Southwestern Pacific: Tasmania, Australia to southern Queensland, Australia to northern New Zealand
Marine intertidal: rocky shores; mid littoral
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Nerita melanotragus
There are 4 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Nerita melanotragus
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
There has been some confusion over the taxonomy of the Nerita genus in the Pacific region, however Nerita atramentosa and Nerita melanotragus are now recognised as separate species (the two have often been considered to be the same species).
This nerite is endemic to the southern Pacific, including the south-eastern coast of Australia (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Lord Howe Island, Norfolk Island, northern New Zealand and the Kermadec Islands.
This species is commonly found on intertidal rocks, particularly in the mid to upper intertidal zone. It prefers to attach to sloped or vertical rock surfaces, or hang from the underside of rocks. This may be a method of thermoregulation, because if N. atramentosa is on a horizontal surface, it would absorb the maximum solar radiation, whereas on sloped or vertical surfaces it absorbs less energy (and thus heat).
The shell is of moderate size, very solid, globose-oval, and smooth except for weak shallowly incised spiral lines. The external shell colour is black, but the aperture is white, except for a narrow black border. Once shells get over about 26mm they start to wear down and typically have knotched sides and a white wear on the right hand side of the shell.
The operculum is granular, pinkish-lilac, with two spiral bands of black.
The shell height is up to 30 mm, and width 32 mm.
- Grove, S. (2007). Vicariance, dispersal, and the strange case of the Tasmanian Black Nerites. The Tasmanian Naturalist 129.
- Spencer, H. G.; Waters, J. M.; Eichhorst, T. E. (2007). "Taxonomy and nomenclature of black nerites (Gastropoda�:�Neritimorpha�:�Nerita) from the South Pacific". Invertebrate Systematics 21 (3): 229. doi:10.1071/IS06038. .
- Castro, L. R.; Colgan, D. J. (2010). "The phylogenetic position of Neritimorpha based on the mitochondrial genome of Nerita melanotragus (Mollusca: Gastropoda)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57 (2): 918–923. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.08.030. PMID 20817109.
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