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Merelina elegans (Angas, 1877)

Description: Shell elongate, spire weakly convex. Protoconch of 1 whorl bearing strong nodulose spiral threads with distinct junction with teleoconch. Teleoconch up to 5 well-rounded whorls. Whorls sculptured with spiral cords, 2 on first whorl increasing to 3 on second-last whorl, with axial ribs weaker or about same strength, forming strong beads at intersections; last whorl with further 3 spirals on base, these becoming progressively less beaded. Aperture ovate, with neither anterior or posterior canal; outer lip with strong varix externally. Umbilicus closed. Shell colourless or fawn translucent when fresh, becoming opaque with age.

Size: Up to 3.2 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Island Head Creek (north of Yeppoon), Queensland, southwards to Gabo Island, Victoria.

Habitat: Lives on coraline or short brown algae in intertidal rocky pools and subtidally. Empty shells are common in beach washup, and down to 66 m.

Comparison: See M. cheilostoma.

Synonymy: None.

Fig. 1: Kurnell, Botany Bay, NSW (C.465914)

Fig. 2: Kurnell, Botany Bay, NSW (C.222086)


Copyright Des Beechey 2010