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Fusitriton magellanicus retiolus (Hedley, 1914)

Description: Shell light in weight, with two varices per whorl. Sculptured with about 25 spiral ribs on the body whorl, with one or two indistinct riblets between, crossed by axial ribs, forming nodules at the intersections. Outer lip smooth, somewhat expanded. Columella smooth, with a large tooth at the posterior end. Anterior canal moderately long, slightly upturned. Background colour white or pale fawn, spiral ribs brown; interior white or occasionally pink. Covered with a thin, brown periostracum when alive. Operculum oval.

Size: Up to 155 mm, commonly 130 mm in length.

Distribution: Port Stephens, NSW to Lakes Entrance, Victoria.

Habitat: Occurs at depths of 100-1400 m, most commonly in 500-1000 meters. Common.

Remarks: This species has been known in Australian literature as Fusitriton retiolus (Hedley, 1914), but Beu (1978) showed it to be a subspecies of the widely distributed Fusitriton magellanicus (Roding, 1798). Beu recognises four subspecies of F. magellanicus; cancilla (Lamarck, 1816) in South America; murrayi (Smith, 1891) in South Africa; retiolus (Hedley, 1914) in southern Australia, and laudandus Finlay, 1926 in New Zealand. Fusitriton galea Kurodo and Habe, 1961 from southern Japan, and F. oregonensis (Redfield, 1846), from northern Japan to California, are considered sufficiently distinct to be separated as species.

Figs. 1,2: Off Sydney in 420-440 m (DLB1988)

Fig. 3: Off Sydney in 260-270 fathoms (DLB1987)

Copyright Des Beechey 2000