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Eatoniella atropurpurea (Frauenfeld, 1867)

Description: Shell minute, short-spired. Spire outline convex. Protoconch of 1 - 2 whorls. Teleoconch about 2 moderately to strongly convex whorls. No spiral or axial sculpture. Aperture oval, flared anteriorly; outer lip simple, sharp, straight in profile; inner lip broad. Umbilicus closed or present as narrow slit. Protoconch colourless transparent or opaque white, teleoconch semi-opaque purplish-grey to grey when fresh, becoming opaque fawn or brown with age; inner lip sometimes reddish-brown centrally.

Size: Up to 1.2 mm in length.

Distribution: Australia and New Zealand; southern Queensland, southwards and around southern Australia to mid WA, including Tasmania.

Habitat: "Abundant on algae, under stones and in crevices, amongst Galeolaria etc. in the intertidal zone in NSW, and also found on algae in the sublittoral. Less common in the southern and western parts of its range" (Ponder & Yoo, 1977).

Comparison: Of the seven species of Eatoniella that occur in NSW, four are southern species that occur only in the far south of the state:

Eatoniella atrella - Black Head (near NSW-Victoria border) southwards

Eatoniella depressa - Batemans Bay and southwards

Eatoniella exigua - Green Cape (near NSW - Victoria border) southwards

Eatoniella melanochroma - Batemans Bay southwards

The other three species have a wider range in NSW, and can be separated by colour:

Eatoniella galbinia - transparent colourless or pale yellow, common to abundant; central NSW southwards.

Eatoniella atropurpurea - distinctively coloured with grey or brown shell, white protoconch, inner lip reddish brown; occurs throughout NSW. This is the most common of the genus in beach washup around Sydney.

Eatoniella puniceolinea - distinctively coloured with pink band; Sydney southwards.

Synonymy: Both Notosetia fusca Laseron, 1950 and N. aethiopia Laseron 1950 are previously recognised synonyms.

Figs. 1, 2: Green Cape, NSW (C.354377)


Copyright Des Beechey 2012