The volutes are a family of molluscs with attractive, large, glossy shells. The smallest species is about 9 mm in size, but some of the baler shells reach over 500 mm. The family contains about 200 species and is distributed world wide. Of the 200 species about 70 are endemic to Australia, with concentrations of endemic species in Queensland and north-west Australia. Volutes are carnivorous, preying on small animals, including other molluscs and echinoderms. Some species live intertidally, others subtidally down to at least 500 metres. Most live in clean sand, either burrowing underneath or crawling on top.
Genus: Melo Broderip in Sowerby I, 1826
Species: Melo melo Lightfoot, 1786
Globose with spire, no spine or coronations, inflated body whorl, almost semicircular, simple outer lip and arched columnella with four plaits. Yellow or sometimes almost white, with sparse small brown blotches in two spiral bands, aperture cream, periostracum medium brown.
Cymbium melo Lightfoot, 1786; Voluta anguria Lightfoot, 1786; Voluta melo Lightfoot, 1786; Cymbium indicum Gmelin, 1791; Voluta indica Gmelin, 1791; Cymbium maculatum Röding, 1798; Voluta citrina Fischer, 1807.
Melo melo Lightfoot, 1786- [Hinton (1972): 55; Abbott and Dance (1982): 215; Eisenberg (1986): 112; Springsteen et al. (1986): 183; Oliver (1989): 242; Dharma (1992): 56; Hu and Tao (1995): 341; Poppe and Goto (1992): 89; Swennen et al. (2001): 448; Thach (2005): 156; Robin (2008): 372].
India & Sri Lanka; South China Sea.
This taxon has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List.