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Euplica scripta (Lamarck, 1822)

Description: Shell solid, spire straight in outline, turreted; whorls shouldered, rounded or straight below shoulder, aperture half shell length. Axial sculpture absent; spiral sculpture restricted to cords on base, sometimes extending to centre of body whorl and occasionally to shoulder. Outer lip sinuous in profile, with shallow sinus posteriorly, thickened along whole length externally; thickened internally, with 6-9 denticles. Columella callus sharp edged with about 5 small denticles on outer edge, and 1-2 plaits internally. Anterior canal not upturned, notch shallow. Colour variable; fawn with white or brown spots; or axial zigzag brown lines, sometimes restricted to 2 darker brown spiral bands; interior white.

Size: Up to 19 mm in length, commonly 12 mm.

Distribution: Indo-West Pacific. In Australia, from North West Cape, WA, around the north coast to Shellharbour, NSW.

Habitat: Intertidal and shallow subtidal, under rocks and on seagrass and algae. Abundant in the tropics, common in northern NSW, decreasing in occurrence to the end of range.

Comparison: This lacks the spiral sculpture of E. varians and E. poecila.

Synonymy: Many synonyms (Willan, 2006), the most frequently used being Columbella versicolor Sowerby, 1832. The subspecies name atladona Duclos, 1835 was applied to Sydney Harbour specimens, but it is unnecessary as there are no consistent difference to northern forms.

Remarks: This is by far the most common of the three tropical Euplica species found in NSW.

Fig. 1  Long Reef, Collaroy, NSW (C.078566)

Fig. 2  All from Woody Head, Iluka, NSW (C.373311)


Copyright Des Beechey 2007