Vexillum Bolten, 1798, Mus. Bolten., vol. 2, p. 138.
Vexillum antipodum n. sp. (Plate 102, fig. 1.)
Shell small, fusiform, rather solid and axially costate, ochreous, banded. with purple-black. Sculpture: all whoris except protoconch distinctly axially costate between sutures. Costae somewhat broadly rounded, beginning on the lower edge of whorl-shoulders and hardly reaching the sutures; there are also several moderately distant spiral lirae present on each whorl, in some cases extending over costae, stronger on lower half of body-whorl, where the ribs gradually become obsolete; shoulders below sutures with 2 or 3 fine spiral cords, the whole shell finely sculptured with axial growth-lines; neck of columella with 5–6 oblique fine ribs, the two upper separated from the others by a rather broad rounded groove. Protoconch smooth, of 1 ½ turns. Whorls 7, slightly angulated, with impressed sutures, outlines slightly convex, apex rounded, a little flattened above. Spire elevated, conical, very little higher than aperture. Aperture moderately narrow, oblique, nearly half height of shell, slightly angled above, with a short open almost straight canal somewhat crenulated on base owing to spiral ribs on neck of columella. Outer lip moderately rounded, solid, margin sharp. Columella subvertical, with 4 plaits, the two lower oblique, closer together than upper ones, which are more widely separated, and the top one nearly transverse; a narrow groove divides plaits from neck-spirals. Colour: ground-colour ochreous-buff, with a broad purple-black band on the lower half of body-whorl, also a very narrow band of same shade immediately above suture of penultimate whorl and two preceding it; the upper whorls of a lighter shade without sutural bands; protoconch flesh-coloured, base of columella orange.
Diameter. 4.2 mm.; height, 10 mm. Angle of spire, 70°.
Holotype and two paratypes in author's collection.
Habitat.—Cooper's Beach, Doubtless Bay (A. E. B.); type. Also obtained by Mr. W. La Roche, of Auckland, in the same locality.
Situation: Under loose boulders embedded in sand between tide-marks.
This species is the finest yet discovered in New Zealand, and is apparently restricted to very narrow limits, and not at all common. It appears to be more closely allied to V. planatum Hutton than to any other New Zealand, species, but is at once distinguished by the conspicuous colour-bands.