Genus VARICOSPIRA Eames, 1951.
Varicospira lee, sp. nov.
Shell small, elegantly pointed oval, spire about equal to the aperture,
whorls seven adult plus two nepionic, slightly convex, apex acute, spire
conical, tri-varicose, aperture small pointed oval, very strongly variced
externally with heavily reinforced columella anteriorly, canaliculate at each
end. Dead shell dirty brownish-white; living (Mrs. Woolacott's specimen)
a beautiful honey brown, the last whorl showing three darker bands, more
noticeable on the outer varix. The apex consists of two glassy whorls,
the succeeding whorls being sculptured by narrow elevated longitudinal ribs
with the broadish intervals crossed by close incised lines which do not cut
the longitudinals, but produce a superficial cancellation. On the face of
the body-whorl thirteen ribs may be counted while the linear incisions
vary about twenty. The varices are normally three, but these are not all
pronounced, sometimes only one or two being marked, on each whorl.
Two extraordinary features characterize the shell, both concerning the
aperture and the figures will show these better than any description: first,
the columella which is heavily reinforced and reflected, more boldly towards
the anterior canal, where it forms a large pad and is produced and reverted
so that it is not clearly visible in the figures. Anteriorly it is laid on thickly
on the preceding whorls travelling upwards two whorls, then abruptly
crossing the suture halfway and as abruptly descending more than a whorl.
As the outer lip has followed this procedure, an open channel appears all
the way. The outer lip is most complexly varicose, very broad, showing
strong ridges — almost twofold inside the aperture, while internally the
ridges are even stronger and cut by deep incisions, practically following
the body-whorl sculpture but separated from it by a deep gutter. There is
a sinuation in the form of the outer lip towards the anterior canal separated
by a slight projection, the canal itself long and narrow. Altogether it is a
very remarkable little shell. Length, 34 mm., breadth 12 mm., interior of
aperture about 10 mm. by 4 mm. Type locality, Torres Straits, North
Queensland. Also Darwin, North Australia, and New Guinea (Mrs.
Woolacott's Collection). The name Varicospira was proposed by Eames
(Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. 236 B, 2, 70, 1951) for the fossil Strombus
A New Gudgeon from the New Hebrides
By Gilbert P. Whitley, F.R.Z.S.
(Contribution from the Australian Museum.)
Lee Woolacott, one of the founders of this "Marine Zoologist," loved
beautiful things: shells; corals, small fishes and other marine life gave her
endless pleasure both in the field and in collections.
It seems fitting therefore for a very beautiful little marine gudgeon to
be named in her memory. It has been in the Australian Museum collection
for more than forty years unidentified and unique, no other specimen
having come to hand.
It belongs to the genus Eviota Jenkins, 1903, of which some authors
consider Trimma Jordan and Seale, 1906, to be a synonym or a subgenus.