In this paper we review the Chauvetiidae (Buccinoidea) of the Lower Piacenzian, Upper Pliocene of Estepona, southern Spain. Twenty species are described and discussed of which eleven are new: Chauvetia brunettii nov. sp., C. fenestrata nov. sp., C. fortiornata nov. sp., C. hoffmani nov. sp., C. janseni nov. sp., C. obesa nov. sp., C. oliveri nov. sp., C. pseudopelorcei nov. sp., C. sinuosa nov. sp., C. solida nov. sp., C. spinosa nov. sp. Three species are left in open nomenclature. The assemblage is highly endemic, with over half of the species known only from the Estepona assemblages. This level of endemicity is not surprising in a group that reproduces by direct development, as suggested by its paucispiral protoconch. Today, the genus is found only along the eastern Atlantic frontage from the British Isles to West Africa. Fossil records are scarce, and this is the most diverse assemblage of fossil Chauvetia Monterosato, 1884 species described so far, and suggests that already in the Pliocene chauvetiid diversity was far greater in the westernmost Mediterranean than in the central or eastern part, a trend still seen today. The genus Chauvetia only appears in the European fossil record during the Late Miocene with just a couple of records known and was most likely transported to Europe from the Caribbean on a strengthening Gulf Stream. We suggest that the higher diversity in western Mediterranean may be due to the geographic proximity to its area of arrival in Europe/West Africa and its direct mode of development.

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Cainozoic Research

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Staff publications

Landau, B., & Pasquale Micali. (2023). The Pliocene Gastropoda (Mollusca) of Estepona, southern Spain. Part 19: Chauvetiidae (Buccinoidea). Cainozoic Research, 23(2), 245–278.