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Cymatium caudatum (Gmelin, 1791)

Description: Whorls deeply channelled below suture; sculptured with strong spiral ribs, single on early whorls and divided on later whorls, with 1-2 threads between. Axial sculpture of threads on early whorls, becoming low folds with nodules at the shoulder on body whorl. Varix at outer lip, crossed by spiral ribs. Inner and outer lip of aperture with strong lirae along entire length. Posterior canal well defined. Anterior canal about half length of shell, almost closed. Colour fawn, with brown periostracum when alive. Operculum oval.

Size: Length up to 72 mm.

Distribution: Indo-West Pacific. In Australia, Shark Bay, WA, to Sydney, NSW.

Habitat: Taken down to about 50 m. Common in its range, rare in NSW.

Synonym: The subspecies Tritonocauda caudata vulticula Iredale, 1936 was introduced for specimens with short spire and short anterior canal dredged from Sydney Harbour, probably subfossil.

Figs. 1,2: Off Tweed heads, NSW (C.101857)


Copyright Des Beechey 2000