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Planaxis sulcatus (Family Planaxidae)

Furrowed Clusterwink


The Furrowed Clusterwink has an Indo-West Pacific distribution. It ranges from WA across northern shores, including the NT to southern Qld (WA, NT, QLD).


The Furrowed Clusterwink is a medium sized, dark brown to grey, thick, oval to conical shaped shell that may, or not have a spiral structure. It grows to a length of 20-25 mm. The shell is often covered with a strong, fibrous covering called a periostracum. It has an oval to lyre shaped aperture that is quite narrow. It is notched or grooved at the base of the columella. Its aperture covering operculum is thin and composed of horn-like material.

The shell colour is dark brown to grey with darker markings, arranged to form a striped or spotted appearance. The tip of the shell is often eroded white. Inside the shell is white, with brown stripes following spirals.

Ecology/Way of Life:

Furrowed Clusterwinks are usually found in large to vast groups that occur under boulders and rocks in the tidal zone. Some of these locations are very exposed. It is abundant on beach rock of the mainland and on Great Barrier Reef Islands. It feeds on algae and detritus.

Other Comments:

Planaxis sulcatus (Born, 1780). Planaxis comes from two Latin words. Planus means flat and axis means a line about which a body rotates. Sulcatus comes from the Latin word sulcus that means a furrow. This describes a grooved structure within the shell aperture at the base of the columella that occurs in this species.


Text, map & photograph by Keith Davey.

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