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Amoria zebra (Leach, 1814)

Description: Shell solid, spire very short, glazed. Spire whorls smooth or with axial ribs that may extend to the ventral side of the body whorl. Remainder of body whorl smooth and glossy. Columella with 4 strong plaits; outer lip thickened, smooth. Background colour white to mid-brown, usually with axial brown lines. Columella and outer lip white.

Size: Adults 22-70 mm in length, commonly 30-50 mm.

Distribution: Endemic to Australia: Cape Hillsborough (north of Mackay), Queensland, to Sydney, NSW.

Habitat: Intertidal, in sand, down to 55 metres. Common.

Synonymy: The axial ribs on the spire are present in northern shells, but absent on shells from south of Moreton Island, Queensland. This northern nodulose form was described as Zebramoria lineatina Weaver & Dupont, 1967. An older synonym is Voluta lineata Leach, 1814.

Remarks: The colour pattern is very variable. The usual pattern is axial brown lines on a fawn background, but unmarked white or golden shells occur in some localities. Variations occur in the density of the axial lines, and rarely spirally banded specimens are found. Bail & Limpus (2001) give many illustrations of the colour variations.

Fig. 1  Port Stephens, NSW (DLB5046)


Copyright Des Beechey 2004