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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Clawed Marginella

Dentimargo idiochila (Schwengel, 1943), reaches 6 mm (about 0.24 inch). The shell has a relatively long, pointed spire, an aperture that spans about half of the shell length, and the columella with four folds. The shell is smooth, glossy, yellowish, sometimes with two whitish bands on the last shell whorl. The species is found along the coast of east Florida and the Florida Keys. The distinctive feature on the shell of this species is the prominent tooth-like, or claw-like projection on the anterior third of the outer shell lip. Gastropods that bear that type of structure on or near the outer lip of the shell are known to use it to pry open carapaces or shells of other marine organisms, but we could not find any record for the type of prey or mode of feeding in this species. Illustration by James F. Kelly.

The Clawed Marginella, Dentimargo idiochila, from Delray Beach, Florida.

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