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Carinaria cithara forma elata Sowerby, 1895


This is a large shelled pelagic snail, up to 5 cm long, with an almost completely transparent body. The body can never withdraw into the shell. The shell is high pyramidal bending forward. Only the broad triangular visceral nucleus is darkly pigmented. The large eyes, with black retina, and the mouth organs are clearly seen. The intestine is frequently full and visible. The body is long and cylindrical with one swimming fin. It hunts large prey such as fish, shelled pteropods and other heteropods. It lives in upper layers of the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific. (Carinaria c. elata).

Taxonomic Description

This forma is rarely found by Tesch and Tokioka. It differs from the forma cithara by the anterior edge of the shell, being slightly concave, while the posterior edge is nearly imperceptibly convex; so that the shell bends forwards. The soft parts are unknown, though Tesch (1949) found specimens "associated" with the shells of this forma which were identical to those of the forma cithara.


The juveniles have a small, dextrally coiled shell. A special description is not available.


In this form the sexes are separate.


This form is carnivorous and epipelagic.


This form is recorded from the N-Indian Ocean and W-Pacific Ocean, see the Carinaria c. elata map.


Carinaria elata Sowerby, 1895: 16 + fig.
Syntypes: 2 spec. (dry collection) not found in BMNH
Type locality: W-Pacific. Coll.: Capt. Eudel.

Carinaria cithara elata