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Littoraria filosa (Sowerby, 1832)

Description: Shell lightweight, whorls rounded, occasionally with up to 4 varices. Fourth whorl of teleoconch with 5-7 thin, fine, spiral grooves. Body whorl with 9-11 strong, narrow, raised, sharp, spiral ribs with interspaces 3-5 times rib width; interspaces with numerous spiral threads and grooves. Columella smooth, thin, curved, not excavated; outer lip thin. Colour very variable; brown, yellow, orange or pink, with or without pattern of brown dashes or stripes. Operculum corneous.

Size: Adults 16-35 mm in height.

Distribution: Northern Australia, south coast of Papua New Guinea and southern Indonesia. In Australia, from Exmouth Gulf, WA, around northern Australia to Botany Bay, NSW.

Habitat: Lives on leaves and trunks of the mangrove Avicennia marina, 0.2-3.0 m. above ground, and less commonly on other mangroves. Common in the tropics, rare in NSW.

Comparison: See L. luteola.

Synonymy: Formerly frequently misidentified as Littorina scabra (Linnaeus, 1758), but see remarks under L. luteola.

Remarks: This species is common in Queensland, but in NSW is known from only one specimen, from Botany Bay.

Figs. 1,2:  Hervey Bay, Queensland (C.064270)

Copyright Des Beechey 2005