Lunella torquata (Gmelin, 1791)

Lunella torquata
Lunella torquata
Photographer: 
Nicola Fraser
Date: 
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Location: 
Low Reef, Sandy Beach
Depth: 
1m
Lunella torquata
Lunella torquata
Photographer: 
Nicola Fraser
Date: 
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Location: 
Low Reef, Sandy Beach
Depth: 
1m
Additional Notes: 

Note concentric groove in operculum which is diagnostic of this species.

Distribution:

Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Endemic to Australia, with a discontinuous range. The eastern population occurs from the New South Wales/Queensland border south to Green Cape, while a southern population exists from eastern South Australia to north of Geraldton in Western Australia. 

Ecological Notes:

Occurs in the lower littoral and sublittoral regions of exposed rocky shores. 

Additional Notes:

Shell large, solid and heavy with width greater than height. Columella white, interior nacreous with external ribbing showing through. Colour pale brown, sometimes mottled green or orange in juvenile shells. Operculum calcareous, white, surface minutely pustulate and strongly spirally ribbed with deep depression on exterior surface. Herbivorous, living amongst and feeding on algae. One of the largest conspicuous molluscs on rocky shores they were a staple in Aboriginal diets and are still collected for food, especially near large population centres. Grows to about 110 mm wide and 100 mm high but usually smaller. Previously known as Turbo torquatus.

References:

The Seashells of New South Wales, Des Beechey, Senior Fellow, Australian Museum, Release 25. Website at https://seashellsofnsw.org.au/Turbinidae/Pages/Turbo_torquatus.htm. Accessed 08/11/2018.