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Miralda suprasculpta (Tenison-Woods, 1877)

Description: Shell medium size, spire almost straight-sided, up to 6 teleoconch whorls. Protoconch coiled (Type B), of about 2 whorls, set on teleoconch with axis inclined at more than 90 to teleoconch. Teleoconch whorls straight-sided, sculptured with 3 strong spiral cords, the uppermost 2 with axially aligned beads, the lowermost smooth; another smooth spiral on last whorl level with top of aperture; weak axial threads in interspaces between spirals; suture deeply impressed. Aperture broad, columella with a weak tooth, sometimes only visible deep within aperture. Shell colourless-transparent becoming opaque white with age.

Size: Up to 5 mm in length.

Distribution: The distribution is unclear. The species was named in 1877 from Tasmania, and was regarded by other authors at the time as having a southern Australian distribution. But the Australian Museum collection shows that it occurs throughout NSW, extends into Queensland, and reaches as far north as Cairns. Whether there are several similar species involved over this range requires investigation.

Habitat: In NSW empty shells are from beach washup and from dredgings down to 20 m. Uncommon in NSW.

Synonymy: Latavia tricarinata Laseron, 1951 is a previously recognised synonym.

Fig. 1: Off Nelson Head, Port Stephens, NSW, in 1518 m (C.342471).


Copyright Des Beechey 2017