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Melanella acicula (Gould, 1849)

Description: Shell large, long and slender. Spire usually slightly bent at early whorls, then straight or weakly convex in outline. Whorls very weakly convex, suture well defined. Scars from position of outer lip infrequent, one located about 2 whorls before aperture on large specimens. Aperture moderately elongate, less than one-quarter of shell length, inner lip slightly reflected over base. Outer lip convex in profile, with very shallow sinus at top. Shell colourless-transparent or translucent white, polished, glossy.

Size: Up to 12 mm in length.

Distribution: Indo-West Pacific. In eastern Australia, occurs from the tropics southwards to Sydney, NSW.

Habitat: Parasitic externally on several species of holothurians (sea cucumbers). Common in Queensland, rare in NSW.

Fig. 1: Heron Island, Qld. On Stichopus variegatus (C.134350).


Copyright Des Beechey 2015