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Austroliotia botanica (Hedley, 1915)

Description: Shell solid and heavy, wider than high, angled at shoulder and base. Last whorl with eight spiral ribs; two on shoulder, three on periphery, one on outside of base, one very large bordering umbilicus, one within umbilicus; rib on outside of base sometimes fades out on last whorl; microscopic axial lamellae between ribs. Axial ribs of about the same strength as spirals cross spiral ribs; 15-30 on body whorl. Aperture circular, surrounded by greatly thickened two-tiered varix. Umbilicus deep, wide, with strong axial lamellae within. Colour uniformly white or fawn.

Size: Up to 8 mm wide, 6 mm high.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Fraser Is, Queensland, to western SA and northern Tasmania.

Habitat: Known from empty beach shells, living in the low intertidal on rocky shores, and down to 128 m. Moderately common.

Comparison: This is by far the most common Austroliotia species found intertidally or as a beach shell in NSW. The common species in southern Australia, A. australis, is not recorded north of Twofold Bay. A. subquadrata is recorded as far north as Sydney, but is much less common.

Figs. 1,2,3:  PARATYPE  Middle Harbour, Sydney, NSW (C.170428)


Copyright Des Beechey 2004