The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.
Murex Funafutiensis — . sp. nov. — (Fig. 35)
. sp. nov.
Shell small, biconical. Colour ochra-ceous buff, banded with chocolate, interior of aperture pale lilac. Whorls seven, sculptured each with seven prominent varices, which mount the spire continuously and obliquely. On the spire each varix presents a hollow spine above a blunt tubercle. Between and parallel to the varices are a series of imbricating lamellæ. Five spiral ridges run round the shoulder of the shell, and undulate both the blades and the interstices of the varices. The lamellae are likewise microscopically beaded by minute spiral threads. The aperture is oblique, ovate, choked by an inner tuberculate ridge, and by the great development of the columella; the latter is arched, deeply obliquely entering, anteriorly with two incipient tubercles, and truncate below. Canal short, open, and recurved; above it are two series of disused canals, corresponding to the ultimate and penultimate varices. Length 9, breadth 5 mm.
One specimen, taken by tangles, at a depth of forty to eighty fathoms, on the western slope of Funafuti.
This species approaches nearest to Murex nuclea, Reeve,* which it resembles both in colour and form. Judging from his account of that species, it differs by being just half the size, by having seven whorls instead of five, with seven varices apiece instead of six, and especially by being longer in proportion to breadth than the Philippine shell is. Whether these differences are constant or not I cannot say.page 459
* Reeve—Conch. Icon. iii., 1845, Murex, pl. xxix., sp. 131.