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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Exquisite False Dial

Spirolaxis centrifuga (Monterosato, 1890) is a delicate and truly attractive species of the sundial snail family Architectonicidae. The species is found in deeper water in the western and eastern Atlantic, and may grow to about 5 mm (0.2 inch) in diameter. The shell is open-coiled, with successive whorls (shell “turns”) not touching each other, yet maintaining regular, proportional distances from the neighboring whorls. Gastropods from other families make open-coiled shells; they are all very elegant, and will be the subjects of the next couple of "Shells of the Week."

The Exquisite False Dial, Spirolaxis centrifuga, from off Fort Lauderdale. Photos by James F. Kelly.


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