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Family  Pendromidae




This is a family of only a few species of poorly known, very deep water molluscs. Shells are minute, thin and fragile, 1-5 mm in height, with the first part of the teleoconch covered by an irregular netted sculpture, with subsequent sculpture of axial and spiral elements. The animal of one species was described by Warén (1991) as having a huge, cylindrical snout, short cephalic tentacles, with one or two accessory tentacles outside, and no radula.

There are four named species in the family; two from Europe, one from the western Atlantic, and one from the Antarctic. In NSW there appear to be two species of the family, both unnamed. The only study of the family in Australia has been by Dr. Anders Warén, who included reference to the Australian species in his paper on Iceland and Scandinavian molluscs (Warén, 1991).

Family Reference

Warén, A. 1991. New and little known Mollusca from Iceland and Scandinavia. Sarsia 76: 53-124.


In addition to the single species detailed here, the Australian Museum collection holds several specimens in of a similar species, less strongly sculptured and with a wider umbilicus, from the same deep water habitat.

Identification Notes

Shells can be placed in this family by the combination of deep water habitat and minute shell size in conjunction with the netted sculpture on the early teleoconch.

Copyright Des Beechey 2009