Spengler's Rock Whelk Cabestana spengleri
A distinctive feature of the shell of Spengler's Rock Whelk are the pairs of brown-red lines between the spiral ridges in the grooves.
This shell is large, very solid, elongate, and strongly sculptured. The spire is elevated and conical. The shell is sculptured by broad spiral ridges, with large nodules or keels in the centre of the whorls. These whorls are crossed by many fine cross ridges. The grooves are marked with brown-red to brown lines, often in pairs. There is often an abrupt break on the body whorl, which implies a long pause in the shell growth. The outer lip is swollen, and the spiral ribs extend beyond its edge. The operculum is horny.
The photograph is of a dead shell. The live animal is covered by a thin, brown, hairy epidermis called a periostracum.
The shell colour is yellowish-brown, with a white inner lip and columella.
Southern Queensland, around southern Australia to South Australia, including Tasmania and New Zealand.
Locally common, this large carnivorous mollusc often occurs in crevices and rock pools at low tide levels and below.
The dead shells are often found trapped in gutters and in beach debris. SpenglerŐs Rock Whelk was used as food by Aborigines and the shell remains are commonly found in cooking middens.
What colour is this animal's shell in its natural habitat ?
What is an epidermis and what is it's purpose ?
What is a periostracum and what does it do ?
What other molluscs have a periostracum ?
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