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Philobrya rubra (Hedley, 1904)

Description: Shell minute, inflated. Shape mytiliform, umbones at anterior end of hinge. Anterior end of shell straight or concave dorsally, rounded ventrally; posterior end smoothly rounded; byssal notch elongate. Hinge plate broad, with an anterior and a posterior row of microscopic elongate denticles. Ligament attached in an elongate resilifer between the rows of denticles. Interior with muscle scars poorly defined, margin with 3-7 denticles immediately below hinge posteriorly in large specimens. Exterior smooth or with coarse irregular concentric sculpture ventrally in large specimens. Periostracum absent. Shell colour uniform white, pink, fawn or brown, initially translucent but becoming opaque with age.

Size: Up to 3.8 mm maximum dimension.

Distribution: Port Stephens, NSW, southwards and around southern Australia, to SA, including Tas.

Habitat: Taken live from algal washings from the intertidal and down to 22 m depth; common as empty shells in beach washup; uncommon from dredge samples down to 150 m.

Remarks: This species is similar to the New Zealand species Philobrya munita Finlay, 1930, which lives intertidally attached by a stout byssus to the holdfasts of algae. The mode of life and anatomy of that species was described by Morton (1978).

Fig. 1: PARATYPES Long Bay, Sydney (C.014742)

Fig. 2: Deal Island, Bass Strait. Algal washings at 6m depth (C.212016)


Copyright Des Beechey 2023