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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 10

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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 7, Snail ID 8, Snail ID 9, 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, & Marine Snails 1Marine Snails 2Marine Snails 3, Invertebrate ID, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, MollusksSea SlugsAbalone

Tulip mollusk, actually Brown Tun question   5/10/07 Hi,    <Hello there>   I live part time on the island of Bonaire and do one or more shore dives on most days. <Ah yes... have been there... the Lower Antilles... usually stay at Cap'n Don's... or nearby at Sand Dollar...> I was coming in from a dive couple days ago when I noticed a mollusk on top of the sand in about 10 feet of water. The mollusk, which our resident naturalist identified as a Tulip mollusk, <Mmm, no... this is a Tonna galea. (Linnaeus, 1758). Giant Tun... NOT a "True" Tulip, Fasciolaria tulipa...> had evidently just crawled out of the sand and was moving across the sand trailing a cord, which was still attached to the mollusk (see picture #1). The other end of the cord was buried in the sand. When the mollusk had traveled about 12 - 15 inches, the cord broke off from the mollusk (see picture #2). The mollusk then traveled about 10 - 12 feet further and then buried itself under the sand.   The following day I checked the "cord" and found that it had shriveled up and had a bulge in the middle (see picture #3). Today, the bulge was gone, and the cord was turning black and disintegrating.      What is this cord?       Thanks,   Marge <Mmm, appears to be fecal/waste material... perhaps this large snail ate a sea cucumber... at least this is what this appears to me superficially. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tulip mollusk question   5/10/07 Hi,    <Marge>   Thanks for the prompt reply. We own a townhouse at Sand Dollar. <Oh!> Next time you come down here, ask the dive shop if Marge is around. It would be great to meet you and discuss some of the other fascinating things I've seen. <Will gladly do so, thank you... Have a bunch of fond memories from the pier... and... Green what restaurant that used to be to the right... and that ding dang reef Tarpon scaring the pants off of me whomping down reef fishes that photographers have temporarily, err, make that permanently have blinded with their dive lights! Maybe later this year... Cheers, BobF>      Marge
Re: Snail ID: Possibly Sundial snail (Heliacus sp.)   4/22/07 Hello to all of you, It has taken me awhile to follow up with the snail id--plural at this point as there are at least twelve--but the opercula is flat and oblong, bearing no resemblance to that of Heliacus. The snails are approximately 1 to 2mm by 1/2 to 1mm in size, making them difficult to observe. I have enclosed another image with two of the snails present. If you have any additional ideas while I continue to search, please drop me a line. Thank-you, Jane <<Jane: It's really hard to tell from the picture what you have.  Since you have access to the snails, try putting them in a container by themselves and take the clearest picture you can.  Best of luck, Roy>>


Snail ID - 4/21/07 Hello everyone, <Hello Tony> Thanks so much for all your work on this site, I have used it a ton in the last year for answers, advice, education........ <Thank you, I'm glad we were able to help!> Usually can find any answer to any question with a little searching, but now I am stumped trying to ID this little snail. <Understandable -- many, many species.> It came as a hitchhiker on something and I caught him and moved him to my spare tank. In both these pictures you can't see the striped proboscis that is out when it is exploring <'Sniffing' for food. Usually means the snail is a scavenger or predator. It could be harmless, but I wouldn't risk it.> ...(stripes are rings on the proboscis, not longitudinal). <Pretty, but longitudinal would be so much more slimming!>   Additionally there is far more white in the shell coloration than is shown in the pictures, they came out very dark.  I first thought it might be a cone, Conus eberneus, but it doesn't appear that the aperture runs the full length of the shell. <Yes, the shape is wrong for a cone, which is good news. You don't want one of those in your tank!>   I also thought it might be an Engina zonalis as the shape is right, but the shells on those tend to be much rougher and the suture lines are more distinct.  Doesn't look like any Ceriths I have seen. Any ideas? <Hmmm, I'd need to see the underneath/aperture of the shell. The best I can do right now is refer you to the first place I go when I need to ID a gastropod. It's a database which includes a 'search by shape' function. Each photo at this page is a link: http://shell.kwansei.ac.jp/~shell/pic_book/shape15.html Here's the home page: http://shell.kwansei.ac.jp/~shell/pic_book/index.html > Tony
<You're very welcome! -Lynn>

Snail ID, Whelk - 4/13/07 Hello again <Hi there!> I have a snail which I cannot identify from reading on your site. This snail is about 3/4 of an inch long, black and white. <Pretty!> He mysteriously appeared, I am assuming out of my live rock, last week. I put him in a floating container, to be able to photograph him later. Well, he just up and crawled right out of there. <The nerve!> Saw him again today, so I took a few photos, two of which I am attaching. <Thanks, that makes a world of difference when it comes to these Id puzzles!> He is very pretty, but I am not sure if he is a predator. <Yep, he is!> I am leaning toward that he is because of his bright markings and daytime prowling. Have put him into a container which now has a lid with small holes. Any help would be appreciated. <Well, I'm not sure where your rock is from but I'm guessing it's from the Pacific, western Pacific that is. After looking around a bit I think you may well have a species of Engina, possibly Engina zonalis(?): http://www.gastropods.com/4/Shell_3214.html http://shell.kwansei.ac.jp/~shell/pic_book/data37/r003656.html Here's another link with good photos of snails in this subfamily (Pisaniinae). There are several that look similar to yours: http://www.gastropods.com/Taxon_pages/TN_Family_BUCCINIDAE_PISANIINAE.html If this is what you have (or one in this family), these snails are in the Buccinidae family, commonly called Whelks. Whelks are scavengers and predators, and if that were my snail, he wouldn't be going back in the tank! Please read here for more info on these interesting, if not reef friendly snails: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-11/rs/index.php> Thank you Dietmar <You're very welcome, is was my pleasure! --Lynn>


Strange Critter ID Please: Chiton   5/10/07 Hello there! <Hi Jo, Mich here!> I know that you guys are really busy but I was hoping you might be able to help me ID this critter. <Certainly will try!> We are currently setting up our second reef tank. The LR is from Indonesia as far as I know and this "thing" has showed up twice now, both times at night with all lights off. It seems quite shy and retracts slowly back in its hole as soon as the room light is put on.  I find watching the LR and the critters on it one of the best things in this hobby. <Heee!  Yes, I would agree.  One of my favorite parts too!  When I was setting up my tank most people just didn't understand when I would tell them how excited I was watching all the life emerge from the LR.  I would get comments, with undertones questioning my sanity: "So you've spent the last hour staring at rocks?" > We had new forms of life coming up in our 2.5 years old reef right up to the end and managed to ID most of them but this is really unusual. Any thoughts? It is flesh colour and I thought it was some sort of bivalve but it seems quite soft, a bit like an anemone. <Looks like a Chiton to me.  They are reef safe and generally graze on algae.  A lucky addition!  Do enjoy it!> Many thanks for your time and looking forward to hearing from you soon Best regards,
Jo Vasey
Re: strange critter ID please photo now added, Chiton     5/12/07 Hi Mich and thanks for the quick reply! <Hi Jo!  You are quite welcome.> Are Chitons what some call "Stomatellas" (please forgive me if I've spelled this wrong)? <No, they are two different critters and your photo is not a picture of a Stomatella snail.> I did a search on Google but the critter doesn't look much like the search returned on Chiton - the main difference being the lack of a shell on his back. <Many different species, not all have the "classic" Chiton look.> The 2 black holes/openings look a little bit like craters? <I think you will find there are more than two "holes", there are likely 8 "holes" or eight linearly arranged overlapping articulating plates, which make up the shell on his back.> Any more thoughts? <Nope, I still think it is a Chiton.  Please see similar photos here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertidfaqs.htm Chiton ID 9/9/03 and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaq3.htm Prehistoric worm...errr...??????? 1/30/04> I think I saw it last night quite longer and stretched inside the rock which is very porous and you can see through but could be wrong. <Likely so, they do tend to stay in the same location emerging typically at night to feed.  The behavior you described in your prior email is also consistent with a Chiton.> It is really bugging me now. My LFS is kindly looking after my livestock during house move and upgrading the tank. We are getting our corals back soon - I am trying to decide if I should remove the piece of rock with the critter to the sump where it won't be tempted to munch on anything? <Most are harmless algae eaters.  If it were me/mine, I would not be concerned.> Many thanks again and looking forward to hearing from you again! <You're welcome!  Hope this gives you more confidence in the ID.  Mich> Jo
Re: strange critter ID please photo now added... Polyplacophoran   5/12/07 Hi Mich, <Hello again Jo!> Thanks for the links. <You're welcome!> Yes, it looks very much like the one in the first link and thanks God it's not 6" (yet!) like the one in the second link. <Heee!> Thank you for helping me ID it, I didn't mean to doubt you but my not very in depth search on Google returned completely different images. <I can appreciate and understand.  And just found another photo here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/invertid24.htm Can you identify  3/16/2007 > As for the 8 "holes" I did think that there might be more than 2 but couldn't see properly as it wouldn't come out of the rock enough to see properly. <Yes, Chitons can be quite shy.> I will continue to observe it and will try to learn a bit more about its feeding habits. <Excellent!> Many thanks again! <You're quite welcome!  A pleasure to assist!  Mich> Jo

Unknown White Growths...Nerite Snail Eggs    5/15/07 Hello all... <Hi David, Mich with you tonight.> First I would like to mention that I love your site and I find a lot of much needed information on it that I use in the daily maintenance of my tanks.   <Thank you for this fine compliment!> Now, to my problem/dilemma.  Over the past two weeks I have been having a problem with ich and some other parasites attacking the swim bladder that caused me to lose 9 fish in 2 1/2 days <Yikes!!!  I'm very sorry for you large loss.> (believe it or not, this is not my problem).   <Ok, I'm a little scared now!> The other day when I woke up I went to look at my tank to see how the survivors are doing and much to my surprise all my live rock and even the snail shells were covered with these white growths (I've attached two pictures, one of the snail shell (IMG_0485) and one of a piece of my live rock(IMG_0504)).  I've searched your website, along with some others, and I may be missing something or using the wrong keyword but I cannot find anything that resembles or sounds like this outbreak.  I'm guessing that it has nothing to do with the ich and other parasites that have taken over my tank but I would like to know what these unknown growths are and how to treat them. <Seems like you have some frisky Nerite snails in you tank.  These would be Nerite snail eggs, they generally don't mature in captivity and there is nothing to treat here.  A photo here: http://www.wildsingapore.com/chekjawa/largfoto/r422fx.htm  >   I took one of the snail shells to my LFS and after careful examination the owner determined that it looked like this growth feeds off of calcium.  He came to this conclusion by taking a razor blade to the growth and removing it.  When it came off the shell was all soft and a few layers could easily be scraped off.  When you took the razor blade to other parts of the shell where no growths were, the shell was hard, as it should be.  Could this be clam or mussel larvae?  When I got home I was looking around my tank and found a snail that had a growth (looks like a shell) on it.  I've attached that picture as well (IMG_0512).  I'm sorry about that picture but it was as close as I could get to the turbo snail using my digital camera and lens.  Do you have any suggestions as to what this problem could be?   <This is not a problem or anything to be concerned about.  You will likely see these "sesame seed" like eggs wax and wane in your system.> If so, how do I treat it because my 125 gallon is stocked full of these white growths.  Thank you for your time and continued knowledge. <Welcome!  My pleasure to assist.> Good night....Dave
<G'night!  Mich>

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