that the name is referable to the southern African species. The Australian species must henceforth be known as Turritella captiva Hedley, 1987, a name previously regarded as a junior synonym of T. declivis. The original type locality ‘China Seas’ is erroneous, as was often the case with material collected during the voyage of the Samarang. It is emended to be the Agulhas Bank, over much of which T. declivis is common and may, in places, be hugely abundant, forming Turritella-dominated benthic communities. Such communities have been recorded in other parts of the world and are frequently associated with seasonal upwelling events, but have not previously been documented off South Africa.
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Vol. 48 • No. 2