Colubraria cf obscura

This is an unusual species. It resembles Colubraria obscura in its shiny surface, but is much smaller. Both have spiral rows of small nodules on the later whorls, and the nodules expand to form thin irregular axial ridges on the upper spire. However, this species is much smaller than C. obscura, and a look at the spire of the latter suggests that a specimen the same size as our smaller Colubraria sp would still have these ridges on the body whorl. Although they could be forms, we are keeping them separate for now. We have seen five specimens, the largest about 35mm. All specimens were observed at night, parasitizing sleeping parrotfish. One pair observed on the same fish both measured 29mm. We have no photos of the living animal.

The photo below shows one of these next to a standard Colubraria obscura (right).

Created 24 October 2010

Return to colubrariids

Kwajalein Underwater home