Strophia levigata Maynard, 1889

Original Description


Smooth Strophia.

Plate II, 2 & 2B, shell.


            SP. CH. Size, large. Shell, robust and heavy. Striations, absent.  Tentacles, about one fifth as long as eye peduncles. Teeth, two, and very long . Whirls, 11. Examined 150 specimens.

            Form of shell, inclined to cylindrical, the first and second whirls being equal in diameter, and the third is but little smaller, and from this the shell tapers to quite an acute point, making an angle of .55 degrees. The striations are represented only by faintly defined lines of growth, that are, however, more prominent on the upper whirl, especially on the right side near the aperture, where there are some prominences, but these prominences are widely separated and irregular.

            The aperture is small and contracts rapidly within, and the teeth are long and prominent; the central which is placed midway between the two walls, is .25 long, and the upper which is placed slightly above it, makes a complete turn around the column.

            The margin is not produced forward beyond the diameter of the shell, but is greatly thickened, and the outer posterior portion is provid­ed with a thin, though not very prominent, edge. The frontal bar is prominent and interrupts the striations, thus the lower wall of the ap­erture is smooth. Jaw, as in S. pannosa, and the animal is similar in form, but paler in color above.

            Color of shell, externally, white, slightly flesh colored at extreme tip of apex; internally, pale purplish brown, but this color does not ex­tend beyond the teeth, but fades gradually as it approaches them, so that both they and the walls beyond them are yellowish brown.


            Size of types, 1.25 by .52 and 1.15 by.48. Largest specimen, 1.34 by.55; smallest, 1.06 by .47. Greatest diameter, .55; smallest, .46. Longest specimen, 1.34; shortest, 1.06.


            The cylindrical form prevails, but there is a tendency among some shells to assume a more pointed apex, and in these cases the third whirl is much smaller than the one above it, and in some instances the upper whirl is the largest. The color is nearly always uniform white, but in some specimens there is a tinging, not a flecking, of fleshy or pinkish, due to a thinning of the outer covering, evidently the result of abrasion. The few prominences of growth that have any claim to be considered striations, are confined to the upper portion of the first whirl, usually near the aperture, but in same instances, they extend around to the left, to a point nearly opposite the margin, but in no case do they ex­tend past this point. These are evidently reversions toward the stria­ted form, which is probably the original species on the key, as the majority of the species here are provided with striations.

            Known from all other species by the large size, absence of striations,pointed apex, long teeth, white color, and thickened margin.


            This species occurs on the west end of Little Cayman, very spar­ingly on the coast, and rather more commonly among the law growth of trees in the interior. They occupy an extent of country, about three miles long by a mile in width.

            The habits of the Smooth Strophias are even more solitary than those of the Ragged Strophias, as they occur in isolated groups of four or five individuals, and these groups are scattered at rather wide inter­vals along the only two paths that cross the key anywhere; these start together on the south side but emerge about a mile apart, on the north side, near the west end. They may have occurred elsewhere in the in­terior, but the almost impassable character of the thick jungle, and the rough ground from which it springs, render traveling very difficult, often impassible without cutting away the shrubbery." (Maynard, 1889:12-13)

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