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Dolicholatirus cf spiceri (Tenison-Woods, 1876)

Description: Shell elongate, whorls evenly convex, aperture one-third of shell length. Whorls sculptured with strong axial folds from below upper suture to lower suture, about 10 on penultimate whorl. Spiral sculpture of fine ribs, sometimes with a secondary thread between; about four primaries on penultimate whorl and 15 on body whorl and base. Columella with two plaits, the lower bordering the anterior canal. Outer lip lirate internally with about eight long lirae. Anterior canal long; posterior canal well defined, bordered with small bulge on parietal wall and outer lip. Colour fawn or cream in worn shells; fresh shells show a golden band below the suture, with the remainder of the whorl mauve.

Size: Up to 17 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Clarence R. to Point Halliday, NSW.

Habitat: Taken live on rocky reefs in 5-20 m. Rare.

Comparison: This may be a form of Dolicholatirus spiceri (Tenison-Woods, 1876), which is known from eastern Victoria to south-western WA. It is smaller on average, being 10-17 mm in length, while D. spiceri reaches 15-25 mm. Neither species is known from central and southern NSW.

Remarks: Living and fresh dead specimens have a bright blue luminous appearance, probably caused by optical interference in the periostracum (Loch, 1993).

Figs. 1,2: Split Solitary island, NSW, in 15-17 m (C.171668)



Copyright Des Beechey 2000