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Columbarium hedleyi Iredale, 1936

Description: Whorls with peripheral keel bearing strong, regularly spaced, flat triangular spines. Spire whorls smooth above and below periphery except for growth marks; body whorl with 2-4 strong spiral ribs below periphery. Base of body whorl weakly ribbed near aperture; anterior canal spirally ribbed at top, grading to smooth at the tip. Aperture tear-drop shaped, the inner lip produced beyond columella. Anterior canal long, twisted, nearly closed, Colour cream or fawn. Operculum corneous, tear-drop shaped.

Size: Length up to 108 mm.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; known from Gold Coast, Qld, to Gabo Island, Vic, plus a few specimens from between Mission Beach and Innisfail, Qld. This distribution will no doubt be filled in by further deep water trawling. (Darragh, 1987)

Habitat: Known from 160-800 m, but most common deeper than 400 m. Moderately common.

Comparison: Fig. 3 shows an apical view of the three species of Columbarium found in NSW.  C. pagodoides (Fig. 3a) has a keel with an irregular edge; C. hedleyi (Fig. 3b) has evenly spaced triangular spines; C. spinicinctum (Fig. 3c)has smaller, regular triangular spines. 

Synonym: Columbarium trabeatum Iredale, 1936 is based on a worn shell with poorly developed spines.

Figs. 1,2: Off Sydney in 420-440 m (DLB1224)

Fig. 3: a. Off Terrigal, NSW, in 250-270 fathoms (DLB2928) b. Off Sydney in 420-440 m (DLB1224) c. Capricorn Channel, NE of Lady Musgrave Is., in 210 m (C.153754)


Copyright Des Beechey 2000