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Sassia remensa (Iredale, 1936)

Description: Spire whorls sculptured with two rows of strong nodules at the periphery, with a weaker row between; body whorl with one or two additional weak rows below the periphery. Nodules lie in axial rows forming axial ribs on some specimens. Whole surface covered with fine spiral riblets. Most shells distorted by a bulge in the penultimate whorl. Outer lip with six strong denticles, larger at the posterior end; columella with a strong tooth posteriorly, and 2 or 3 elongate denticles anteriorly. Columella callus produced, standing free of columella in mature shells. Anterior canal moderately long, upturned. Colour cream or fawn, body whorl nodules white. Operculum oval.

Size: Up to 40 mm in length.

Distribution: Known from eastern Australia, northern New Zealand, and from deep sea dredging around New Caledonia, Vanuatu and in the Coral Sea. In Australia, from Swain Reefs, Qld, to Montague Is., NSW.

Habitat: Recorded from 100-600 m. Uncommon.

Comparison: Similar to Sassia parkinsonia and Sassia garrardi, but distinguished by the two rows of nodules on the periphery, compared with the single row in both those species.

Remarks: The species had previously been considered a subspecies of Sassia apenninica (Sassi), but Beu (1998), informed by the large number of specimens recently obtained from the Coral Sea, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, now regards it as a distinct species.

Figs. 1,2: Off Beacon Reef, Swain Reefs, Queensland, in 234 m (C.306165)


Copyright Des Beechey 2000