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Turbo cinereus (Family Turbinidae)

Ash-coloured Turbo



The shell of the Ash-coloured Turbo is thick and globe-shaped, with a large body whorl and domed spire. It grows to a length of 35-40 mm. The whorls are rounded, without shoulders. The sculpture is of finely noduled spiral cords and feint axial striations. The aperture is round. The oval to circular-shaped operculum is domed and sculptured with fine granules. The outer lip has a sharp edge. The columella is flat with an outward-flaring spout-like projection. The umbilicus is narrow but deep.

The external shell colour is cream, fawn or grey, with brown or green spots or blotches on the ribs. Its specific name refers to its ash-like appearance. The operculum is white, with a dark green crescent mark on the outer margin. Inside the shell is nacreous.

Ecology/Way of Life:

It occurs high on sand and shell grit beaches, sheltering among rocks.

Preferred Image

Interaction with Humans/Threats:

This Turbo appears to be common over its range and probably is not under threat from human activity.

Other Comments:

Turbo cinereus, Born, 1778. Turbo comes from the Latin words turbo or turbinis meaning a whirl or spinning-top. The word cinereus is a Latin word cinereus meaning ashy. Synonyms are Lunella cinerea (Born, 1778), Turbo versicolor , T. porphrytes , T. mespilus (All of Gmelin, 1791) and T. porcatus , Reeve 1848.

Further Reading:

Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia p.94. New Holland Press, Sydney.

Short, J.W. & Potter, D.G. (1987). Shells of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef: Marine Gastropods. p.14, Golden Press, Drummoyne. (As Lunella cinerea).

Wells, F.E. & Bryce, C.W. (1988) Seashells of Western Australia. p.46, Western Australian Museum.


Text, map & photograph by Keith Davey.

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Images and Multi-media:  
Attached Image  
image/jpeg 100077 bytes Ash-coloured Turbo
Distribution Map  
image/gif 982 bytes Distribution of Ash-coloured Turbo

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