young, 6 mm
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 (also Johnston Atoll): 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).