Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl3

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Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 3.jpg

MITRA zonata.

Zoned Mitre.

Generic Character.

Testa inæqualiter fusiformis, spirâ productâ attenuatâ, labio exteriore intus edentulo. Columella plicata.
Shell unequally fusiform. Spire lengthened, attenuated. Outer lip simple, not toothed within. Columella plaited.

Specific Character.

M. epidermide luteâ, fulvo-marmoratâ, anfractibus infernè basi nigris, columellâ quinque-plicatâ. Linn. Trans. xii. p. 338.
Mitre, with the epidermis marbled with brownish-yellow; volutions at their base black; columella five-plaited.
Mitra zonata. Marryat in Linn. Trans. vol. xii. pl. 10. fig. 1. 2.

This unique and beautiful Mitre has been already described by Captain Marryat in the Linnæan Transactions: the figures, however, are uncoloured, and give a very indifferent idea of the graceful symmetry of its form. My friend Dr. Leach, with his usual liberality, permitted me to draw the accompanying figure of it at the British Museum, where it is now deposited.

It appears to have been taken near Nice in the Mediterranean, adhering to a sounding-line, in very deep water; a very singular locality, since nearly all the Mitres have generally been supposed to inhabit the tropical seas, or at least far from the coasts of Europe. It should, however, be remarked, that Cypræa lurida, an Asiatic shell, I have found on the shores of Greece: and C. Ulysses, in his travels in the kingdom of Naples, enumerates several shells as inhabiting the warm shores of the Tarentine Bay, which are generally known only as natives of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. These facts, with many others, prove the physical distribution of Molluscæ to be less decidedly marked than almost any other class of animals.

This genus is included with that of Voluta by Linnæus and our own writers, although long ago justly separated by the continental zoologists.