Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Polished Nerite (Nerita polita)
Nerita polita is probably the most widely distributed nerite, occurring along tropical and sub-tropical shorelines from southern Africa, through the Indian Ocean to islands of the central Pacific. In Australia, it is found from North West Cape in Western Australia to northern New South Wales. It often buries itself in sand, surfacing at low tide to graze on rocks. On some beaches, the receding tide heralds a mass emergence of these glossy shells.
Geerat Vermeij (1984) placed Nerita polita in the subgenus Linnerita with three other less well-defined species. The subgenus is characterised by the granulate/wrinkled rim on the operculum.
Vermeij, G.J. (1984). The systematic position of the neritid prosobranch gastropod Nerita polita and related species. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97: 688 – 692.