< Previous species


Next species >

7489-1.jpg (536972 bytes)


7488-1.jpg (929287 bytes)

Leptoplax wilsoni (Sykes, 1896)

Description: Animal ovate, broadly elongate, girdle broad. Median valves with jugal area triangular with fine longitudinal grooves; lateral and pleural areas not differentiated, with curved rows of moderately strong pustules. Girdle densely covered with short calcareous spicules; sutural tufts either present or absent. Fringe of spicules around foot. Colour variable; described as "ochraceous flecked with dull red" or "reddish purplish or maroon" with "girdle dull purple".

Size: Up to 25 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Sydney, NSW, around southern Australia to south-western WA.

Habitat: Around low tide level on rocky shores. Rare in NSW.

Comparison: The broad girdle covered with short calcareous spicules in combination with the triangular jugal area distinguish this species.

Synonymy: Acanthochiton purpuratus Hull, 1923 is a previously recognised synonym.

Remarks: The presence or absence of sutural tufts in the girdle has been the subject of comment. Iredale & Hull (1927, p. 74) said "Sykes describes it as showing no visible tufts, but as in the case of its nearest ally A. purpuratus (now regarded as a synonym) the tufts are doubtless present, but are withdrawn and disappear as the girdle dries or even as it shrinks in alcohol". Tufts are not apparent in Fig. 1 or Fig. 2, both figuring dried specimens. Of the three other dried specimens available to me, one shows sutural tufts and other two do not.

Fig. 1: 7489-1 HOLOTYPE Bittangabe Inlet, N of Green Cape, NSW (C.147810). Dried specimen. (Photo Australian Museum).

Fig. 2: 7488-1 Bittangabee Inlet, N of Green Cape, NSW (C. 147811). This is an old specimen collected about 1919. Much of the girdle ornament has been lost.


Copyright Des Beechey 2019