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Fissidentalium ponderi Lamprell & Healy, 1998

Description: Shape large, moderately curved. Weight solid. Aperture diameter up to 11 mm. Apex diameter 2.9 mm, sometimes with irregularly shaped slit. Sculpture initially about 16 longitudinal ribs with minor ribs in interspaces, increasing to about 32 ribs at aperture. Transverse sculpture of dense growth lines over the whole surface. Aperture circular. Colour white (Figured specimen discoloured).

Size: Up to 117 mm in length.

Distribution: Global distribution unknown. Assumed to be endemic to Australia with a distribution from northern NSW, southwards to eastern SA.

Habitat: Found in coarse sand, 82 to 770 m (Lamprell & Healy, 1998). Common.

Comparison: This is the largest species of scaphopod found in NSW waters. There is often, but not always, an irregular slit at the apex of the shell, which is not seen in other NSW species. This slit varies in shape and size, as shown in Fig. 2.

Remarks: This species was previously regarded as conspecific with the New Zealand species Fissidentalium zelandicum, but that is not the current view which holds F. zelandicum to be endemic to New Zealand.

Fig. 1: Off Newcastle, NSW, in 381444 m (C.173468 PARATYPE).

Fig. 2: Apex of shells showing slit a. C.379322 Off Eden-Gabo Island, b. C.173468 Off Newcastle.


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