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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 11

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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 10, 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

Identification Request... More snail eggs! -- 08/02/07 I would like some help identifying the lacy, leaf-like "growth" on the glass of my aquarium. <Snail eggs. Second snail egg query today. Is it a full moon?> I've looked all over the web for similar photos, but since I don't know what to call it, I'm running out of ways to describe it in search engines--so far nothing matches. <Yes, this can be an exercise in futility.... and can be quite time consuming.> I see this on the glass every once in awhile. Sometimes more elaborate patterns. It seems to deteriorate (or get eaten?) after a day or so. <The likely the latter.> I'm fairly new to the marine aquarium hobby, so forgive me if this is one of those "duh" questions that I should have found the answer for with an "obvious" search query. <No worries... this is how we learn.> Most things I find in my tank I have gradually identified, but not knowing what they are to start with can make it quite time consuming. <"Beetlejuice" reference here?> Thanks for your help on this one. <Welcome! Mich> David

Re: Identification Request... More snail eggs!  8/4/07 Thanks, Mich. <Welcome David!> That surely explains why I've recently started seeing little tiny snails on my glass!!! <Mmm, unfortunately, this is not likely the case.> Too small to tell what kind yet, but with a magnifying glass it looks like they could be either turbo snails or Astraea snails (I have both in the tank). <Don't mean to burst your bubble here, but is more likely a different species all together. The only larger marine snails that readily reproduce in captivity as far as I'm aware of are Stomatella snails.> Neat. Thanks for helping me make the connection. <Sorry, but I doubt that there is really a connection.> While I was first trying to decide what corals and fish to put in my tank (and convincing my wife we could afford it!), I spent lots of time just sitting on a stool in front of my tank watching and marveling at the tiniest things going on just in my live rock and sand. <Yes is one of the simple joys of keeping a marine tank! Just be careful which people you tell that you spend several hours staring at the rock in you tank. Some may begin to needlessly worry about you.> Now the fish and corals can lure a person away from the tiny things because of their larger size and activity, but even while I enjoy them, I try to look past them still to keep up with the intricacies of the tank. (My yellow tang seems to know I'm not paying attention to him and keeps himself in front of me whenever I sit and watch, moving to whatever side of the tank I'm watching from.) <Mmm... perhaps a Pavlovian response to food!> There's just so much to see in there. <Yes, hours upon hours of entertainment! Please continue to enjoy the amazing display of life your tank can reveal. Cheers (and keep staring!)

Nassarius vs. Predators; Nassarius snail ID? Pseudochromid comp. - 7/31/07 Hello Crew! <Hi David!> Thanks in advance for addressing this question this evening. <Happy to!> I visited my LFS today and observed a tank full of Nassarius spp. snails being sold as 'Cinnamon Roll Nassarius,'<?> presumably due to their size and coloration. These were quite colorful and at least an inch in diameter, maybe 1 ¼ inch (they do somewhat resemble a cinnamon roll so what's not to like?). <Indeed, who doesn't love a good cinnamon roll? Unfortunately, I've never heard of these snails, nor seen any Nassarius with that shape/size. Snails in the genus Nassarius, generally look like this: http://www.seashell-collector.com/beginners/NASSARIIDAE.jpg> I am familiar with the Nassarius as a reef safe invertebrate that is used primarily as a scavenger of detritus, leftover food bits, and such, and a sand bed stirrer/sifter. <Yep, love those Nassarius vibex!> I have kept Turbo, and Astrea, snails with success but never the Nassarius. <They make a nice addition to the right tank>. I have heard/read that natural predators of the Nassarius snails may be hermit crabs and, of course, large snail eating fishes like some triggers. <Yes> In this respect, these snails would be safe in my tank as I do not maintain hermit crabs or triggers. <Good> However, I have one emerald crab (Mithrax sculptus) that I have housed in this 46 gal. FOWLR tank for many years with no apparent problems. <Good to hear. I've had mixed luck with these guys. Hopefully, yours will keep his little green claws to himself and away from any future snails you acquire! Keeping him well fed will help.> My other livestock consists of a smaller One-spot Rabbitfish, a Tomato Clown, an Azure Damsel, and a Yellow Dottyback. There are currently no other inverts. I would like to acquire 3 or 4 of these large Nassarius snails for this tank, beginning with a very low stocking ratio in order to determine their suitability in the system as a whole and to ensure they do not rapidly deplete their food supply. <Good thinking when it comes to stocking> The sand bed is entirely appropriate for this species - deep sugar sand bed of at least 3". <I'm concerned that we really don't know what species this is, therefore, we don't know its needs.> My question is, do you see the Emerald crab as a threat to the snails? <It's possible, crabs are always a risk.> How about the Dottyback? <It's possible as well.> Are they prone to picking on inverts that are introduced after them, as they are with fishes? <Yep, they're quite the little pickers. I've heard of them nipping off snail antennae, etc.> And, do you see any other problems with their inclusion that I may not foresee? <I'd recommend finding out exactly what type of snail those are before purchasing. It's imperative to know a potential addition's diet, care, how large it gets, compatibility issues, etc, before bringing it home. These two sites are good places to start the ID process: http://www.seashell-collector.com/beginners/family_id.htm  http://shell.kwansei.ac.jp/~shell/pic_book/shape.html > Thanks again for your valuable insight. <You're very welcome and good luck! --Lynn> David A. Bell
Re: Nassarius snails? Dottyback aggression - 7/31/07
Hello WWM Crew! <Hello there, David! Lynn here again, ready to talk snails!> The message is in response specifically to Lynn, who gave initial reply to my question yesterday, but if not available maybe the word could be passed on. Never the less it may be an interesting story and useful to other readers. Thanks. This is a follow-up concerning the compatibility of Nassarius Snails to my current inhabitant list of a Foxface Rabbitfish (Siganus [Lo] vulpinus), Tomato Clown (Amphiprion frenatus), Azure Damsel (Amblyglyphidodon azurelineatus), Yellow Dottyback (Pseudochromis fuscus), and an Emerald Crab (Mithrax sculptus). The habitat is a 46 gal. bow, FOWLR with about 3-4" of sugar sand and 50 lbs. of live rock with no other inverts at the moment. I read everything I could find on WWM and several other sources concerning the Nassarius genus and possible predators of these snails. As I stated yesterday, hermits and large snail-eating fishes, like Triggers, were the only commonly mentioned suspects cited as potential problems. My only concerns at this point then were the Emerald Crab and the Dottyback; however, the sources said that Dottybacks may not be trusted with small inverts. Given their size, I went ahead and purchased 3 of these snails this morning (of which there are issues concerning their actual taxonomic placement in the genus, by the way, as these are large for Nassarius, about the size of a silver dollar, being sold under the common name of a Cinnamon Roll Nassarius - perhaps Tongan in origin? <Hmmm, I've seen something called a 'Super Tongan' Nassarius (Nassarius distortus) offered online. They get up to about an inch, but they don't look remotely like a cinnamon roll! LOL When I think of a cinnamon roll, I think of something short/round/squat (Heee, like I would look if I ate too many!). I've never seen a pointed/cone-shaped one but hey, it could happen!> They weren't around long enough to take a picture. I'll work on sharing that the first chance I get. <Please do, that would be super. By the way, I've got another link for you to explore (see the purple 'Thumbnails' link on the right): http://www.gastropods.com/Taxon_pages/Family_NASSARIIDAE_NASSARIINAE.html  > Well, I need not have worried about the Emerald Crab as he never got the chance to get close to the snails. The Dottyback went absolutely berserk! He attempted to nip at the snail's flesh until they retreated within their shells and then he continually rammed them with his head.<Yep, that's a Dottyback for you.> In the meantime they were able to burrow into the sand, but even this did not deter the Dottyback as he hovered over the sandbed in an antagonistic manner, ready to pounce upon their return. <They're nothing if not persistent, huh?> The snails were in the tank no longer than a couple of minutes before I removed them to their transfer bag, seeing no hope in the relationship "righting" itself. <Agreed> However....enter the Tomato Clown. Despite the Dottyback's severe aggressive tendencies - having already killed a Falco's Hawkfish - <Yikes!> the Tomato Clown, a five-year resident, is undisputed Tank Boss. <You've just got to love that about a Tomato clown. It takes a lot to intimidate one!> During this aggressive display, the Clown eagerly threw himself between the Dottyback and the snails, practically shoving the Dottyback back into the rockwork. This was indeed interesting to watch! - a Clownfish seemingly protecting the new kids by trying to keep this terror of a fish at bay. <Interesting> Well, the story ended well as I took the snails back to the LFS where they are on hold for me to pick back up pending some "environmental modifications." <Ideally, you'd quarantine those snails before putting them in the tank.> In fact, the Store Owner has also agreed to accept the Dottyback in swap for someone less volatile. <Yay!> This particular killer needs to be placed with Triggers, large Angels, and the like. He's not quite big enough for me to eat. <Heee!> The moral to this story is a simple one....what you hear and read about Pseudochromis spp. Is not only most likely true, they may negatively EXCEED expectations. At this point, I would have no idea how aggressive or defensively capable another animal must be in order to be introduced with this fish in residence. Regards, from David A. Bell <Thank you for sharing this with us! -Lynn>
Re: Nassarius snails? Dottyback aggression -- 7/31/07
Hello Lynn. (No need to publish) <Hi David!> I just wanted to say "thanks" for the Nassarius picture, <You're very welcome> and the answer is definitely "yes," the so-called Nassarius that I described in yesterday's post match the picture....but the ones I found are large, around 1 1/4 ". <Yikes, that's huge compared to the typical Nassarius snails I usually see! I'll be looking forward to seeing some photos of these guys. If it's at all possible, please try to get a shot from the top, or side, as well as one from underneath (so you can see the aperture/opening). That last view can make all the difference in the world when it comes to identifying. Until then, take care! - Lynn> David Bell

Different Stomatella?  7/26/07 <Hello Elaine, Mich here.> Sorry about the spelling but I asked a question quite a while ago regarding a slug looking creature I had found in my tank. I was told to enjoy him as it was a Stomatella. Since the tank has been running without fish for about 6 months as it was to be used for a small fish only tank but I never got round to getting fish in. I have still been doing regular water changes and the life in there is full. <Very good!> My concern is the Stomatella snails have reproduced to around 50 + but although they were a stone colour there are now also 50+ others which are black in colour and have 1 single white spot off set on there back slightly to the left. <The color shouldn't matter, if, these are indeed Stomatella snails.> Are these safe? <Should be.> If I put fish in will they eat them? <Depends what fish you put in. You should research any livestock you are considering before purchasing it.> My hubby is wanting to buy a lion fish to put in the tank. <OK, will make it difficult to add many other fish as they tend to eat anything that is smaller than they are! I presume you know the spines are venomous. More here and the many related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lions&rels.htm > I have not seen the things doing anything apart from eat the algae on the glass but apart from live rock there are no corals in there. <OK.> Can you please confirm these new coloured Stomatella things are also safe and if so are they safe in a reef tank as I would like to place some of the live rock from there into my reefs sump. <Please see images of Stomatella here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaq6.htm http://www.reefland.com/rho/0305/images/stomatella.jpg If this is what you have in your tank, you should be fine.> Thanks for your help, <Welcome! Happy reading!> Elaine Hilton North Wales UK <Michelle Lemech who used to live in North Wales, Pennsylvania!> ps Sorry I tried to get a photo but they would not turn out well enough to see but they are identical to the others apart from the colour. <OK. ps Please in the future use proper capitalization i.e. "I not i". More reasons why here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QueryCorrsRefPg.htm >

ID Help! Vermetid Snail - 7/20/07 Hey Crew! <Hello Eric! Mich here.> I need help trying to ID something in my tank. <Certainly!> I'm really not sure what it is, so I can't look it up. <Yep, been there done that!> I found it on the crushed coral at the bottom of the tank. It's a flat disc, about ¼' across, light purple/white rings (somewhat like a tree's rings). It looks a little like a Montipora Capricornis, but it's smooth, not the right texture, and it seems to be growing from the middle out. It was stuck to a few other chunks of crushed coral, and I knocked them off. There was one piece left attached to it, and I set it up on a rock to see what it did. This morning I looked at it, and it moved. It has 'spider webs' back to where it WAS sitting on the rock, and it has curled its one edge to hang on to the rock, but still be horizontal to receive the most light exposure. It seems to move like a starfish, with little feelers, maybe. From the bottom I got a picture and it looks like a donut, the center is thinner so you can see more light through it. I can't get a top pic because it's so close to the front of the tank. Can anyone ID this strange specimen? <Looks like a tube snail of the family Vermetidae, aka Vermetid snail to me. The "spider webs" they secrete into the water column are used for feeding. These are harmless filter feeders. You can read more about them here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-01/rs/index.php > Thanks <Welcome! Mich>
Eric Ziegler

ID strange white fluffy thing   7/15/07 Hi Crew. <Vince> Just wake up this morning and found this strange fluffy thing appearing on my live rock (see attached pic). It is about 3/4". It wasn't there last night. Do you have any idea what could it be? <Mmm, appears a bit too diaphanous to be a Syconoid sponge, and the fast rate of appearance...> All livestock are present (fish, shrimps and corals). It looks like it is attached to the live rock by a couple of stringy tissue. Flows easily in the current with almost transparent tissue with denser material at base. Could this just be a carcass of a dead snail? <Yes, could be. I can make out what appears to be the odontophore/radula in the bottom right. I'd siphon this mass out. BobF> Thanks

Small tubes over rocks... Small Tube Snails (Petaloconchus spp)  7/11/07 <Greetings! Mich here.> Could you guys tell me what those small tubes are. <Hopefully!> They are coming out all over my live rock? They are hard, can't see anything coming out and some are linked in a single cobweb texture. <At first glance, I thought these were the calcareous tubes produced by the Serpulidae family of feather dusters. However, your description more closely fits Caribbean or small worm snails (Petaloconchus spp) and closer visual inspection would also indicate this to be the case.> I used to have some on bottom of rocks but they have started to multiply rapidly. <Not uncommon.> Thank you <You're welcome from one of the gals!>

Speaking of critters... -- 07/07/07 Check out these cool pics I took of one of my Vermetid snails. It's the same one that's on the home page for my website. Everyone always tells me I should have a picture of something "pretty" on the home page. But honestly, how is this thing not beautiful? Sara
<Ahh, very nice... daily pic. B>

Pyramidellids or not?   6/13/07 Hello fishy-experts, <Barb> Thank you so much for answering my question if you can. Two days ago I noticed several (~5) tiny white snails that appeared on a new macro-algae (anchored to live rock). Yesterday, there were more (~20) and they are getting bigger fast. After looking at the snail ID section of your website I decided they might be Pyramidellids (they look very similar), so I started to pick them off with tweezers. However, when I grabbed the bigger ones (about 1 cm long) they emitted a milky plume. Does that mean my snail ID is incorrect, and if so any ideas on what they are? <Can't tell... there are many such-appearing snail species... Do you have Tridacnids? If not I would not be concerned here> And is the plume a toxin? <Likely reproductive products... not a problem in a large-enough, established, well-maintained system> To be safe, I did a massive water change and put in new charcoal filter cartridges. Since they seemed to be only interested in my plant, I moved it to my currently empty QT tank and continued to pick them off. Should I be worried about these hitchhikers? Barbara <I would not be. Cheers, Bob Fenner>  

Mystery "thing": Eggs - 6/2/07 Folks, <Hi Pete> You have been MUCH help to me in this hobby so far, from the excellent information presented on the website to the returned emails - thank you. <You're very welcome, and thank you indeed for the kind words.> I noticed this "thing" attached to the spray bar in my reef tank. I have NO CLUE what this might be. Even after searching through you site - I couldn't get an Id. Do you have any clue as to what this is? <It appears to be eggs. I can't quite get a size reference, but the squiggly pattern looks very similar to what you see with Cerith snails. By chance do you have any in your tank? If not, with a little more information regarding size and what livestock you have, we might be able to figure it out. At any rate, there's no cause for concern. It's a good sign that you've got some happy inhabitants!> Should it be removed? <No need.> Please ignore the date stamp - it's wrong - this pic was taken 06/02/2007. <No problem.> Thanks. --Pete <You're most welcome! -Lynn>

Re: Mystery "thing": Eggs - 6/3/07 <Hello Pete! Lynn here again.> Yes I do have Cerith snails! Well then that explains it. <Yay!> Thank you so much, it was driving me crazy trying to figure out what that was. <I know just what you mean. When something mysterious pops up in your tank, it's good to know what it is. Finding out that it's no cause for concern is even better!> My assumption is they may hatch and become a food source? <Yes.> Yellow-tail blue damsel, yellow tang, tomato clown, urchin, some snails, hermits, and a couple corals are in the 75 gal tank. Again - a sincere thank you for your time. --Pete
<You're very welcome! -Lynn>

Snail IDs  5/30/07 Hello from Cyprus, <Greetings from S. Cal.> I have three types of snails in my aquarium and i would like to know more about them if possible :D The first one, if i am not mistaken is a Conus abraeus! is it dangerous ? <Is a Cone... maybe abraeus... Not likely dangerous... to you or your fishes> feeding habits ? I couldn't find any details in the net except for a little description in your site. <http://www.google.com/search?q=conus+abraeus&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US&ie=utf8&oe=utf8> the next two photos are the same snail, and the next one is a small snail, that came along with live rock. all have the feeding - breathing tubes. what species are they ? are they carnivorous ? pose any danger to other snails or fish ? <The first is a Nassariid... not dangerous again... feed on interstitial fauna> many thanks, i would be very happy if you can help me Nakis
<Bob Fenner>


Need snail ID  5/17/07 Hi there, <Eric> I just had some baby snails hatched on me in my tank and was wondering if you guys could help me identify which species it is. <Looks like a Turbo sp. to me...> There's at least a dozen in the tank at the moment and at present they are extremely small (approx. 1mm). I'm mostly interested in what they are and if they are confirmed predators of any sort since they're in my pico reef tank at the moment. <Mmm, wild-collected species from all seas... some (the ones collected by the GARF folks) from Mexico aren't quite tropical, but others are put to good advantage as cleaner-uppers in most types of reef tanks> I'm interested in the pink ones in the lower left corner. <Is pink from algal growth on its shell...> If you could also ID the one in the upper right corner also, that would be great, but I would be happy with the ID of the pink ones. Please find a picture of them attached. Thanks,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Need snail ID   5/18/07 Hi Bob, <Eric> Definitely not coralline algae on the shells; the tank is pretty much devoid of coralline. <Easy to have some sort of encrusting algae (could even be a Blue-Green... do come in other colors...> I have no Turbo snails in the tank either so if they are Turbo, they came in on the new corals that I added. <Oh yes...>
<Welcome. BobF>

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