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7323-1.jpg (532454 bytes)


7324-1.jpg (567253 bytes)

Philine trapezia Hedley, 1902

Description: Shell minute, lightweight, inflated. Shell shape somewhat rectangular in apertural view (Fig. 1); aperture very wide, outer lip almost straight. Spire almost flat, outer lip same height as spire. Surface with dense spiral riblets over whole shell, showing a chain link pattern of punctate groves under high magnification, with interspaces of the same width. Shell colourless transparent, becoming opaque white with age.

Size: Up to 2 mm in length.

Distribution: The Australian Museum collection holds empty shells of this species from Yamba, NSW, southwards to Sydney. Burn (2006) reported it from Victoria and Rudman (1998) reported it living in New Caledonia and Tanzania as well as NSW.

Habitat: Empty shells in NSW are known from beach washup and down to 55 m. Rudman reported it alive saying "not uncommon in intertidal algal turf along the coast of New South Wales".

Remarks: In the figures, the chain link pattern is on the outside of the shell, but because of the transparency it appears to be on the inside as well. A photo of the live animal is on the Sea Slug Forum at http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/philtrap

Figs. 1, 2:  Watsons Bay, Sydney Harbour, NSW. (C.475275).


Copyright Des Beechey 2018