Pupa tessellata (Reeve, 1842)
|Maximum size: 20 mm
(extrapolated from shell length).
This species has a heavily calcified shell with widely spaced punctate
and peach maculations. The body is translucent gray with white flecks. (Note 1)
Pupa tessellata is
a moderately common sand dweller found in protected to moderately
protected back reef sand patches at depths of 1-3 m (3-10 ft) as well
as in Halimeda kanaolana beds
up to 17 m (56 ft). Dredged shells at the
Bishop Museum extend the depth range to at least 82 m (269 ft). It is
active, plowing through the sand just beneath the surface at night
while remaining buried by day.
Big Island, Maui, Molokai, Oahu and French Frigate Shoals: widely distributed in
The photo of this species in Kay, 1979 is mislabeled as Pupa pudica. Pupa Thaanumi,
Pilsbry, 1917 is a
synonym (Kay, 1979) and it is listed under that name in Edmondson, 1946,
Quirk & Wolfe, 1974 and Tinker, 1958. The fossil species Pupa pearlensis, Pilsbry, 1921 may also be a synonym. It was probably first reported from Hawaii in Pilsbry, 1917.
about 18 mm: Hekili Point, Maui; Oct. 3, 2002.
Observations and comments:
1: Shells of this species show strong red fluorescence under ultraviolet light (395 nM).