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Modiolus lineus (Hedley, 1907)

Description: Shape: very small, equivalve, inequilateral, very elongate, fragile, with umbo low, behind anterior end. Dorsal margin nearly straight, ventral margin straight and parallel to dorsal margin. Hinge without teeth. Interior smooth, white, muscle scars not clearly defined. Exterior with weak concentric growth lines, and sometimes with faint radial ribs posteriorly. Colour transparent colourless, becoming opaque white. Periostracum thin, polished, fawn.

Size: Up to 8 mm in length.

Distribution: Sydney, NSW, southwards and around southern Australia to south-western WA, including Tasmania.

Habitat: Known from 146-600 m depth.

Remarks: This very small species is known from only the syntypes in NSW, and a few specimens from each of the southern Australian states. It is not clear if it is naturally rare or if its small size has meant it has often been overlooked.

Fig. 1: SYNTYPE 22 miles (35 km) east of Narrabeen, north of Sydney, in 80 fathoms (146 m) (C.25788) (Photo Australian Museum)

Fig. 2: Figure from original description by Hedley, 1907


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