Two of these Carinaria molluscs were found on the tideline at Middle Beach Merimbula by Michael McMasters on 8th August. It has been impossible to identify them beyond the genus level, as so few have been recorded in our waters. The Atlas of Living Australia records only one sighting off the East coast of Australia – Carinaria Cristata off Cookstown North Queensland in 1983.
The animal is a pelagic mollusc with a small transparent shell protecting its gills, but with most of the jelly – like animal outwith the shell. The two specimens found by Michael were around 100 and 150mm respectively.
Do keep a look out for these creatures, as they are particularly interesting, rare and we have not yet got a local photo. We would like to find out if there are a number about at this time.