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Terebra lauretanae Tenison-Woods, 1878

Description: Shell with convex subsutural band, remainder of whorl straight sided. Subsutural groove varies from broad, shallow and indistinct to narrow and well defined. Subsutural band and remainder of whorl crossed by irregularly spaced, crowded, curved, axial growth lines, tending to nodes on the subsutural band. Whole surface marked with fine spiral lirae. Anterior fasciole well developed; siphonal notch moderately deep. Outer lip thin, simple. Colour yellow-brown with one or two spiral rows of rectangular brown spots on each whorl.

Size: Up to 48 mm in length.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; North Solitary Is., NSW, to Babel Is., Bass Strait.

Habitat: Subtidal, 13-550 m. Uncommon. Only one specimen is known from deeper than 300 m, most shells being taken in the 50-100 m range.

Comparison: This is a distinctive species, easily separated by its colour pattern and sculpture.

Synonymy: Terebra lauretanae tabifica Iredale, 1925 is based on an unusually slender shell from 550 m, the deepest depth known for the species.

Remarks: Some live taken specimens are attractive, clearly marked shells, but many are badly eroded or the colour pattern is concealed by dark brown staining and very heavy growth lines.

Fig. 1:  a.. Holotype of Terebra lauretanae 5 miles east of Sydney Heads, 82 m (C.002464) b. Holotype of Terebra lauretanae tabifica 27.5 miles east of Sydney, 550 m (C.024436) c. East of Malabar, NSW, in 66 m (C.371311)

Copyright Des Beechey 2004