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Austrocochlea constricta (Lamarck, 1822)

Description: Shell solid, heavy, relatively (in comparison with A. porcata) heavily spirally ribbed, with 2-3 ribs on the penultimate whorl and 6-8 on the body whorl. Aperture heavily ribbed internally, porcelain-white, overlaying a nacreous layer, the edge of which can be seen on the outer lip. External coloration off-white, sometimes with weak diagonal black or reddish-brown stripes. Columella smooth, with a weak tooth at anterior end. Umbilicus closed.

Size: Length up to 32 mm.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia; northern NSW to south-western WA.

Habitat: Lives exposed on rocky substrata from exposed rocky shores to sheltered environments, in the mid-tide zone; common.

Comparison:See A. porcata

Remarks: The name Austrocochlea constricta has been used over the last two decades for the strongly ribbed and often heavily striped Austrocochlea of eastern and southern Australia. Recent work by Parsons and Ward (1994), based on genetic analysis supported by shell morphology, has identified three species in this group; A. porcata (Adams, 1851), A. constricta (Lamarck, 1822), and a new species, A. brevis Parsons & Ward, 1994. The first two of these occur in eastern and southern Australia, but A. brevis is restricted to Tasmania. The name A. constricta is retained for the species which is off-white or weakly striped.

Figs. 1,2: Eden Harbour, Twofold Bay, NSW (C.326710)