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Mereline hirta Criscione & Ponder, 2011

Description: Shell elongate, spire weakly convex. Protoconch of 1 whorl bearing strong nodulose spiral threads, with distinct junction with teleoconch. Teleoconch up to 4 whorls, rounded beneath overlaid sculpture. 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 very strong beads tending to short spines at intersections; base of last whorl with a high, smooth, thin spiral cord originating at suture, and a rugose spiral below. Aperture ovate, with neither anterior nor posterior canal; outer lip with strong varix externally. Umbilicus closed. Shell colourless or fawn translucent when fresh, becoming opaque with age.

Size: Up to 2.8 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Point Halliday, near Forster, NSW, southwards through eastern Victoria to Tasmania.

Habitat: Empty shells are common in beach washup and are known from down to 91 m. Live specimens are from intertidal and shallow subtidal algal washings.

Comparison: See M. cheilostoma.

Synonymy: Inspection of the specimen figured by Laseron (1950, Fig. 13) as Merelina cheilostoma shows it to be this species. The figure of May (1923, Pl. 22, Fig. 18) is also this species.

Fig.1: Off North Head, Sydney, in 20 m (C.222880)

Fig.2: Green Cape, Maria Island, Tasmania (C.223411)


Copyright Des Beechey 2012