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Pteria lata (J.E. Gray, 1845)

Description: Shell thin, flaking at margin. Shape variable with age; juvenile shells elongate with height less than length, adults with height almost equal to length. Anterior and posterior wings well developed, posterior wing short in adults. Dorsal margin straight, anterior margin with deep byssal notch in right valve, posterior margin strongly concave, ventral margin rounded. Hinge line straight, ligament external. Interior nacreous with a wide non-nacreous margin; small muscle scar almost centrally. Exterior with fine concentric ridges and irregular growth bands, periostracum usually worn away. Periostracum of dense but separate radial and concentric ridges with spikes at intersections. Shell colour reddish brown, periostracum dark brown.

Size: Up to 145 mm in length.

Distribution: Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia; in Australia, from Exmouth, WA, around northern Australia, to Sydney, NSW.

Habitat: Subtidal, attached to gorgonians and sea whips.

Fig. 1: Plater Rock, Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory. Photo: MAGNT.


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