Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps


Compiler and date details

Kevin L. Lamprell, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Australia John M. Healy, Center for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia


Almost half the Australian scaphopod fauna belongs to this large and important family (59 of 108 species). Although the majority of the species are referred to the genus Dentalium, representatives of other less speciose genera such as Fissidentalium and Tesseracme have also been recorded from Australia (Lamprell & Healy 1998).

The few patterned, and almost all the brightly coloured, species are in this family. Typically, shells of the Dentaliidae are longitudinally ribbed and usually robust (ribs usually strongly developed and usually more than five in number; Palmer 1974; Lamprell & Healy 1998). The number, strength, development and sculpture of the ribs constitute important criteria for differentiating the various genera. In addition to shell characteristics, genera and species can also be diagnosed at least in part on details of radular morphology (see Scarabino 1995; Lamprell & Healy 1998). Radular features include a smooth upper edge on the rachidian tooth and curved marginal teeth (Steiner 1992; Steiner & Palmer 1998).

The family Dentaliidae is best represented in sub-tropical and tropical Australian territorial waters (Lamprell & Healy 1998). However, some of our most common species are strictly southern in their distribution. At least one undescribed species of dentaliid has been found in the Australian Antarctic Territory (Lamprell & Healy 1998, and unpublished data). Fossil species are recorded from the Lower Carboniferous of New South Wales (Yoo 1988) and from the Oligocene to Pliocene of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia (Ludbrook 1956, 1959, 1984).


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
12-Feb-2010 (import)