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4104-1.JPG (73385 bytes)



Epitonium bullatum (Sowerby, 1844)

Description: Shell broad for the genus, variable in height to width ratio, light in weight, whorls connected. Whorls rounded. Early whorls with fine axial threads, becoming more widely spaced, weaker and irregular on later whorls; interspaces with irregular spiral grooves. Aperture oval, lip not thickened externally. Umbilicus open, narrow. Colour white. Operculum corneous.

Size: Up to 27 mm in length.

Distribution: Indo-West Pacific. In Australia, known from Queensland and NSW, as far south as Sydney.

Habitat: Kilburn (1985) gave the habitat in South Africa as under rocks in tide pools, associated with the red sea anemone Pseudactinea flagellifera, on which it feeds. Apparently it occurs in pairs with a large female accompanied by a smaller male. Rare in NSW.

Comparison: See "Identification of the NSW species of Epitonium" in the introduction to this family.

Synonymy: An Australian specimen was described as Epitonium woolacottae Kerslake, 1958, but the author subsequently recognised this as a synonym of E. bullatum (Kerslake in Bowman, 1978).

Fig. 1: Bustard Head, Queensland (C.334105)


Copyright Des Beechey 2008