Penion mandarinus

Mandarin whelk | Penion grandis
Penion mandarinus
Penion mandarinus, adult, Tasmania, Photo: Ian Shaw
Penion mandarinus
Penion mandarinus, adult, Tasmania, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Penion mandarinus
Penion mandarinus


Temperate Australasia


Large whelk that can easily be mistaken for Pleuroploca australasiae, but has a cream rather than red foot and lacks folds on the columella. The shape of the shell is quite variable, causing P. mandarinus to be given a variety of names in the past. The species is common only in the southernmost part of its range and is most often seen by divers on soft sediment beside reef. It is a voracious predator of molluscs.


Max Size: 18 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 9.6-21°C

Depth: 0-600m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Frequent (10.1% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.