Cantharidella tesselata is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Trochidae, the top snails.
This species is endemic
to New Zealand
This top shell lives on rocks and brown seaweed
in clear water and open coast situations.
This species feeds by scraping up tiny plants and debris which settle on the surface of their seaweed habitat.
The shell is small and globose-turbinate, with a deep narrow umbilicus
. It is smooth and polished, but has weak to subsurface fine spiral lirae
, more prominent on the base.
In this species, the shell coloration and pattern are extremely variable. It is often regularly tesselated in dark grey on a whitish or pale grey ground, but two other examples of coloration are uniformly chrome-yellow or white or pale green with broad axial scarlet bands. Still others have a tesselated pattern which is interrupted by a white or reddish peripheral zone.
The shell height is up to 8 mm, and the width is up to 8 mm.
- Powell A W B, New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1
- Miller M & Batt G, Reef and Beach Life of New Zealand, William Collins (New Zealand) Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1973
- Glen Pownall, New Zealand Shells and Shellfish, Seven Seas Publishing Pty Ltd, Wellington, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 85467 054 8