Revised descriptions of New Zealand Cenozoic Mollusca from Beu and Maxwell (1990)
(Pl. 26c): GS10365, D45/f8598, Long Beach Shellbed, Clifden, Altonian (GNS)
Beu & Maxwell (1990): Chapter 11; p. 232; pl. 26 c.
Synonymy: Lyria zelandica Finlay 1924b, p. 470
Classification: Volutidae: Lyriinae
Description: Small for family (height 40-60 mm), broadly fusiform, spire 0.4-0.45 total height. Protoconch small, conical, of about 3 whorls. Teleoconch of 6-7 whorls, spire whorls convex; last whorl excavated, with short neck; sutures impressed. Axial sculpture of prominent, narrowly rounded costae reaching from suture to suture on spire, and across base almost to fasciole on last whorl; 13-16 costae per whorl. No other sculpture apart from obscure spiral cords on anterior end of last whorl, and weak growth lines. Aperture rather small, pyriform; columella almost straight, with 3 moderately strong plaits anteriorly, and 4-8 weak ridges above. Siphonal canal short, shallowly notched; fasciole convex, prominent. Inner lip callus moderately thick posteriorly, thinner below; outer lip with a low rounded varix, front face somewhat flattened, smooth within.
Comparison: Lyria zelandica is the only species of this typically warm-water genus to have been described from New Zealand, and because of its broadly but evenly fusiform shape, its long axial costae, and its numerous weak ridges on the upper part of the columella, it is unlikely to be confused with any other local volute. However, Maxwell (2003) recorded another, distinctive, slightly taller, unnamed species occurring in the Fox River, Westland (Waiauan?), and probably the same species from the Cucullaea Point Shellbed, Clifden (Lillburnian) as well as apical fragments of at least 2 further species occurring in Otaian and Altonian shellbeds along the north shore of Parengarenga Harbour, Northland, and a single fragment from Pakaurangi Point, Kaipara Harbour (Otaian). Maxwell (2003) also recorded a single abraded specimen of Lyria cf. pattersonia (Perry, 1811) (as the later synonym Lyria nucleus (Lamack, 1811); Petit 2003, p. 44) from Kaawa Creek, southwest Auckland (Opoitian, early Pliocene). These are the only records of Lyria from New Zealand.
Distribution: Altonian-Clifdenian; Waiauan?; Slip Point Siltstone, Clifden, Clifdenian (type) (rare); Long Beach Shellbed, Clifden (uncommon).
Cite this publication as: "A.G. Beu and J.I. Raine (2009). Revised
descriptions of New Zealand Cenozoic Mollusca from Beu and Maxwell (1990). GNS
Science miscellaneous series no. 27."
© GNS Science, 2009
(Included with a PDF facsimile file copy of New Zealand Geological Survey Paleontological Bulletin 58 in CD version from: Publications Officer, GNS Science, P.O. Box 30368 Lower Hutt, New Zealand)