Image of Neolepetopsidae McLean 1990

Image of Neolepetopsidae McLean 1990


This protoconch is moderately large and has fine pitted sculpture over the entire surface, giving it a grainy appearance under the light microscope. It is flattened, so it will generally be found lying with the aperture down, and there are deep indentations at the sides of the aperture. From above, the outline of the shell is oval (photo above, left), but when viewed from the side the back of the shell comes to a blunt point, as if it had been compressed from the sides. The morphology and size match N. densata, the only species for which the protoconch is known (see Warén & Bouchet, 2001, p. 144 (Fig.15a-c) for SEM's of the protoconch) and it is the most likely candidate based on adult habitat (it is found at 13°N and the other species are from 21°N or Gorda Ridge), but we cannot eliminate the other possibilities.

Source Information

Stace Beaulieu
original media file
partner site
Larvae of Hydrothermal Vents