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Granata imbricata (Family Trochidae)

Tiled False Ear Shell


The Tiled False Ear Shell ranges from southern Queensland, around southern shores, including NSW, Vic, Tas and SA to southern WA. (QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS, SA, WA)


The Tiled False Ear Shell looks like a small abalone, but it lacks the respiratory holes that occur around an abalone's shell. The Tiled False Ear Shell is rounded, solid and ear-shaped. It grows to a length of between 25-35mm. It has a greatly enlarged body whorl with a very large aperture. The shell completely covers all the body parts, unlike the similar Elongate False Ear Shell, Stomatella impertusa. The sculpture consists of numerous spiral riblets that are covered with fine scales. The operculum is extremely small and is apparently functionless as it sits inside such a large opening. The shell colour is cream coloured to light-brown outside with irregular reddish-brown dots. Silver-tinted iridescent nacre colours the inside of the shell.

Ecology/Way of Life:

The Tiled False Ear Shell occurs, sometimes grouped, under rocks and boulders at and below low tide to 20 metres and in pools and gutters on rocky ocean shores. It prefers medium to high-energy coasts. It is an algae feeder.

Interaction with Humans/Threats:

The Tiled False Ear Shell appears to be uncommon on some shores and quite common on others. It is unknown if this species is under threat.

Other Comments:

Granata imbricata, Lamarck, 1816. Also known as Stomatella imbricata. Granata may come from the Latin word granum, meaning grain. Imbricata comes from the Latin word imbricare, meaning to tile, or to appear like over-lapping tiles.

Further Reading:

Bennett, I. (1987). W. J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores: a guide to the temperate shores for the beach-lover, the naturalist, the shore-fisherman and the student. p.277, Angus & Robertson.

Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.86, New Holland Press, Sydney.

Edgar, G.J. (1997). Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. p.237, Reed.

Jansen, P. (2000), Seashells of South-East Australia. p.18, Capricornia Publications.

Jones, D. & Morgan, G. (1994). A Field Guide to Crustaceans of Australian waters. Reed.

Macpherson, J.H. & Gabriel, C.J. (1962). Marine Molluscs of Victoria. p.55, Melbourne University Press.

Marine Research Group of Victoria (1984). Coastal Invertebtrates of Victoria: An atlas of selected species. p.34, Museum of Victoria.

Shepherd, S.A. & Thomas, I.M. (1989). Marine Invertebrates of Southern Australia. Pt. II. South Australian Govt. Printing.

Wells, F.E. & Bryce, C.W. (1988). Seashells of Western Australia. p.42, Western Australian Museum.

Wilson, B.R. & Gillett, K. (1979). A Field Guide to Australian Shells: Prosobranch Gastropods. Reed.


Text, map & photograph by Keith Davey.

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