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Liotella annulata (Tenison-Woods, 1879)

Description: Shell minute, spire a little above or a little below plane of last whorl. Protoconch smooth, low. Teleoconch up to 2 rounded whorls, suture deep. Axial sculpture of strong ribs, tall on periphery, low at suture and umbilicus, 11-19 on last whorl. Interspaces between axials about 6 times rib width, smooth or with faint spiral threads. Umbilicus open, wide. Aperture circular, margin entire, not thickened or with normal rib. Shell colourless transparent when fresh, becoming opaque with age.

Size: Up to 1.3 mm in width.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; Yamba, NSW, southwards to SA, including Tasmania.

Habitat: Known from beach washup, and down to 393 m. Moderately common.

Comparison: This is an almost planar shell with a low spire, similar to L. kilcundae and L. pulcherrima, but is distinguished by the low number of axial ribs.

Synonymy: Liotella patonga Laseron, 1954 (Figs. 7, 8) is this species (NEW SYNONYM). Liotia capitata Hedley, 1907 may be this species. Fig. 6 is Hedley's figure of his only specimen, from 800 fathoms (1463 m) off Sydney. It has obvious similarities to L. annulata, but, coming from such a great depth, I am reluctant to say that this is the same species as found in beach washup.

Figs. 1,2,3: Gerringong, NSW (C.216076)

Figs. 4,5: Gerringong, NSW (C.216076) (Photo Sue Lindsay, Australian Museum)

Fig. 6: Liotia capitata, from Hedley (1907)

Figs. 7, 8: Holotype of Liotella patonga. Patonga, Broken Bay, NSW. Shell sand (C.102807)


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Copyright Des Beechey 2009