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Aesopus australis (Angas, 1877)

Description: Protoconch of 2 whorls, with poorly differentiated transition to sculptured teleoconch. Spire convex in outline, slightly bent away from shell axis, whorls only slightly convex; aperture 1/3 shell length. Whorls sculptured with weak, irregularly spaced, low, wide ribs, fading out on bottom of whorls and restricted to top third of body whorl. Spiral sculpture consists of a few microscopic threads on spire whorls, occasionally continuing onto body whorl. Outer lip sinuous in profile, thickened externally, weak sinus posteriorly, smooth internally. Columella smooth; strong callus pad on parietal wall. Siphonal notch deep, relatively broad. Colour uniformly white, fawn or pink.

Size: Up to 7 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; Port Stephens, NSW, southwards to Great Australian Bight.

Habitat: Subtidal, down to 79 m and in beach washup. Very uncommon.

Comparison: This uncommon species is readily identified by its unusual, distorted shell, bent away from the shell axis like a Eulima.

Fig. 1: Sow and Pigs Reef, Port Jackson, NSW, in 15 m (C.309264)

Copyright Des Beechey 2007