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Recluzia hargravesi Cox, 1870

Description: Shell lightweight, up to 5 whorls, aperture slightly more than half of shell length. Whorls well rounded, suture deep. Whorls smooth apart from microscopic weak and irregular spiral grooves, and sometimes irregular axial growth lines. Aperture wide; outer lip thin, without sinus, expanded anteriorly; inner lip folded over, covering umbilicus. Colour fawn, with thin brown periostracum.

Size: Up to 29 mm in length.

Distribution: The Australian Museum holds specimens from eastern Australia (North Queensland to southern NSW, 30 lots), Kermadec Islands and South Africa. Literature reports (Rehder, 1980; Okutani, 2000) extend the range of what appears to be this species to the width of the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Habitat: Pelagic. Uncommon.

Synonymy: There are probably earlier names for this species, but until the group is studied, probably by looking at the DNA, the applicability of these is unclear. Names that have been used in Australian literature are Janthina lutea Bennett, 1840; Recluzia rollandiana Petit, 1853; R. johnii auct. and R. montrouzieri Souverbie, 1872.

Figs. 1,2: Bindagen, Bellinger River Heads, NSW (C.145648)

Fig. 3:  Minnie Waters, NSW, March 1964. Photo: A Healy


Copyright Des Beechey 2008