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Family  Diaphanidae





The Diaphanidae is a numerically and physically small family that contains only the genus Diaphana, and within that 21 recognised species. They are small animals with an external shell up to about 5 mm in length into which the animal can retract. The distribution of the group is remarkably wide, both geographically and bathymetrically. It is widely distributed in the Arctic and Antarctic regions, in northern and southern temperate regions, in the tropical Indo-West Pacific and the Mediterranean. It occurs from the shallow subtidal and below, with the deepest known occurrence being 4500 m.

Family Reference

Schiotte, T. 1998. A taxonomic revision of the genus Diaphana Brown, 1827, including a discussion of the phylogeny and zoogeography of the genus (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia). Steenstrupia 24: 77-140.


The only species known from NSW is detailed here.

Identification Notes

Shells in this family are less than 5 mm in length, transparent when fresh, with a truncate spire.


Copyright Des Beechey 2018