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Cuvierina columnella (Rang, 1827a) forma urceolaris (Mörch, 1850)


This is a shelled pelagic snail up to 1 cm long, with a completely transparent, bottle-shaped shell. The greatest shell width is found at more than 1/3 of the shell length from posterior. The surface has very faint longitudinal and growth lines. The juvenile shell has a protoconch that points as a needle below the bottle-shaped adult shell closed by a septum. The visceral mass is seen through the shell. It is a good swimmer that feeds on phytoplankton and protozoa. It lives in the warm upper waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, where it can occur in mass blooms (Cuvierina c. urceolaris).

Taxonomic Description

The shell is glassy, hyaline and bottle-shape. The striation resembles that of forma columnella, but it forms a clearer reticulum on the shell. In some specimens the reticulation is more prominent with stronger longitudinal striae. The embryonic and younger shell parts are similar to those of the forma columnella. The only obvious differences from the forma columnella are the higher level, near the middle of the shell, where bulging is greater, and the smaller depression just below the shell aperture. The Cuvierina c. urceolaris radula formula is 1-1-1.


The juveniles are similar to those in the forma atlantica.


The forma is a protandric hermaphrodite.


The forma is phytophagous and epipelagic.


The forma urceolaris is only found in the Indo-Pacific, especially in Indonesian seas, see the Cuvierina c. urceolaris map.


Cuvieria urceolaris Mörch, 1850: 19, 32, pl. 1, fig. 8.
Lectotype: ZMUC (dry collection). paralectotypes: ZMUC 3 specimens (dry collection).
Type locality: Philippine Is. restricted to Bank Aguisan. Coll.:Dr. Kierilf.

Cuvierina columnella urceolaris