Posted: Jul 9 2009

Terebra protexta (Conrad, 1845)  Fine-ribbed Auger

Per Abbott, 20-25 mm; about 13 whorls; dull-white; well-indented suture. Whorls slightly concave; about 22 fine axial ribs with 7-9 incised spiral lines. I've found this shell to be variable in color and sculpture. Not noted by Abbott is the pronounced, wide first subsutural spiral cord followed by a pronounced groove found in most specimens. I have not found the sides of the whorls to be concave, rather they appear flat to slightly convex.

The adjacent variation is the one I've found most common along Florida's west coast. It is oiled to bring out the dark reddish-brown color, which turns to a powdery gray-white when the shell dries. This one is from Cedar Key, Levy County. 27 mm

This second variation where the subsutural cord is not very pronounced illustrates that the whorls are not concave, but flat and starting to become slightly convex in the later two whorls. Tarpon Springs, Hillsborogh County. 13 mm


This third variation is distinctive for the pronounced spiral cords/incised grooves that cut across the axial ribs giving it an almost reticulated appearance. Jupiter Sound, Palm Beach County. 12 mm

 

 

This forth variation was taken by scallop trawlers along Florida's east coast out of Port Canaveral. 31 mm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This fifth specimen is unusual as it has about 30 axial ribs. From Palm Beach Inlet, Palm Beach County, FL. 21 mm