Lunella smaragda

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Lunella smaragda
Lunella smaragdus 01.JPG
A shell of an adult Lunella smaragda
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Clade: Vetigastropoda
Order: Trochida
Superfamily: Trochoidea
Family: Turbinidae
Genus: Lunella
L. smaragda
Binomial name
Lunella smaragda
(Gmelin, 1791)
  • Turbo helicinus Born, 1780
  • Turbo radina Webster, 1905
  • Turbo (Turbo) smaragdus Gmelin, 1791
  • Turbo smaragdus Gmelin, 1791
  • Turbo tricostatus Hutton, 1884

Lunella smaragda, common name the cat's eye snail, is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Turbinidae, the turban snails.[1]

There has been little published on this species.


This species has a green operculum. The size of the shell varies between 35 mm and 70 mm.

The depressed, imperforate, solid shell has a heliciform shape. It is covered with a strong blackish cuticle, beneath which it is green. It is usually eroded at the apex and contains 4 to 5 whorls. The upper ones are spirally sulcate or carinate. The body whorl is large, flattened above, with incremental wrinkles and subobsolete spiral sulci. The large aperture is oblique, rounded, pearly white within. The outer lip is thin and black-edged. The arched columella has a pearly callus. The white umbilico-parietal area is excavated and concave.

The common name "cat's eye" for the synonym Turbo smaragdus is a reference to the attractively colored operculum of this species, which looks somewhat like an eye, and which is sometimes used for decorative purposes. The operculum is flat inside with four whorls. The nucleusis more than one-third the distance across the face. The outside is deep green except on the side of increment which is white. It is very minutely remotely granose.[2]


Lunella smaragda is an endemic species found both at the intertidal and low subtidal rocky shores and soft substrates (including seaweeds) of New Zealand.[3][4] It is found around the North, South, and Stewart islands, on rocks between low and mid tide.


  1. ^ Lunella smaragdus (Gmelin, 1791). Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 20 April 2010.
  2. ^ G.W. Tryon (1888), Manual of Conchology X; Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia (described as Turbo smaragdus)
  3. ^ Powell A W B, New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
  4. ^ Glen Pownall, New Zealand Shells and Shellfish, Seven Seas Publishing Pty Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-85467-054-8
  • Powell, A.W.B. (1979). New Zealand mollusca. Marine, land and freshwater shells. Collins Auckland.
  • Alf A. & Kreipl K. (2003). A Conchological Iconography: The Family Turbinidae, Subfamily Turbininae, Genus Turbo. Conchbooks, Hackenheim Germany.
  • Spencer, H.G.; Marshall, B.A.; Maxwell, P.A.; Grant-Mackie, J.A.; Stilwell, J.D.; Willan, R.C.; Campbell, H.J.; Crampton, J.S.; Henderson, R.A.; Bradshaw, M.A.; Waterhouse, J.B.; Pojeta, J. Jr (2009). Phylum Mollusca: chitons, clams, tusk shells, snails, squids, and kin, in: Gordon, D.P. (Ed.) (2009). New Zealand inventory of biodiversity: 1. Kingdom Animalia: Radiata, Lophotrochozoa, Deuterostomia. pp. 161–254.

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