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Thalassopterus zancleus Kwietniewski, 1910

Overview

This is a naked pelagic snail, up to 0.2 cm long, barrel-shaped and mainly transparent. The posterior footlobe and lateral lobes are small. There are two pairs of buccal cones. It is only known from juvenile specimens. It hunts zooplankton as food. It lives in the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean in the upper water layers (Thalassopterus zancleus).

Taxonomic Description

This species is only known from immature specimens. Body round or barrel-shaped. No constriction in the neck region, head parts dorso-ventrally flattened. Wings small. Two pairs of buccal cones. Real hook sacs and hooks are absent, but a glandular protrusion in the dorsal wall of the buccal wall is present. Radula (Thalassopterus zancleus radula) formula is of the Thliptodon type 3-1-1-1-3. The median plate does not show dentation. Lateral footlobes well developed. Median footlobe small, pointed and in close contact with the lateral lobes. The tapering wings are implanted in the middle of the body. Anterior tentacles well developed.
Body length maximum 2 mm.

Juveniles

Only juveniles have been described.

Reproduction

This species is a protandric hermaphrodite.

Ecology

This species is carnivorous.

Distribution

It is found only as immature specimens near Messina and Madagascar, see the Thalassopterus zancleus map.

Types

Thalassopterus zancleus Kwietniewski, 1910: 271, fig. 1.
Types are probably never indicated or preserved.
Type locality: Strait of Messina. Coll.: Kwietniewski (in an aquarium).

Thalassopterus zancleus