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Ledella miliacea (Hedley, 1902)

Description: Shape equivalve, inequilateral, elongate-ovate, drawn out posteriorly. Umbo a little behind midline. Anterior end broadly rounded, anterior dorsal margin rounded. Posterior end narrowly rounded, posterior dorsal margin almost straight, posterior ventral margin concave. Umbones projecting well above hinge line. Hinge taxodont, with up to 12 teeth on anterior side, a few less on posterior side. Chondrophore small, central. Interior smooth, muscle scars indistinct. Exterior smooth, sometimes with irregular growth ridges. Periostracum thin, flaky, yellow. Exterior shell colour white, initially translucent, but becoming opaque with age.

Size: Up to 4 mm in length (the size of 2.25 mm given by Lamprell & Healy (1998) is apparently the length of the holotype).

Distribution: Tweed Heads, NSW, southwards to near Eucla, WA, including Tas.

Habitat: In NSW, dredged from 91-1200 m. Moderately common; a few of the lots in the Australian Museum collection consist of hundreds of specimens.

Comparison: Ledalla miliacea is distinguished from L. pala by having the posterior end drawn out and the umbones almost central.

Fig. 1: 5-8 miles (8-12 km) off Port Kembla, NSW, in 115-137 m (C.013215 PARATYPE)

Fig. 2:  Same specimen as Fig. 1, dorsal view.

 
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