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Species / Terebellum Delicatum


Original Description of Terebellum terebellum delicatum by Kuroda & Kawamoto, 1956, p. 87:

Terebellum delicatum Kuroda & Kawamoto in Kawamoto & Tanabe, 1956: 87, pl. 10 fig. 91 [as T. terebellum delicatum]

Original description (translated from Japanese by Paul Callomon): “This is the inland sea form of T. terebellum (Linne). Compared with the nominate form it is smaller and thinner; with a coloration that is usually a white background covered with fine brown spots, and the spire is short. Length 34 mm, width 9 mm. T. terebellum which is widely distributed in the Indo-Pacific has a white background with various patterns of vague cloudy spots and spiral bands and a larger shell (60 mm x 15 mm) and the spire is taller and more protruding, by all of which it can be distinguished from T. terebellum delicatum. This latter is probably distinguished ecologically; in Okinawa, the Philippines and elsewhere both forms exist but only the thin-shelled one is found in inland seas so it cannot be considered a mere variant. We are giving it a new name in anticipation of future studies” (Kawamoto and Tanabe 1956, p. 87).


  • Virgilio Liverani : To this I can add that adult shells of T. delicatum often have a thickened white axial ridge at about middle of columella, long 7-9 mm (plate), while T. terebellum have a thickening of the columellar callus near the posterior canal, that continues into the thin callus of the spiral sutural slit. The spire of T. delicatum appears shorter and more rounded that the spire of T. terebellum, and show only 2.5 whorls, against the 3-3.5 whorls of T. terebellum. The aperture in T. delicatum is comparatively longer than in T. terebellum. Adult shells with no thickened callus are common in both species, in these cases the discerning characters are the shape of the spire and the pattern. The shape of the last whorl is cylindrical in both species, but more straight-sided in T. delicatum. The background color is more light-brown than white, and the darker brown dots with a white “half –moon” around them are distinctive.

Specimens from private collections

Terebellum delicatum Kuroda & Kawamoto, 1956; Nha Trang, Vietnam; from fishermen, 1998; coll. Ulrich Wieneke


  • Kawamoto T. & Tanabe S. (1956). Catalogue of molluscan shells of Yamaguti Prefecture. Yamaguti Prefectural Museum. vii+170 pp., 25 pls.
  • Maxwell, S.J., Liverani, V. et al., 2018. A revision of Terebellum delicatum Kuroda & Kawamoto in Kawamoto & Tanabe, 1956 (Gastropoda, Seraphsidae). Proc. Royal Soc. Qld. 123: 61-67 Fulltext

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