Alcithoe arabica

Alcithoe arabica
A shell of the shouldered form of Alcithoe arabica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Muricoidea
Family: Volutidae
Genus: Alcithoe
Species: A. arabica
Binomial name
Alcithoe arabica
(Gmelin, 1791)

Alcithoe swainsoni Marwick, 1926

Alcithoe arabica, common name Arabic Volute, is a species of very large sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Volutidae, the volutes.[1]





A shell of Alcithoe arabica

This species is endemic to Tasmania and New Zealand (North, South and Stewart Islands).[3][4][5][6]


Shells of Alcithoe arabica can reach a height of 75–225 millimetres (3.0–8.9 in).,[5] and a width of 88 mm. These shells are usually large, solid, fusiform, with relatively weak tubercles on the shoulder of the body whorl. Aperture is high, with a thickened, rounded outer lip. The external surface is yellowish-white with chestnut zig-zac markings, forming five bands on the body whorl.[7][8]

There is no operculum. These gastropods have a large grey to brown foot flecked with purple and orange.[9]


These sea snails live in subtidal waters on soft bottom in beaches and muddy harbours and inlets.[9]

Biology and lifestyle

Alcithoe arabica are able to move quite quickly on the soft substrate. They prey on bivalves smothered by means their large foot. The rounded, thin shelled eggs of this species are laid on stones or other shells.[9]




External links

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