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Introduction

The maximal shell size of Atlanta lesueurii appears to vary geographically (from 2 mm in Hawaiian and eastern Australian waters to 6 mm in the tropical western Pacific). The shell is transparent, thin and fragile, with a smooth surface (lacking raised sculpture). The spire is very small, somewhat elevated and compact, consisting of about 2-1/2 whorls. Spire sutures are deep, with the result that the whorls are somewhat rounded in profile and can easily be distinguished. After metamorphosis the outermost whorl enlarges and inflates rapidly and the keel becomes progressively taller, becoming very tall in large adults and having a truncate leading edge. The keel base and spire sutures are colorless. Eyes type b, with a large lens. Operculum type b. Radula type I, with a narrowly triangular shape; largest in the genus Atlanta. Geographic distribution is cosmopolitan in tropical to subtropical waters. Vertical distribution in Hawaiian waters restricted to upper 150 m, with most individuals in the upper 100 m and some evidence for nocturnal migration into the upper 50 m.

Diagnosis

  • Maximal shell size appears to vary geographically, between 2 and 6 mm
  • Shell transparent with a thin, fragile walls
  • Shell surface smooth; lacking surface sculpture
  • Spire compact, comprised of about 2-1/2 whorls
  • Spire sutures incised, enabling distinction of whorls
  • Keel tall, with a truncate leading edge
  • Eyes type b; lens large
  • Operculum type b
  • Radula type I, narrowly triangular shape

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