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Strombus mutabilis Swainson, 1821

Description: Spire whorls weakly to strongly nodulose. Last whorl with 3-4 strong nodules on shoulder on dorsal surface, smooth on ventral surface; base with spiral cords. Aperture long and narrow, with stromboid notch deep, posterior canal narrow and shallow. Columella with thick, sharp-edged callus, orange with white lirae along whole length. Outer lip greatly thickened externally, with spiral cords on thickened region; internally coloured and sculptured as columella. External colouration very variable; fawn, variously spotted, mottled or striped with tan or dark brown. Operculum corneous, long, thin, serrated. Periostracum thin, smooth, translucent yellow.

Size: Up to 42 mm in length, commonly about 25 mm.

Distribution: Indo-West Pacific. In Australia, Cape Leeuwin, south-western WA, around northern Australia, to Sydney, NSW.

Habitat: In clean or muddy sand with algae, from intertidal down to about 20 meters. Abundant in the tropics, uncommon in NSW.

Comparison: See S. microurceus.

Synonymy: Listed in Iredale & McMichael's checklist as Canarium flammeum (Link, 1807), which is a misidentification according to Abbott (1960).

Figs. 1,2: Minnie Waters, NSW (C.072027)


Copyright Des Beechey 2007