Bullina nobilis
Habe, 1950

Superfamily: ACTEONOIDEA
Family: Bullinidae


Known only from Japan at present.


Izu Ocean Park, Izu Peninsula, Japan. Depth: 30m., 13 April 2002. Shell length: aapprox 20mm. Photo: Haruo Kinoshita

Described on the basis of shell differences alone. Differs from Bullina lineata in having a heavier shell, with a low spire, and fewer, more prominent spiral grooves and ridges. The red axial [vertical] lines are thicker than in B. lineata and there are a pair of thick spiral red bands. Each of thses thicj bands can appear as 2 or 3 individual thinner lines, as in Haruo Kinoshita's accompanying photo. I have copied Habe's original shell description below:

'Shell large for the genus, ovately globose, rather thin, white, with two red bands which divide the body whorl into three subequal parts, and provided with irregularly spaced red longitudinal threads which are somewhat wavy or arcuated or irregular; these threads are interrupted by the bands stated above; spire low; protoconch about 1.5 whorls, smooth and polished; post-embryonal whorls 4, each strongly convex; suture deeply canaliculated; body whorl very large, sculpture with many regular, strongly punctured spiral grooves which are emphatical on the top and base; aperture large, widely lunate; outer lip arcuated and the margin simple and crenated; columellar lip somewhat dilated and slightly twisted on the lower end, covering umbilicus partly and narrowed by the reflection of it. Length: 18 mm, width: 13.2 mm. Distribution: Honshu (Wakayama and the Sagami Bay)'

• Habe, T. (1950). Hydatinidae, Bullidae and Akeridae in Japan. Illustrated Catalogue of Japanese Shells, 1(3): 17-24
• Okamoto, M. (2001). Molluscan taxa described by Tadashige Habe. Vol 2: Gastropoda (Heterobranchia), Cephalopoda, Bivalvia & Scaphopoda. The Committee for Celebrating Dr. T. Habe’s Eightieth Birthday, Tokyo, Japan. 1630 pp.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2003 (September 12) Bullina nobilis Habe, 1950. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/bullnobi

Related messages

Bullina nobilis from Izu Peninsula, Japan

September 13, 2003
From: Haruo Kinoshita

An attached picture is Bullina nobilis Habe, 1950. This is not B. lineata, I think, because of the pattern of lines differs. In B. nobilis the vertical lines hardly curve like B.lineata and the spiral sculpture is coarser.

I found it on sandy and when I touched it, it immediately tried to burrow into the sand. It was hard to take picture.

Date: 13-Apr-2002
Location: Izu Ocean Park, Izu Peninsula, Japan
Depth: 30m
SL: about 20mm
Watertemperature: 16c
Photo: Haruo Kinoshita

Haruo Kinoshita


Kinoshita, H., 2003 (Sep 13) Bullina nobilis from Izu Peninsula, Japan. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10153

Dear Haruo,
Thanks for this photo. I agree that it looks like the shell described for Bullina nobilis. Unfortunately we still don't know anything about the anatomy of B. nobilis. Your photo, suggests that this species differs from B. lineata in the absence of any pigmentation in the animal.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2003 (Sep 13). Comment on Bullina nobilis from Izu Peninsula, Japan by Haruo Kinoshita. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/10153