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Cymatium exaratum (Reeve, 1844)

Description: Whorls strongly shouldered. Two strong spiral ribs on the shoulder, each with a central groove; four single spiral ribs on the rest of the body whorl, all separated by spiral threads. Suture to shoulder area weakly spirally ribbed. Shoulder ribs heavily nodulose, 6-7 nodules on the body whorl. Outer lip deeply grooved internally when immature, with about six elongate denticles when mature. Columella with a tooth posteriorly, and with lirae in large specimens. Colour fawn, covered with a thin, brown periostracum when alive; interior white. Operculum oval.

Size: Up to 60 mm, commonly 40 mm, in length.

Distribution: All Australian states, Coral Sea, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Japan and South Africa.

Habitat: Intertidal on rocky shores, and down to 160 m. Uncommon.

Synonyms: This species was known as Cymatium exaratum (Reeve, 1844) but reverted to the earlier name of Cabestana tabulata (Menke, 1843). However, recent work has shown that Menke's tabulata is actually the shell that has been known as Cabestana waterhousei (Adams and Angas, 1864). Thus the species returns to Cymatium exaratum (Reeve, 1844).

Cymatium zimara Iredale, 1929 is based on a specimen, probably subfossil, dredged from Sydney Harbour.

Figs. 1,2: Broulee Beach, NSW (C.361773)


Copyright Des Beechey 2000