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Cancellaria undulata Sowerby, 1848

Description: Shell solid, heavy, whorls with rounded shoulders. Sculptured with strong, oblique axial ribs, often unevenly spaced on latter whorls and sometimes becoming mere undulations on body whorl; 12-22 axials on penultimate whorl. Axial sculpure crossed by numerous spiral ribs or grooves, varying in strength and number. Columella with three plaits, the lowest edging the anterior canal. Inner lip calloused, expanded in mature shells, covering umbilicus. Outer lip with 14-18 lirae reaching deep into aperture. Colour fawn or cream, with a diffuse band of dark brown blotches at shoulder.

Size: Up to 60 mm in length, commonly about 40 mm.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Hervey Bay, Queensland, to Rottnest Is., WA, including Tasmania.

Habitat: Subtidal, down to 60 metres. Moderately common.

Comparison: See Cancellaria granosa.

Synonyms: Sydaphera delicosa Laseron, 1955 is based on a weakly ribbed, worn, immature specimen of this species. Sydaphera renovata Iredale, 1929 and Sydaphera obnixa Iredale, 1929 both fall within the range of variation of this species.

Remarks: This is the largest and most common of the Cancellariidae in NSW. It appears to be most common at a depth of about 5 metres, but is rarely taken alive, although it is moderately common as a beach shell in some localities. The majority of specimens taken are not mature and lack the full development of the columellar callus.

Figs. 1,2 Huskisson, Jervis Bay, NSW (C.370237)

Copyright Des Beechey 2005