GNS Science

Revised descriptions of New Zealand Cenozoic Mollusca from Beu and Maxwell (1990)

New Zealand Cenozoic Mollusca

Coralliophila mira (Cotton & Godfrey, 1932)


(Pl. 48n): Te Piki, Cape Runaway, near East Cape, Haweran (oxygen isotope stage 7) (M74651, National Museum of N.Z.)

Beu & Maxwell (1990): Chapter 16; p. 360; pl. 48 n.

Synonymy: Rapana mira Cotton & Godfrey 1932, p. 145; Murexsul tepikiensis Powell 1934, p. 272; Coralliopila sertata, Beu & Maxwell 1990, p. 360, pl. 48n; Coralliophila mira, Beu 2004, p. 217, fig. 23H, I.

Classification: Muricidae: Coralliophilinae

Description: Small for subfamily (18-26 mm high), biconical, with moderately tall, gradate spire about equal in height to aperture and canal; whorls weakly to quite strongly angled at or slightly below centre on spire, angulation persisting as moderate or weakening shoulder on last whorl. Anterior canal open, moderate in length, margined on left by wide pseudumbilicus, bordered by prominent, rounded fasciolar ridge bearing large, scale-like remnants of former anterior canals. External sculpture of a few low, rounded, indistinct, axial folds crossed by many wide, high, rounded, closely spaced, coarsely scaly spiral cords; scales closely overlapping in cone-in-cone manner. Aperture smooth and simple except for outer lip, which is digitated around rim by protruding spiral cords. Protoconch not seen.

Comparison: Powell (1934) named a specimen of Coralliophila mira from Te Piki, Cape Runaway, as a species of Murexsul (Muricidae: Muricinae) but the few subsequently collected specimens we are aware of (1 illustrated) have the coarsely scaly, imbricating sculpture and closely spaced, narrowly convex spiral cords typical of Coralliophilinae, a subfamily living on corals of various types, feeding suctorially, and differing from most other muricids in lacking a radula. Powell (1979, p. 183) included specimens from Te Piki in Liniaxis sertata (Hedley, 1903), implying that was a revision of his identification of Murexsul tepikiensis, and this identification was followed by Beu & Maxwell (1990, p. 360). However, as recorded by Beu (2004, p. 217), B.A. Marshall (NMNZ) and M. Oliverio (Universita di Roma "La Sapienza") informed him that the Te Piki species is C. mira, a species based on specimens from South Australia, and not otherwise occurring in New Zealand. This identification was recently confirmed by Marshall & Oliverio (2009).

Murexsul lividorupis (Otaian, Bluecliffs, South Canterbury), which was referred to Liniaxis by Maxwell (1971, p. 774), is also included in Coralliophila.

Distribution: Haweran-Recent; Recent, shallow water, St Francis Island, South Australia (type of Rapana mira); Te Piki, Cape Runaway, near East Cape, Haweran (type of Murexsul tepikiensis). In New Zealand, recorded only from the Te Piki member, near East Cape (Haweran, oxygen isotope stage 7, 220 00 yrs).

Cite this publication as: "A.G. Beu and J.I. Raine (2009). Revised descriptions of New Zealand Cenozoic Mollusca from Beu and Maxwell (1990). GNS Science miscellaneous series no. 27."
© GNS Science, 2009
ISBN 978-0-478-19705-1
ISSN 1177-2441
(Included with a PDF facsimile file copy of New Zealand Geological Survey Paleontological Bulletin 58 in CD version from: Publications Officer, GNS Science, P.O. Box 30368 Lower Hutt, New Zealand)


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