Chrysallida maiae
(Hornung and Mermod, 1924)

Relevant Synonyms
Chrysallida decorata Philippi, 1849
Turbonilla (Dunkeria) scalaris dentata (Nordsieck, 1972)


 1- photo: S. Gofas / Coll. B. Galil    

Shell pupoid, slender, conical, relatively solid, with a pointed apex, formed by six slightly convex whorls. Sculpture formed by both spiral grooves and axial ribs. The spiral sculpture is well marked between the axial ribs and attenuated over them. There is a more distinct groove near the suture, giving a beaded appearance to the adapical end of the ribs. A clear tooth on the columella. According to van Aartsen (1977), two teeth on the inside of the outer lip are sometimes present.

color : whitish.

common size : 3-4 mm.

2- photo: J. J. van Aartsen

This species is distinguished from most native pyramidellids by its relatively large size, pupoid shape and type of sculpture. The most resembling among the native species is Chrysallida decussata (Montagu, 1803) which is much smaller and translucent, and has a very inconspicuous tooth. Other native species of Chrysallida usually lack the spiral on the adapical half of the whorls. Other immigrant species resembling this species are Chrysallida fischeri (Hornung and Mermod, 1925) and Turbonilla edgari (Melvil, 1869). With respect to the original description of C. decorata (Philippi, 1849), another name proposed for this immigrant form, van Aartsen (pers. comm.) considers that the immigrant has a clearly broader shell, a relatively bigger mouth, 20 axial ribs (instead of 14) - see photo 2 of van Aartsen; the columellar tooth is not mentioned in the description of Philippi who had assigned the species to the genus "Odontostomia" (= mouth with tooth, in latin).

Pyramidellidae are ectoparasites, mainly of sedentary polychaetes and molluscs.

habitat : live specimens from the intertidal zone; shells on beaches; dredged in 9-46 m depth. Southern Turkey: shells from detritus (9 m) at edge of Posidonia oceanica beds. Lebanon: 3m depth, on sandy bottom.

1st Mediterranean record
Israel, 1992 [1935].

Worldwide : Red Sea (Hornung and Mermod, 1924). Mediterranean : recorded first from Israel in 1935, Atlit (van der Linden and Eikenboom, 1992); successively from Syria, Lattakia (Barash and Danin, 1992); Lebanon (Bogi and Khairallah, 1987); south Turkey (Tringali and Villa, 1990); Egypt, Bardawil (Barash and Danin, 1992); Cyprus (Buzzurro and Greppi, 1996).

Locally common where established, "...occurs in thousands of specimens in the infralittoral algae" along the Turkish coasts (Micali and Palazzi, 1992).

speculated reasons for success :

Via the Suez Canal.



  • Buzzurro G. and Greppi E., 1995. Note sul materiale tipico di origine lessepsiana della collezione Hornung & Mermod. Notiziario del CISMA, 17: 5-16.
  • Buzzurro G. and Greppi E., 1996. The molluscs of Tasuçu, (South-East Turkey). La Conchiglia, 279(suppl.): 3-22 (n°280, errata p. 4).
  • Micali P. and Palazzi S., 1992. Contributo alla conoscenza dei Pyramidellidae della Turchia, con segnalazione di due nuove immigrazioni dal Mar Rosso. Bollettino Malacologico, 28(1-4): 83-90.


  • Nofroni I. and Tringali L., 1995. Random notes on eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Lessepsian Pyramidellidae (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia: Pyramidelloidea). Notiziario del CISMA, 17: 21-49.
  • van Linden der J. and Eikenboom J.C.A., 1992. On the taxonomy of the recent species of the genus Chrysallida Carpenter from Europe, the Canary Islands and the Azores (Gastropoda, Pyramidellidae). Basteria, 56: 3-63.


Last update : December 2003

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