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Family  Laevidentaliidae

Tusk shells




An introduction to the class Scaphopoda is given in the introduction to the family Dentaliidae.

The basic anatomy of Laevidentaliidae is the same as that of Dentaliidae. The most significant character defining the family is the smooth, glossy shell without any longitudinal ribs. The family contains only the genus Laevidentalium. There were 12 Australian species assigned to the family by Lamprell & Healy (1998), four of these being recorded from NSW. Three of these species occur around almost all of the Australian coastline, and two of them are among the most common scaphopods found in the region.

Family reference: Lamprell, K.L. & Healy, J.M. 1998. A revision of the Scaphopoda from Australian waters (Mollusca) Records of the Australian Museum Supplement 24: 1189.

Coverage: Four species of this family occur in NSW, all of which are detailed here.

Identification notes: In this family the shells are smooth and glossy, without longitudinal ribs, and are weakly to strongly curved. The four species that occur in NSW are similar and somewhat difficult to separate from each other. Levidentalium erectum is more slender than the other three species and is the easiest to identify. Identification of the other three species depends on small differences in colour and shape.


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