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Coriophora fusca (Dunker, 1860)

Description: Shell varying in size, sinistral. Protoconch plankotrophic, of 2-3 whorls, covered with fine, crisp, axial riblets, and a subcentral spiral thread. Teleoconch whorls with 4 strongly beaded spiral cords and axial costae; spirals 1 and 3 commence immediately after protoconch, spiral 2 on 6th-10th teleoconch whorl. Penultimate whorl with spirals 1 and 3 strong, of about same strength, spiral 2 much weaker. Spiral 4 very slightly exposed on spire whorls. Another 2 spirals on base (numbered 5 and 6), smooth. Axial costae weak, 18-21 on penultimate whorl. Outer lip of aperture flared, anterior siphonal canal short and upturned, posterior canal a U-shaped or triangular notch. Colour dark reddish brown, nodules lighter.

Size: Adult shells 5.6 - 12 mm in length.

Distribution: Tropical Indo-West Pacific. In eastern Australia, from Cairns, Qld, southwards to Sydney, NSW.

Habitat: "Locally very common intertidally in the tropical West Pacific" (Marshall, 1983, p. 47). In NSW, this species occurs in estuaries, sometimes in the upper reaches; the figured specimen is from Balmain, well up Sydney Harbour. Moderately common in NSW.

Comparison: This is characterised by only 2 spiral cords on most spire whorls, with spiral 3 not developing until late in growth, and by the dark brown colouration. Its occurrence in estuaries also assists in identification.

Synonymy: Triphora nocturna Hedley, 1903 and Mesophora bowenensis Laseron, 1958 are previously recognised synonyms of Australian authors.

Remarks: Shells are often eroded or obscured by marine growth.

Fig. 1:  Balmain, Sydney Harbor, NSW (C.469222)

Fig. 2:  Pearl Bay, Middle Harbor, Sydney (C.013518)


Copyright Des Beechey 2015