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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 7

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Related FAQs: Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail ID 3, Snail ID 4, Snail ID 5, Snail ID 6, Snail ID 8, Snail ID 9, Snail ID 10, Snail ID 11, Snail ID 12, Snail ID 13, Snail ID 14, Snail ID 15, Snail ID 16, Snail ID 17, Snail ID 18, Snail ID 19, Snail ID 20, Snail ID 21, Snail ID 22, Snail ID 24, Snail ID 25, Snail ID 26, & Invertebrate ID, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea SlugsAbalone

Tulips on my Organ Pipe Coral?

Snail ID 3/28/07 Sorry. I forget to attach the pics. These are the pictures. It's a bit blur. Hope you don't mind. <Pics are blurry, but my guess would be same as yours, a Cerithium.> <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Snail ID - 3/27/07 Hello everyone. <Hey Elaine, JustinN with you today.>   Can you please tell me what this is? <I'll give it a shot, for sure!> Sorry the photo's are not good I am new to cameras. <No worries> I found this thing in my small cube reef tank. I have attached quite a few photos because he looks so different in shape in 1 photo to another. Only way to describe him is he looks like a slug with a hump and 2 antennas. On 1 photo he looks like a torpedo shape but on the other he seems to have a slug looking appearance. He is quite rough looking and stone in colour with a hint of green on his back. Is he safe to leave in my reef tank or dose he need to go?   If he is safe what do I feed him on? Any advice is much appreciated thanks for your time.   Elaine <Say hello to your new Stomatella varia snail, my friend! These are very common hitchhikers on live rock, beneficial detritivores, happily munching away on your wastes and algae! No supplemental feeding is necessary, nor concern. He will be a perfect citizen, and may even produce a few more friends! -JustinN>

Re: Snail ID 3/27/07 Justin thanks ever so much for the reply I am so glad he can stay. By the way I think I have 3  of them so hopefully they can all become buddies. now I can get back to enjoying watching my tank instead of worrying about these things. Ugly though they are.   Thanks again Elaine <Anytime, Elaine. This is what we're here for, and we're glad to help! -JustinN>

Re: A Strange Invader?  Nah, Just Normal Reproduction. -- 03/17/07 <Hi Deb!  Mich with you again.> Eggs? They certainly don't look like eggs, but I know you're the expert - so I'll take your word for it! Guess I thought of eggs as little round things, not a series of little lines in a swirly pattern... go figure!  :-) <Sometimes round, sometimes not.> Thanks for your prompt reply, as usual! What would us newbies do without you guys??  :-) <You're most welcome.  Glad you find us helpful.  -Mich> -Deb

What are these?  Worm Snails / Vermetid Snails   3/7/07 Hello, <Hi Cindy, Mich here.> My husband and I have inherited a 30-gallon salt water aquarium. <Welcome to the briny world.> Being beginners, we are making our best effort to do this right and your site has been very helpful. <Glad to hear this.  I would also recommend a book by Robert M. Fenner titled "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist.  It is an excellent book, especially for a beginner, but belongs on the shelf of every saltwater hobbyist, in my opinion.>     We have these growths all over the living rock and coral, they are circular and seem to have a semi hard coating or shell. Some are very dark in color and others are light brown, and some have a portion that grows out. I have looked and searched and can't seem to find anything that matches. Do you know what they are and will they do any harm ? <Yes they are actually sessile snails, commonly called worm snails or Vermetid snails.  They are beneficial filter feeders, but be careful, as their calcareous tubes can be quite sharp and cause painful punctures or cuts when brushed up against.> Thank You Very Much for Your Time, <You are very welcome, my pleasure to serve.  Mich> Cindy Boyd

Snail ID: Possibly Sundial snail (Heliacus sp.)   3/3/07 Good Afternoon, <Good Morning I guess!  Mich here.> While having coffee this morning I observed a moving speck, which turns out to be a snail. <What good eye you must have!> At present my aquarium houses two Astraea and three Turbos. Also there have been no recent additions in the last three months to account for recent hitchhiking. The shell on which the snail is perched is app. 1"x1 1/2" to give some idea of scale. Thanks in advance for any information, <Hmm, Is a bit small, but does look an awful lot like a Heliacus snail, which are predatory on Zoanthids and typically nocturnal.  Do you have any Zoanthids in your system that are experiencing any difficulty?  See this page, next to the penny:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypdisfaqs.htm  Heliacus snails have a small pagoda shaped operculum (trap door) this may help with identification.  Hopefully is not a Sundial snail (Heliacus sp.)!  -Mich> Jane

Re: snail id: Possibly Sundial snail (Heliacus sp.)   3/4/07 Mich and crew, <Hi Jane! Mich with you again.> Thank you for the link to the image--the wee bugger in my tank bears a striking resemblance to the Heliacus. <Not good.> Unfortunately, due to its small size and my lack of x-ray vision, the operculum was/is too small to see.   <Magnifying glass?> Difficulty with Zoanthids is now past tense--little left but a rock and red stubs. <Uh oh!> But, thanks to you, I can see the light--now if I can only see the snail(s) again... <Hee!> Regards to all, <And to you and yours.  -Mich>


Identification question   3/25/06 Good Afternoon Crew, Please could you offer me an opinion as to what my latest 'clean up crew' purchase is? It was sold as a 'Red Sand Sifting Conch', but doesn't look like the ones in a Marine World article this month as the shell is more pointed. After looking around the old FAQs and info pages, Strombus alatus, the strangely named 'Florida fighting conch' looks the best match - but what do you think. <This is almost assuredly what this is> Apologies for the slightly bleached out pictures. Thank you in advance. Bob Mehen, Cornwall, England <"What's in a name?" Bob Fenner>

Trouble ID'ing snail and what is it doing exactly?   3/4/06 One of the members of my site has this snail. I think it may be a type of Mitra species. <Does look like...> I'm trying to get a positive ID. <Okay... Mitra mitra... common, and big in HI> Also, what exactly is it doing? <Eating or regurgitating a Polychaete worm... the bristles knocked off... looks like more of the latter> I've seen this snail in a normal appearance with a normal foot, but what is this behavior below. Once again, thanks for a great site to help us fellow enthusiasts. I've attached the 4 pictures, seen pasted below, to be sure you receive them. Steve
<Thanks. Bob Fenner>

An id of snail please... The Amazing Mollusk Kreskin!   2/24/06 Hey hey! <For horses, horses> Wait until you hear this! I went to a local LFS today not my regular LFS) to have a look at his livestock. He had one tank with about 8 assorted butterflies in it. 2 of the butterflies (beautiful ones which I had never seen before) were cowering in the corner and not moving. <Very common for the "miscellaneous", "assorted" category...> There was a Bannerfish picking at one of the cowering b's and he was not even flinching. <A "goner"> Every one of the butterflies, except the cowering ones, were shaking incessantly. Almost like convulsions. <Trouble> In another tank, he had a magnificent 10 inch Queen Angel which was on the verge of death swimming upside down and hitting the glass. <How do such folks stay in business?> I asked a salesperson to come over because I wanted to buy a court jester goby which appeared very healthy. <I hope you were court jestering... I would make like splitsville from such shops> When he came over I asked about the sick fish and he said that it was because they hadn't had time to change the water!! I have a question regarding a snail in my tank which came with the LR. It has a diamond shaped shell and it doesn't appear to have any mouth apart from a small trunk protruding out from the front of the shell. What does this one eat? <... you're still jestering? Please see WWM re Gastropod IDs: http://wetwebmedia.com/marinvind1.htm No way to tell what you're referring to w/o an image. Bob Fenner>

Re: id of snail please  - 02/25/06 You're funny! I can't find anything in all those FAQs and every time I type what I want in the Google search-well it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack to get what I want. The volume of info is too massive for a specific question. <... your question is not specific...> Besides, it would have taken you less words to write "I think this snail eats ............." , than to direct me to that enormous amount of info. I just want to know what it is eating through that trunk thing. <... have no idea... how would anyone know with the information presented? Again, please send along a photograph... Bob Fenner>

The Incredible (Mr.) Limpet   2/24/06 I've recently noticed this small oval something in my 55 gal reef tank.  It is green in color and comes to a point in the center, almost like a mountain.  It typically stays in the same spot, but I recently noticed it moving about.  I've looked over your website to try to find something that looks similar, but no luck. Any help would be appreciated. <An archaeogastropod... of benefit. Bob Fenner>

Snail id   2/8/06 I have a snail Id question. I don't have a pic because my digital camera apparently sucks for taking pics of stuff in my aquarium. <?> These appear to be carnivorous snails, I noticed them a couple of weeks ago on the glass and live rock and saw them again tonight feasting on the corpse of an unidentified species of hermit crab. They are about the size of a grain of rice (a couple are a bit bigger), they have oblong cigar shaped shells that are tan/white striped. They have a proboscis and small antennae, they almost remind me of a small Nassarius but the shells are definitely not the same shape or color. They don't appear to be attacking living organisms. Do you have any idea what this might be?   I've counted 3 or 4 of them so far( their numbers do not seem to be increasing). Thanks in advance for your always helpful advice. <Please see here: http://www.google.com/custom?q=Snail+id+marine&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com

Snail ID   2/3/06 Hello Crew, <Roger> I'm on your website every day -- several times a day, in fact -- hungry to learn more about the new and interesting little creatures I find crawling, swimming, jumping, popping, and sliding around my our newly cycled 150. I'm going to have to pick up 'The Conscientious Aquarist' from somewhere 'sounds like an exceptionally great resource to have on hand. <Is worthwhile... if I don't (and don't) mind stating so myself> My question is regarding a little stowaway snail I found last night as I was placing new some live rock with some lovely softies attached. I'd really like to know what he is. He is about ¼' from tip to tip; his picture is attached. Currently he's still in QT, until I know more about him. Hopefully he's benign, and not some species of bivalve killer because he certainly is beautiful (the picture hardly does him justice), and we would like to put some captive-bred (Tridacna spp.) clams in the live sand in the near future. <Mmm, I would remove this animal... perhaps a member of the Fasciolariidae...: http://www.google.com/custom?q=tulip+snail+family&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Too likely to be predaceous here> Tank parameters: Size: 150 gallons XH (LWH: 48' x 24' x 30') Live Rock: 80 lb (so far); intend to reach about 150 lbs total. Lighting: 2 x 250W Metal Halide, 4 x 96W Actinic, 4 LED 'moon lights' on Dawn/Midday/Dusk cycle -- 2 hours dawn/dusk; 9 hour midday. Filtration: Coralife 220 SuperSkimmer Circulation: 3 x MaxiJet 1200 on a wave timer Specific Gravity: 1.023 Temp: 76F (early morning) -- 79F (when metal halides shut down) dKH: 9 pH: 8.2 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 Ammonia/Ammonium: 0 Inhabitants: 4 hermit crabs 6 Astrea Snails 1 Orange Skunk Clown 4 Green Chromis 1 (as yet unseen) Pistol Shrimp or Mantis 'I'm going to put out some food and watch this weekend to hopefully confirm an ID. 1 unknown banded 'telescoping' worm that lives under one of the rocks <Heee! Likely harmless... Ophiuroid> 4 colonies of Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia sp) 1 colony of Zoanthids 2 Anthelia colonies 1 Colt (Alcyonium sp.) 2 Mushroom colonies (Discosoma sp.) Thanks,
<Bob Fenner>

Stomatella Snail? - 02/03/06 I spotted a creature that has a shell shaped like what are called turkey wing Arca.  It is a snail with what looks like a bivalve shell.  The creature is about 0.5 inch long and about 0.25 from foot to the highest point off substrate.  The shell is patterned and structured like the turkey wing shell but this creature is mobile.  It was on the glass last night grazing in a patch of algae.  Color was somewhat brown somewhat darker than one of my Astrea snails.  Foot was thin and very white.  Any ideas? <<Likely this is a Stomatella snail, a Google search re will easily confirm.  These are beneficial snails, and about as "reef safe" as snails get.  Regards, EricR>>

Questionable snail...    1/25/06 Hey everyone, <Chris> Thank you for spending your valuable down time answering questions for the masses.  Yesterday I noticed a strange looking snail in my 130 gal reef.  I have attached a couple pics, but as the bigger snail of the 2 is only 1/2" long it is a difficult shot.  The shells look like a web pattern...rather, there are little holes all over the shell, making it look like a web, or a net.  It looks like the snail deposits little dots of calcium, etc. to make each successive layer around the shell.  (did that make any sense?)  Anyway, thanks again for the great site, and for spending your free-time helping others. Have a great day! -Chris <Mmm, looks like a member of the Family Fasciolariidae... See the Net re. Bob Fenner>

Snail Id  1/16/06 Hi, My reef tank is recently having a population explosion of these guys. They are about 1-2mm across. Can you help me to id them? Are they sun dials? <Mmm, can't tell if this is a Neritid, Turbinid or torched from the one pic (need to show obverse, the other side, as well)... but if all stay small as you state, I would guess the first family. Bob Fenner> Thanks.
Chee Thong

Snail ID - Look For Lynn - Webmail Problems - 01/09/2005 I was told you are good at IDs on snails.   <Mm, *I'm* not, but I know who is.  The reason I've received this email is because our webmail system has delivered your email to us sans the "tray" that allows us the ability to respond.  For some completely unknown and bizarre reason, my particular system is able to still show this tray, thus, I'm the one to respond to your email.  The bad part, here, is that I'm not so "up" on marine snails.  However, in our forums (WetWebFotos.com), there is a user named "Lynn" who is fabulous at IDing odd things - I heartily encourage you to join our forums and start a thread in the Marine Invertebrates section.  Lynn typically has some good links up her sleeves to help you find the ID of your mystery critter.> I have had no luck on Reef Central.  Here it is: <Excellent photos, my friend.> Thanks,  -Gabriel <All the best to you,  -Sabrina>

Two lips on

Unidentifiable snail and conch  - 01/03/2006 Hi, I have received two different types of Gastropods that I have no idea what they really are. The common name for them here in Canada... are: lipstick conch, which after many hours of searching the net, came up with this: Conomurex luhuanus. Is this a "reef" safe and invertebrate safe species? <This Strombid rates highly on "reef safeness"> I have a 90 gal tank. 75lbs LR and 3" sand bed. The other one is an Orange spotted sand snail. It's quite large - 3" long. I found a pic of it on your site: You didn't seem to know what it was from this pic, but I'm hoping you've got more info as of today :-) (ever hopeful...) <Mmm, your pix, description didn't come through... Have no idea what you're referring to> thanks so much for you wonderful people especially helping us "newbies" out. all the best in this new year, Marc <Bob Fenner>

Nassarius Snail? - 12/06/05 Hello, <<Howdy>> I have had my 55 gallon saltwater tank now for over 3 years and I haven't added any live rock or anything to the tank in over a year and a half. Today I noticed two small snails (about 3/4 of an inch long) with a cone style shell and what looks like a long "nose" protruding from between their tiny antennae. They are milky white in color and the shell is the same. They move fairly quickly...much faster than the snails that I have in the tank (Margarita and Astrea). What are these little guys? Thanks in advance! Dave <<From your description they sound like a species of Nassarius snail. Try doing a keyword search re same on our web site and beyond. regards, EricR>>

Unidentified snail  11/28/05 Dear WWM team,  <Gary, did not find picture attached. If you have Kodak software, it is easy to resize pictures for email. If so, I can tell you how to do it. James (Salty Dog)> Firstly thank you for response to my last question about three weeks ago regarding some worms under my magnet. My mind was put to rest. However can you guy's assist in identifying another mystery introduction a snail to my FOWLR system? I have checked the pictures on both the Marine Snail pages and Snail ID pages to no avail. Also I could not find it in my 'Marine Invertebrates' guide. Although I don't think this is a Cone shell I would just like to be on the safe side! It arrived on live rock. It started off as a tiny spec but has grown over the months to it's current size approximately 5mm wide by 10mm in length (see attached picture to assist with the ID. I am not very good with reducing pictures in respect of kilobytes so I apologize in advance) but did crop it to get in close. It is white in colour with black broken lines running down it's length. Most of it's time is spent tucked out of sight. It is very attractive and if not going to cause injury to my fish or me then I would like to keep it.  Many thanks for your help with this query and for the magnificent service you provide. Without question a superb site. Kind regards from a cold London. Gary Kreeger
Re: Unidentified Snail/ earlier e-mail sent without pic  11/28/05
Dear WWM Whoops, I forgot to add the picture after all that!  <Gary, based on the blurry picture I'd have to say it is probably a Cerith snail which are reef safe. James (Salty Dog)> Sorry  <No problems but do learn to downsize as it takes time to download a file of this size (especially for us souls who are using phone modems) and also takes up unnecessary room on our system. James (Salty Dog)> Gary Kreeger London 
Re: Unidentified Snail/ reply  11/29/05
Dear James (Salty Dog) <Gary> Thank you for your reply and good news that I will not have to turf the little fellow out. I appreciate the Kodak software suggestion and offer of help if I need it. I do have that software so will try and work it out first, then if have problems can come to you.  <Keep in mind what I said..."appears to be", being the pic has a lack of detail. I'll help you out anyway in the resizing. Right click the pic you want to resize, click edit, click save as, click resize and select best for web, create a folder in same window such as "marine pics", save pic in that folder. When attaching the pic, just go to that file and select. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again.  <You're welcome>

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