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Liotella petalifera (Hedley & May, 1908)

Description: Shell minute, spire slightly elevated above plane of last whorl. Protoconch smooth, low. Teleoconch up to 2 rounded whorls, suture deep. Axial sculpture of thick, folded over ribs, extending from suture into umbilicus, 23-30 on last whorl. Interspaces between axials 1-2 times rib width, with fine spiral threads. Umbilicus open, wide. Aperture circular, margin entire, not thickened or with normal rib. Shell colourless transparent when fresh, becoming opaque white with age.

Size: Up to 1.2 mm in width.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; Off Cape Moreton, Queensland, southwards to SA, including Tasmania.

Habitat: Known from 80 - 200 m. Moderately common.

Comparison: This species has a lower spire than L. johnstoni but higher than other species of the genus. It stands out in the genus by the axial ribs being thick and closely spaced. This is a subtidal species, not seen in beach washup.

Synonymy: Liotella gravicosta Laseron, 1954 (Figs. 6, 7) is a synonym (NEW SYNONYM), the holotype being a typical but extremely worn specimen of this species.

Figs. 1,2,3: Off Port Davey, Tasmania, in 144 m (C.215983)

Figs. 4,5: Off Port Davey, Tasmania, in 144 m (C.215983) (Photo Sue Lindsay, Australian Museum)

Figs. 6,7: Holotype of  Liotella gravicosta. Off Montague Island, near Narooma, NSW, in 101 m (C.102809)


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Copyright Des Beechey 2009