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Anachis lurida (Hedley, 1907)

Description: Shell translucent or opaque, whorls convex, aperture more than 1/3 of shell length. Axial sculpture absent. Spiral sculpture restricted to about 10 weak cords on base, and sometimes faint spiral threads below suture or over all body whorl. Outer lip sinuous in profile with posterior sinus, not thickened externally; thickened internally, with a large denticle posteriorly and sometimes several smaller denticles below. Columella smooth, callus sharp-edged. Siphonal canal slightly upturned, notch moderately deep. Colour fawn, sometimes a white band around middle of body whorl.

Size: Adults 2.5-3.4 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Torres Strait, Queensland, southwards to Sydney Harbour, NSW.

Habitat: Known from beach shells and one record from 18 m depth. Moderately common.

Comparison: A. atkinsoni, which is a very variable species, is usually more elongate with a different colour pattern, but sometimes is very similar to A. lurida, and can only be separated by the smaller protoconch. A. fulgida is larger with a distinctive colour pattern and with denticles inside the outer lip.

Synonymy: None.

Remarks: There has been confusion on the identity of this minute species. When Hedley described it he gave an excellent illustration, but said " dredged in 17-20 fathoms off Mast Head Island (Queensland). I have derived my figure from a perfect example gathered by the late Mrs Starkey in Middle Harbour, Sydney". The holotype in the Australian Museum is from Balmoral Beach, Middle Harbour, Sydney, and the paratypes are from Mast Head Island. It seemed unlikely that the same species would occur at Mast Head Island and in Middle Harbour, Sydney, but the range of specimens now available show this to be so. The geographic range of the species and also the figure given by Wilson (1994, p. 99) are incorrect, being based on incorrectly identified specimens in the Australian Museum.

Fig. 1  Off Chinamans Beach, Middle Harbour, NSW (C.335203)

Copyright Des Beechey 2007