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GALLERY



 
Micromelo undatum
(Brugiere, 1792)
 
Micromelo undatum
Maximum size:  40 mm.

Identification:  This bubble shell has a thin, strongly inflated, flesh-colored shell marked by three spiral brown lines that are joined by wavy axial brown lines. The body is translucent cream shading to iridescent green-yellow marginally and spotted with opaque white. (Note 1)

Natural history:  Micromelo undatum is a moderately rare diurnal species found crawling in the open  in rocky habitats at moderately protected to highly exposed sites, generally at depths of < 1 to 4 m (< 3 to 13 ft). Like other members of the family, it feeds on polychaete worms. A 16 mm animal laid a convoluted, cream egg mass about 7 mm in height by 3.8 mm in width with a 2 mm wide ribbon. It hatched in about eight days in the laboratory.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, Necker, Laysan and Midway: circumtropical.

Taxonomic notes:  This is the species listed as Micromelo guamensis (Quoy and Gaimard, 1825) in Kay, 1979, Pilsbry, 1921, Bertsch & Johnson, 1981, Kay & Schoenberg-Dole, 1991 and Tinker, 1958. Many sources also list it as Micromelo undata or Micromelo undatus. In Quirk & Wolfe, 1974, it's listed as Micromelo guamensis but illustrated with a photo of Bullina lineata. It's referred to as the "wavy bubble shell" in Hoover, 1998 & 2006. Bulla scripta Garrett, 1857 is a synonym. (Kay, 1979)

Photo:  CP: 12 mm: Mokolea Point, Maui; July 23, 2005.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  Shells of this species show strong red fluorescence under ultraviolet light (395 nM).
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