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Ovaginella ovulum (Sowerby, 1846)

Diagnosis: Shell small to medium, white or fawn, elliptic; spire immersed; lip moderately thickened, smooth or denticulate; external varix present; siphonal notch and posterior notch absent; columella with four plaits on anterior quarter.

Size: Adults 5.5 10 mm in length.

Distribution: Australian Museum Collection: Capricorn Channel, Queensland , to Dongara, south-western WA, including Tasmania .  Recorded from 3-201 metres, and occasionally as a beach shell.

Comparison: More rounded than Balanetta baylei, and with four plaits on the columella. (See Identification of beach specimens)

Synonymy: Marginella cypraeoides Tenison-Woods, 1878; Marginella cypraeformis Tenison-Woods, 1878. Marginella tenisoni Pritchard, 1900 (Hewish in Wilson, 1994).

Remarks: This species varies widely in size and in the dentition inside the outer lip.  NSW specimens are usually at the larger end of the size range, always with a smooth lip; in southern Australian specimens the lip may be denticulate or smooth.

Fig. 1: Off North Head, Sydney, in 60-66 metres (C.155348)


Copyright Des Beechey 2003