Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A new species of Dog Whelk from the South and East China Seas.


Dog Whelks, Nassariidae, are burrowing carnivorous Gastropods living in muddy or sandy sediments, from the intertidal zones to the deeper parts of the continental shelves (and possibly deeper). They are found across the globe, but are most abundant in the Indo-Pacific region, with 70 species recorded from Australia, 69 from Japan, 47 from the island of Ambon in Indonesia, 41 species from the Philippines and 64 from Vietnam. About 60 species have been described from Chinese waters, though this is likely to be an underestimate of their true diversity.

In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 22 August 2014, Junlong Zhang and Suping Zhang of the Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences describe a new species of Dog Whelk from the South and East China Seas.

The new species is placed in the genus Nassarius and given the specific name glabrus, meaning smooth, in reference to the surface of the shell. Nassarius glabrus has an elongated ovular shell reaching up to 18.7 mm in length with 7-8 whorls. Its shell is light brown in colour, with yellowish-brown flame-like patterns.

Nassarius glabrusin (A)apertural view; (B) lateral view; (C) dorsal view .Zhang & Zhang (2014).

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