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Mitrella peroniana (Hedley, 1913)

Description: Shell with whorls weakly rounded, spire straight sided. Aperture 1/3 of shell length. Axial sculpture absent; spiral sculpture restricted to about 10 cords on base. Outer lip with shallow posterior sinus; lip thickened externally, about 5 denticles internally in very mature shells, becoming smaller toward anterior; outer lip constricted at base to form pronounced anterior canal. Columella callus with elevated straight edge, with several weak denticles or lirae in mature shells, and 2 strong plaits in deep interior. Colour fawn, brown or grey, sometimes with axial brown flames; spire whorls with a narrow white spiral line with brown splashes at top of whorl, and usually another at bottom of whorl, these continuing at top and periphery of body whorl. Periostracum brown, sometimes axially lamellate.

Size: Up to 10 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; central Queensland southwards to Twofold Bay, NSW.

Habitat: Subtidal, down to 187 m, occasionally beach collected. Moderately common.

Comparison: This species is distinctive in the NSW fauna, but in Queensland may be confused with a number of Mitrella species that have a tall spire and a pronounced anterior canal.

Synonymy: Originally described as Columbella bicincta Angas, 1871, which was preoccupied by Columbella bicincta Gould, 1860.

Remarks: Occurs moderately commonly in Sydney Harbour and Port Stephens, at about 10-20 m.

Fig. 1: Off Jumpin Pin Bar, Queensland, in 36-54 m (C.334665)

Copyright Des Beechey 2007