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Fowlerina punctata (Tesch, 1903)

Overview

This is a naked pelagic snail, up to 0.6 cm long, with a mainly transparent body showing the visceral mass through the body wall. The shape is rounded. The lateral footlobes are well developed, the posterior one is small. It hunts shelled pteropods as food, and lives in the N-Atlantic in the upper water layers (Fowlerina punctata).

Taxonomic Description

Head large but not elongate. Integument unpigmented, transparent, with relatively large chromatophores of a dark colour. The posterior footlobe is very small, but a well developed median tubercle is present. The visceral mass does not reach the posterior body pole, and fills only two thirds of the body. The visceral mass is yellow and marked by black chromatophores at its top. The male copulatory organ bears numerous spines. One pair of buccal cones is present, which are composed of a thickened stalk and round top covered by papillae. The radula formula is 4-1-4, the median plate is unicuspoid. The hook sacs each contain about 13 hooks. The jaw is composed of about 12 spines placed in a semi-circle.
Body length up to 6 mm.

Juveniles

A special description is not available.

Reproduction

This species is a protandric hermaphrodite.

Ecology

This species is a carnivore.

Distribution

It is sympatric with Fowlerina zetesios in the NE-Atlantic, but occurs somewhat further southwards, and does not reflect its typical Atlanto-Mediterranean centre type of distribution. The record in the Indonesian waters, however, points to a wider distribution. See the Fowlerina punctata map.

Types

Clione punctata Tesch, 1903: 116 (1904), pl. 6, figs. 142-143.
Holotype: ZMAN (alcohol collection) u.s.
Type locality: Near Daram Island (Indo-Malayan Arch). Coll.: Siboga, stat. 165.

Fowlerina punctata