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Bouchetriphora pallida (Pease, 1870)

Description: Shell sinistral. Protoconch plankotrophic, of 4-5 whorls, with 1 spiral thread and dense axial riblets. Teleoconch whorls with 4 beaded spiral cords and axial costae; spirals 1 and 3 start immediately after protoconch, spiral 2 on 4th to 8th teleoconch whorl. Spiral 1-3 attain similar strength by penultimate whorl. Spiral 4 barely exposed on all whorls. Another 2 spirals on base (numbered 5 and 6), smooth. Axial costae number 14-23 on penultimate whorl. Outer lip of aperture flared (not apparent in subadult specimen figured), anterior siphonal canal rather short and upturned, posterior canal a simple notch. Colour uniformly white.

Size: Adult shells 2.5 - 7.8 mm in length, over 4 mm in southern Australia.

Distribution: Indo-West Pacific from Mozambique to Hawaii, including New Caledonia and New Zealand. In Australia, recorded from all states.

Habitat: Intertidal from algal washings and subtidal to 100 m, with several records down to 200 m. Uncommon in beach washup.

Comparison: Recognised by the uniformly white shell.

Synonymy: Among a list of previously recognized synonyms are Notosinister glaciala Laseron 1954 and Mesophora albomicra Laseron, 1958.

Remarks: The size of adult shells varies widely throughout the range, being larger than 4 mm in southern Australia, but down to 2.5 mm in the tropics. This was discussed by Marshall (1983, p. 63).

Figs. 1, 2:  Sow & Pigs Reef, Sydney Harbor, NSW (C.170722)


Copyright Des Beechey 2015