To tackle the “Oliva problem”, this book first addresses the general problems met by every intelligent malacologist:
- what do we consider to be a species?
- How can we deal with variation?
- How do we measure shells and interpret quantitative data?
- How can we interpret differences in shape and colour pattern?
- In practice, how can we demonstrate the existence of separate species?
Anatomy, shell microstructure, ecology and ethology are then treated in detail, including many new observations.
Upon these bases, a critical revision of the notoriously difficult genus Oliva is presented. It includes a complete synonymy and photographs of nearly all the available type material. The 74 living objective morphospecies are discussed in depth. Over 1150 colour photographs illustrate their variation range and many novel identification tips are given.