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Volume 54, 1923
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Art. 10.—Some Tertiary Mollusca, with Descriptions of New Species.

[Read before the Wanganui Philosophical Society, 27th October, 1921; received by Editor, 22nd December, 1921; issued separately, 8th February, 1923.]

Plates 12–15.

Lippistes benhami Sut. var. perornatus n. var. (Plate 15, figs. 6, 7.)

Shell small, subdiscoidal, cancellated, granulate at the crossings, aperture widely expanded; whorls four, rapidly increasing, spire very small, protoconch of about one smooth whorl, the following with three spiral threads, the next strongly angled, with flat shoulder on which spiral threadlets arise; the last very large, angled above, rounded on periphery and base, a distinct carina margining umbilicus, the wide shoulder convexly raised as it curves to aperture; suture deep; sculpture of the last consists of about nine principal spiral cords between shoulder and basal carina narrower than grooves, in the latter are one or more fine threadlets; on the shoulder are nine or ten much smaller undulating threadlets and a number of similar strength within umbilicus, axials of numerous small cords, teeble on shoulder and terminating at basal carina, gradually becoming distant as they approach to outer lip, between these are fine regularly-spaced threadlets, numerous in the wider spaces and all finely granulate at intersection of spirals. Aperture widely expanded, margin continuous, projecting above spire-level and below base, patulous; columella almost straight, stout, concave, inner lip broadly reflected and projecting; umbilicus moderately deep, not broad.

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Length in front of aperture, 6 mm.; length through aperture, 10 mm.; width, total, 13 mm.; width of aperture, 9.5 mm.

Locality: Blue clay, Castlecliff. (Marshall.)

Type to be presented to the Wanganui Museum.

There are two specimens, one in perfect condition, the other somewhat worn and the aperture imperfect. It is apparently rare. No doubt it is closely allied to Suter's Recent species from Cape Maria van Diemen, a small, fragile, and semitransparent shell; it differs in the much stouter shell, much greater expanse of the aperture, and its size. We are indebted to Professor Benham for comparing it with Suter's type in the Otago Museum.

Austrotriton neozelanica n. sp. (Plate 15, figs. 4, 5.)

Shell of medium size, spire narrow, slightly longer than aperture and canal, body rather inflated and has a somewhat oblique and distorted aspect to whorls above, canal short and narrow. Whorls six, protoconch missing, succeeding whorls convex, lightly shouldered a little above sutures, later whorls distinctly concave a little below sutures thence convex with a short inward curve to suture below. Sculpture consists of irregular nodular axial ribs and small granular spirals, nodules on spire-whorl strongest on lower third, above this much suppressed, frequently consisting of irregular small tubercules, on periphery of the last they are strong and rounded with a part row of smaller nodules below, absent towards outer lip. Varices about ten, not prominent, on the body there is one in front of aperture and another close behind outer lip; spirals numerous, narrower than grooves and with irregularly disposed small granules. Sutures slightly impressed, undulating. Aperture ovate, small channel above, outer lip somewhat reflexed and with number of denticles within margin, parietal wall deeply excavated, columella narrow, slightly curved forward, callused and with several stout teeth on lower half, canal very short.

Length, 45 mm.; width, 24 mm.

Locality: Target Gully shell-bed, Oamaru.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

The specimen was submitted to Mr. Charles Hedley, who reports that he is unable to match it with any shell in the Australian Museum. A. parkinsonius Perry is recorded by Suter in our Receut fauna.

Syrnola semiconcava n. sp. (Plate 13, fig. 5.)

Shell small, very slender, gradually tapering, slightly curved forward, smooth, imperforate; whorls eleven or twelve, flat or faintly concave, the last shortly rounded at base, sutures distinct, lightly channelled. Protoconch of about two whorls, nucleus heterostrophe. Sculpture consists of minute growth-lines and microscopic spiral striae, the latter present in places only. Aperture very short, outer lip and base imperfect, the latter apparently somewhat expanded; columella short, stout, and with prominent rounded plait above.

Length, 7.5 mm.; width, 1.25 mm.; length of aperture, approximately 1 mm.

Locality: In fine bluish clay, Awamoa Stream, about half a mile inland from the Coast Road, Oamaru.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

Appears to be quite distinct from other New Zealand forms; the flat semiconcave whorls and narrow lightly channelled sutures readily distinguish it.

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Vexillum plicatellum n. sp. (Plate 12, fig. 3.)

Shell small, shortly fusiform, aperture and canal longer than spire, whorls five and a half, slightly shouldered, a little excavate above; suture not deep, rather widely margined below. Protoconch of about one and a half smooth whorls. Sculpture consists of axial riblets and fine spiral threadlets, about twenty axials on the penultimate whorl, narrower than interspaces, always well developed on spire-whorls, variable on the last, feeble in front of aperture and suppressed towards canal; the spirals consist of minute threadlets, usually rather more pronounced anteriorly on last whorl. Aperture slightly oblique, narrow, canal short, columella almost straight, narrowly callused, with four plaits, the lowermost small.

Length, 7.5 mm,; width, 4 mm.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

Locality Greensands immediately below the limestone, McCullogh's Bridge, Waihao River.

The material consists of four specimens, one of which is rather more inflated than the others, and the uppermost plait on the columella is indistinct; the species is apparently nearest to V. apicostatum Sut. Vexillum n. sp. from the same locality is listed in N.Z. Geol. Surv. Pal. Bull. No. 8, p. 66, and the above may be the species referred to.

Verconella delicatula n. sp. (Plate 14, figs. 3, 4.)

Shell small, slender, and narrowly fusiform, aperture and canal much longer than spire, attenuated, whorls eight or nine with low rounded shoulder about middle of whorls, between this and suture above sloping straight or slightly concave, and from shoulder to suture below convex, last whorl below periphery rapidly contracted. Sutures not deep. Sculpture—protoconch of about two and a half smooth whorls, apex minute; the following whorls with axial riblets and spiral threads, axials about thirteen on lower whorls, low rounded and wider than interspaces, variable, towards lip and below periphery of the last obsolete, there are strongly marked growth-lines throughout; spiral threads somewhat granular, on spire there are three stouter threads from shoulder to suture below, with one or two minute threads in grooves, above shoulder about seven smaller threadlets, in some a smaller and larger alternating, others uniform, on the last excluding those above shoulder and on beak there are thirteen to seventeen with frequently a minute thread in the groove, on periphery the spirals are more distant, rather stronger and with one or several fine threads in interspaces. A perture small, oval, continued into a long narrow canal, outer lip imperfect; columella lightly callused, almost straight above, the long beak slightly twisted to the left.

Length, 28 mm.; width, 8 mm.; length of aperture and canal, 16 mm.

Locality: Greensands immediately below limestone, McCullogh's Bridge, Waihao River.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

The material consists of two specimens, the outer lip of each somewhat imperfect, Its very slender form and sculpture readily distinguish it from Siphonalia ex [ unclear: ] celsa Suter.

Latirofusus optatus n. sp. (Plate 12, fig. 2.)

Shell small, fusiform, aperture and canal almost equals spire in length; whorls about seven, “apical coil missing,” convex, the last somewhat

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inflated at periphery and strongly contracted below, the beak rather abruptly turned to left. Sculpture consists of strong rounded axial ribs and fine spiral cords, axials seven to eight on lower whorls, narrower than interspaces, extending to end of canal and forming a row of curved nodules on beak; spirals small, rather wider than grooves, about eight between outer lip and suture above, strong growth-lines give to spirals a slightly granular appearance. Sutures undulating. Aperture narrowly oval, outer lip uniformly curved, thin and somewhat expanded, columella almost straight, callused and with small tooth at middle, canal anteriorly almost closed.

Length, 11.5 mm.; width, 4 mm.

Locality: Greensands immediately below limestone, McCullogh's Bridge, Waihao River.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

The shell has some aspects of a Trophon; the plait on the columella is not unlike that of Josepha: while, on the whole, it appears to have a fair resemblance to Latirofusus spiceri Ten.-Woods.

Pagodula vegrandis n. sp. (Plate 13, fig. 1.)

Shell small, fusiform, spire turreted, shorter than the aperture and canal, axially and spirally ribbed, the former continuing to anterior end of canal and the latter forming hollow spines on crossing axials. Whorls six, protoconch of two smooth loosely-coiled whorls, nucleus minute and somewhat oblique; succeeding whorls strongly angled rather below middle, the last below angle rather rapidly contracted to straight and fairly long canal. Sculpture—axials consist of ten prominent ribs on last whorl, narrower than interspaces except on canal where they are separated by narrow grooves; of spirals there are four on the last and two on whorls above, that situate on the angle is much the larger and with prominent spines, above angle smooth, except a small thread margining sutures. Sutures undulating and deep. Aperture small, ovate, continuing into a long narrow canal; outer lip thin, imperfect, columella almost straight and with a narrow callus.

Length, 9.5 mm.; width, 4 mm.

Locality: Greyish sandy clay in cutting on Main Road, Pukeruri.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

There is a single example only. Its sculpture is characteristic of Murex, while the erect form and turreted spire is not unlike Columbarium.

Bonellitia hampdenensis n. sp. (Plate 12, fig. 4.)

Shell small, ovate, whorls six, convex, sutures somewhat impressed, protoconch of three smooth whorls, apex minute; succeeding whorls axially and spirally cancellated, the former more pronounced, much narrower than interspaces and curved forward, there are eighteen on last whorl, more feeble on base; spirals consist of small threads, much narrower than grooves, gemmulate on axials, occasionally a minute thread in groove and two or three similar threadlets immediately below sutures, excluding minute spirals, there are seventeen to eighteen on the last and about seven on penultimate whorl; in places well-marked growth-striae appear in the grooves. Aperture nearly equals spire in length, outer lip imperfect, columella slightly curved and with three evenly-spaced plaits, basal lip a little produced and a few small denticles within margin.

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Length, 12.5 mm.; width, 7 mm.; length of aperture, 6 mm.

Locality: Hampden.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

Closely allied to B. ovalis Marshall, from Pakaurangi Point; differing in the much thinner shell, more narrow form, and distinctly more slender and more numerous axial ribs.

Fulguraria morgani Marsh. & Murd. (Plate 14, figs. 1, 2; Plate 15, figs. 1–3.)

F. morgani Marsh. & Murd., Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 52, p. 138, pl. 7, figs. 12, 12a, 12b.

Since describing this species additional collections have been made from the Waipipi (Waverley) beds and the Whakino (near Hawera) beds. The specimens obtained prove that those described were not adult, but in the neanic stage of growth; only two examples of the adult form have been found, one from each locality, while examples of the neanic stage are in abundance in the Whakino beds. These exhibit some variation in the more or less numerous axials ribs, and in the more narrow attenuated form of some specimens. The adult has eight or nine whorls, the last fairly large and somewhat longer than the spire; the example from Waipipi has the body considerably longer. The spire is narrow and sculpture similar to that described, the last whorl lightly shouldered, axial ribs somewhat nodular on shoulder, variable, less pronounced or almost absent on approaching anterior end. Margin of outer lip somewhat reflexed, not much thickened, inner lip with a spreading callus, columella almost straight and with five plaits, anterior always small and posterior in one specimen indicated by only a slight bulge.

Specimen from Whakino: Length, 112 mm.; width, 38 mm.; length of aperture, 59 mm. Specimen from Waipipi: Length, 123 mm.; width, 42 mm.; length of aperture, 72 mm.

These specimens to be placed with type in Wanganui Museum.

The rarity of the adult compared with the numerous occurrence of the small specimens is difficult to account for: they are are the same species, differing in stages of growth and exhibiting some variation in form. Those possessing a very narrow attenuated spire of as many as six whorls no doubt indicate a more slender adult form than obtained. Many examples of the neanic stage have the appearance of being fully adult, this being due to the sculpture—the outer lip is margined with an axial rib, and the bevelled edge produces the appearance of complete growth. At the Whakino beach, about half a mile west of the county stone-hauler and tram-line, and between tide-levels, is an exposure exceedingly rich in well-preserved fossil shells. F. morgani occurs in fair numbers. The fauna is characterized principally by the abundance of Glycymeris laticostata and variety, Ostrea hyotis, Pecten semiplicatus, P. triphooki, Miltha neozelanica, Struthiolaria zelandiae, Cardium spatiosum, and Dentalium solidum.

Drillia apicarinata n. sp. (Plate 12, fig. 5.)

Shell small, narrowly fusiform, apical whorls rather attenuated, aperture and canal shorter than the spire; whorls seven or eight, convex; slightly shouldered above middle on spire-whorls, the last gradually contracted to the short canal, sutures somewhat impressed, margined below. Sculpture—

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protoconch of about two whorls, nucleus lost, distinctly carinated and with spiral striae only, succeeding whorl with three spiral threadlets and broad rounded axial ribs, the latter nine on a whorl, wider than the interspaces, obsolete on base; of spirals there are about twenty on the last, smaller towards beak and with a minute thread in grooves, on penultimate whorl there are eight spirals excluding threadlets in grooves, the thread margining suture rather prominent and in places a minute thread above it. Aperture small, narrowly oval, posterior sinus not deep, lip simple, columella almost straight, callused, and tapering to beak, which is slightly twisted forward.

Length, 10 mm.; width, 3.25 mm.; length of aperture and canal, 4 mm.

Locality: Waikopiro. (Suter collection.)

Type in Wanganui Museum.

A single specimen only. The late Mr. Suter has it marked “n. sp.”

Bathytoma transenna Sut. (Plate 12, fig. 1.)

Leucosyrinx altus Harris subsp. transenna Sut., N.Z. Geol. Surv. Pal. Bull. No. 5, pt. 1, p. 44.

A collection of fossil shells from the road-cutting at Pukeuri produced examples of a Bathytoma which agreed closely with the description of Suter's subsp. transenna. An examination of the holotype in the Suter collection proved that it also is a Bathytoma and has no relationship with L. altus Harris. Other specimens in the collection are two from Petane, similar to the Pukeuri specimens; these have four or five spiral threads on the sloping shoulder of lower whorls of spire, whereas the type has only three as described by Suter; apart from this there is practically no difference. The specimens Suter records from Waikopiro are not transenna—he notes the absence of reticulating axial sculpture, and there are other features which distinguish them; they appear to be an undescribed Surcula.

To Suter's description of transenna we add the following: Shell small, narrowly fusiform, whorls eight or nine, strongly keeled below middle, aperture and canal shorter than spire. Protoconch of about three smooth whorls, the last slightly shouldered, apex narrowly pointed. Aperture narrow, outer lip angled at keel, sinus immediately above; columella with well-developed callus, almost straight in middle, thence twisted and curved to right, tapering and pointed at end.

The above refers to the holotype from Awamoa. Specimens from Pukeuri and Petane have an extra spiral on the shoulder, and frequently the larger thread below the suture is split into two.

The species is allied to B. albula Hutt., examples of which from White Rock River most nearly approach it, and might almost be regarded as a transition form.

Surcula protransenna n. sp. (Plate 12, fig. 6.)

Shell small, narrowly fusiform, spire turreted, whorls seven or eight, a strongly projecting rounded keel at middle on spire-whorls, concave above and below, on the last whorl a well-marked concave area below keel followed by a second keel less pronounced, anterior to this rather abruptly contracted; aperture and canal slightly longer than spire. Protoconch of about one and a half smooth whorls, the lower distinctly carinate, apex blunt. Sutures linear, margined above and below, variable, some examples indistinct. Sculpture—spirals of numerous fine lines on keel and above and below it, indistinct in some specimens, on the last whorl usually more pronounced;

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axials consist of growth-lines only, variable in strength, arcuate between keel and suture above. Aperture small, ovate, produced into a long canal; outer lip angled at keel, thence concave followed by a convexity, and beneath this rapidly narrowing to canal; columella narrowly callused, straight in middle portion, narrowing and slightly twisted to left.

Length, 13 mm.; width, 5 mm. Another example: Length, 10 mm.; width, 4 mm.

Locality: Waikopiro. (Seven specimens, Suter collection.)

Type and paratypes in Wanganui Museum.

Suter included these specimens with his Leucosyrinx alta subsp. transenna. Fortunately, the type of Suter's variety is in a separate tube from other specimens. In his description he remarks on the absence of axial riblets, but failed to note the difference in the spiral sculpture, the keel, and the aperture.

Columbarium maorum n. sp. (Plate 13. fig. 2.)

The only specimen has the anterior canal broken off. Shell small, spire narrowly produced, pagodaform, the last somewhat abruptly contracted at base. Whorls seven or eight, a serrated prominent carina below middle, a small thread immediately above serration, from this to suture above slightly concave and apparently without sculpture, area from carina to suture below narrow and concave, a minute thread margins sutures above and below; on base of last whorl are five spiral cords, diminishing in size anteriorly, minutely granulate, narrower than grooves, the two upper cords distant and strongest, the grooves with one or two minute threads; axial sculpture consists of fine growth-lines, more pronounced on base. Protoconch of about two whorls, smooth and lightly carinated. Aperture imperfect, outer lip angled above middle, parietal wall smooth and lightly callused.

Length of spire, 5 mm.; greatest width, 4.5 mm.

Locality: Greyish sandy clay in cutting on Main Road, Pukeuri.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

The single specimen is very imperfect, but the species may be recognized by the form of the spire and sculpture.

Antimitra vexilliformis n. sp. (Plate 13, fig. 3.)

Shell small, narrowly biconic, whorls seven, turreted, angle slightly above middle on spire-whorls, between angle and suture above slightly concave; sutures not deep, margined below; aperture and canal equals spire in length. Sculpture—protoconch of about one and a half smooth whorls, apex tilted, the following whorls with rather distant axial riblets, about thirteen on a whorl, feeble towards anterior end of body, and with pronounced gemmules at angle, axials below angle crossed by small spiral cords which form gemmules at points of intersection, there are four on penultimate whorl and about eighteen on the last, of which about six on neck and canal are more slender and closer together; above the angle spirals, if any, are microscopic. Aperture slightly oblique, narrowed and angled above, outer lip sharp, columella almost straight, narrowly callused, and with two low plaits at middle, canal short.

Length, 8 mm.; width, 4 mm.

Locality: Greyish sandy clay in cutting on Main Road, Pukeuri, near Oamaru.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

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In form and sculpture this species is in perfect accord with Vexillum, but it lacks the important characters on the columella; it makes some approach to P. nodosoliratus Suter. We place this species provisionally in Antimitra, one of the many genera created by Iredale; unfortunately, that author mars his otherwise good work by burying generic names in the text and by simply nominating the type without reference to its characteristics.

Triploca waihaoensis n. sp. (Plate 13, fig. 4.)

The single specimen available is very fragmentary, the outer lip imperfect, and the spire missing; sufficient, however, remains to distinguish the species, and it is the first record of the genus in our fauna.

Shell small, last whorl convex at periphery and uniformly curved to anterior end, very slightly projecting at suture, the latter a little impressed not deep. Sculpture consists of small flat-topped spiral riblets and axial growth-lines, the latter in places slightly crenulating the riblets, spiral grooves narrower than riblets, about six or seven between lip and suture above, on body below periphery are four or five much smaller than those above and below (this may be an individual character), about twenty-four spirals in all, those at umbilicial depression small and rounded. Aperture oblique, narrow and somewhat produced at base; columella short, almost straight, reflexed and with three stout oblique plaits, the anterior two nearer together. Impressed area behind columella partly obscured with matrix but does not appear to be a true umbilicus.

Length of last whorl, 7 mm.; width, 5.5 mm.; aperture, greatest oblique length, 6 mm.

Locality: Greensands immediately below the limestone, McCullogh's Bridge, Waihao River.

Type to be presented to Wanganui Museum.

This species is closely allied to T. ligata Tate; it appears to differ in the narrower and more oblique aperture, the shorter columella, and larger size; the absence of the spire prevents a complete comparison.

The genus Triploca was created by Professor Ralph Tate for the reception of a small Actaeon-like shell with three revolving plaits on the columella, type T. ligata (Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., 1894, vol. 27, p. 186, pl. 11, fig. 7). M. Cossman reviews Tornatellaea (Triploca) ligata Tate, and states that the species is minutely punctate in the spiral sulci (Ess. Palaeoconch. Comp., 1895, p. 50, pl. 7, fig. 19.) Mr. George F. Harris (Brit. Mus. Cat. Ter. Moll., pt. 1, Australasia, 1897, pp. 9–10, pl. 1, figs. 2a, 2b, protoconch) points out that Tate's species is evidently very variable; that the deep sulcation bordering the suture of the type specimens is occasionally scarcely more prominent than the other spirals; that the latter are not always persistent over the whole of the whorls, one museum specimen showing the body-whorl sulcated over two-thirds of the surface only. From the above it will be noted that for specific determination it is unsafe to attach overmuch importance to the number of spiral sulcations or their disposal.

Tate's species from the Adelaide bore he classified as Eocene. Harris (op. cit.), reviewing the Limacinidae and Volutidae from the lower Tertiaries of Australia, is not disposed to assign to them so great an age, remarking that their development is more advanced than one would expect to find in beds as old as the true Eocene. The age of the Waihao greensands is discussed at pp. 116–19 in this volume: there can scarcely be any doubt that they represent the highest beds of the Hampden series.

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Fig. 1.—Bathytoma transenna Sut., and sculpture.
Fig. 2.—Latirofusus optatus n. sp.
Fig. 3.—Vexillum plicatellum n. sp.
Fig. 4.—Bonellitia hampdenensis n. sp.
Fig. 5.—Drillia apicarinata n. sp.
Fig. 6.—Surcula protransenna n. sp.

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Fig. 1.—Pagodula vegrandis n. sp.
Fig. 2.—Columbarium maorum n. sp.
Fig. 3.—Antimitra vexilliformis n. sp
Fig. 4.—Triploca waihaoensis n. sp.
Fig 5.—Syrnola semiconcava n. sp. (shell and protoconch).

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Figs. 1, 2.—Fulguraria morgani (adult).
Fig S. 3, 4.—Verconella delicatula n. sp.

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Figs. 1–3.—Fulguraria morgani (juvenile).
Figs. 4, 5.—Austrotriton neozelanica n. sp.
Figs. 6, 7.—Lippistes benhami Sut. var. perornatus n. var.