young, 3.5 mm
Atys pittmani Too, Carlson, Hoff & Malaquias, 2014
|Maximum size: 18 mm
(extrapolated from shell length).
has a slender, tapered, transparent shell. Fine, wavy
spiral striae are largely confined to the apex and base where they
become more prominent with age. In fully mature animals, the outer lip
becomes slightly thickened. The animal is translucent-gray flecked with
white and orange-brown.
is a common species that may be found in mixed habitats, sand channels
and Halimeda kanaloana beds
from depths of < 1 to 29 m (< 3 to 95 ft). However it is more
common in H. kanaloana beds
than elsewhere. It occurs at highly protected to moderately exposed
sites. It is a nocturnal species that buries itself in sand during the
day and lays a spherical, pale pink egg mass that is probably anchored
in algal turf in the field. (Note
1) The eggs hatch in about three days in the laboratory.
Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai and French Frigate Shoals: also recorded from
This species is listed in Severns, 2011 as Atys multistriatus. Shells are present in various mixed lots at the Bishop
Museum. Too. et. al., 2014 suggests that Atys may not prove to be
monophyletic with future work. Therefore, this species, with its
somewhat atypical shell sculpture for the genus, might ultimately be
Photo: CP: 10
mm: Hekili Point, Maui; Oct. 5, 2002.
Observations and comments:
1: On Oct. 5, 2002 an animal was
observed laying eggs in a sand bottomed dish. It remained beneath the
sand except for the front of the head and the egg mass was inflated
"balloon fashion" by puffs of eggs "blown" into the mucous envelope
from between the head and the mantle on the right side. It remained
buried beneath the egg mass for some time after laying. However, in
Oct. and Nov., 2004 small aggregations of half a dozen or so
individuals were observed in the field near egg masses anchored
in algal turf that were comparable to those laid in the laboratory. In
addition, such egg masses have not been observed in the field anchored
in sand. That supports a preference for laying in algal turf.