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Cominella eburnea (Reeve, 1846)

Description: In the NSW form, shells are sculptured with strong axial folds; 6 to 8 on the body whorl, restricted to the shoulder or extending from suture to base. Spiral sculpture usually absent; occasionally weak, widely spaced grooves. Anterior fasciole strong, columella smooth, outer lip lirate within in mature specimens. Colour white with spots, blotches or bands of reddish brown and usually thin brown spiral lines, about 12 on the body whorl. Operculum corneous.

Size: Up to 34 mm, commonly 25 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; Moreton Bay, Qld, to Geraldton, WA, including Tas.

Habitat: In rock pools and on sand, more frequently in sheltered bays; intertidal down to about 10 m. Uncommon in NSW.

Comparison: Distinguished from Cominella lineolata by the axial folds and the colour pattern of thin brown lines.

Remarks: The colouration and sculpture of this species varies widely throughout its range in eastern and southern Australia. The brown spiral lines are a fairly consistent feature of the eastern Australian form, which has been seperated as subspecies Cominella eburnea filicea (Crosse & Fischer, 1864).

Figs. 1,2: Minnie Waters, NSW (DLB5128)


Copyright Des Beechey 2000