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Tim O'Neil

Quoiba, Australia

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Artist's Description

Thais orbita – Cart-rut Shell

This species varies widely in sculpture. The eastern Australian shell (a) usually has strong spiral sculpture; 7 to 9 strong spiral ribs on body whorl, with intervening grooves of about the same width; ribs and grooves with secondary spiral riblets. Anterior fasciole about same size as spiral ribs. Columella smooth; outer lip internally reflects external sculpture. Colour off-white or grey, aperture cream, often pale yellow on the edge.

Average length 60 mm, maximum 120 mm.

In Australia, from Fraser Is., Queensland, to North West Cape, Western Australia, including Tasmania. Also New Zealand and Lord Howe Is.

Lives on rock platforms and rocky shores, in the surf zone, particularly in crevices at low tide and below.

The southern Australian form is generally much less coarsely sculptured than the eastern form and has been known as Dicathais textilosa (Lamarck, 1822). The figured specimen of this form (b) from Tasmania has about 25 spiral ribs, and the interior of the lip has about 20 lirae.

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Artwork Comments

  • Ann  Palframan
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  • PrairieRose
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