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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 16

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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 11, Snail ID 12, Snail ID 13, Snail ID 14, Snail ID 15, 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

Can You Identify This For Me? Snail Eggs, Likely Cerith -- 8/28/08 <Hello Liz, Lynn here this evening.> I have this white thing in my tank. At first it was in one place, and then this morning I see it in a totally different place. Can you tell me what it is? <It looks like what's commonly called a 'snail trail', a harmless, looping/squiggly, rope-like strand of snail eggs. By any chance do you have any Cerith snails in your tank? They lay eggs in patterns just like this. The strands tend to last for several days then simply disappear, becoming part of the food chain. It sounds like you either had two separate snail trails (and the first was eaten), or the first strand came loose and snagged at the second location. It's not at all uncommon for this to happen. I'd love to be able to tell you that you'll soon be seeing baby snails cruising about, but unfortunately, the young have very little chance of surviving. On the plus side though, it speaks well of your husbandry techniques. Good job! Thank you Liz <You're very welcome. Take care --Lynn>
Reef Tank Newbie With Unknown Slug: Stomatella sp., Overcrowding Issues -- 8/27/08 Hi guys, <Hi there KC, Lynn here this afternoon.> I have a 34 gallon Solana cube that has been up and running for a little over three months now, one month of which was spent cycling. It has approximately two inches of live sand <Hmmm, please see this link for more information regarding sand bed depth: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dsbdepth.htm> ..and about 30 pounds of live rock. I am running a 250w MH SunPod lamp 10 hours a day and have a CPR Bak Pak skimmer hanging off the side of the main display. I also have the stock skimmer doing whatever it thinks it is doing in the back sump. I wanted to move the CPR to the built-in sump, but found out that the pump would not fit back there because of the limited space even after removing the stock skimmer, <Yep, that's frustrating all right.> so I thought it wouldn't hurt to run both. <No, it could be redundant - but that's not always such a bad thing! If the stock skimmer isn't producing good skimmate (either in quality or quantity) you could try running without.> The water readings are: calcium -- 460 <Would let this fall a bit, to under 450. That is, assuming that the numbers here are correct (the test kit's reliable, not out of date). For more information regarding calcium, please see this link (as well as related links at the top): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm> pH - 8.4 nitrate -- 0 phosphate - 0 alkalinity - (I use the Red Sea pH & Alk test kit and it doesn't give a specific number for this. It has a color chart that shows my water is in the "Normal Range - 1.7 - 2.8") <Not good -- you need specific numbers instead of a range. I personally use/prefer Salifert for KH/alkalinity testing. It's quick, easy to use, and most importantly, has a distinct color change for better/more reliable results.> These are the only things that I am testing for, should I be testing for more? <Other than listing salinity/specific gravity, what you have sounds fine to me. If you were having problems maintaining your calcium level, I'd recommend a magnesium test kit, but that doesn't seem to be necessary. Just keep in mind that if you ever do consider adding supplements such as iodine/iodide, magnesium, etc you'll need to first acquire those specific kits. It's important to get a base-line reading as well as monitor the levels as you increase them (not to mention making sure they stay within recommended range thereafter.> I am still new to this and am not too sure which elements I should be testing for. <You should be good to go. Just be sure to keep up with regular water changes. These make a big difference in helping to maintain the extra supplements I mentioned (and more).> For inhabitants, I have: 1 Fire Angel <I'm not familiar with this term. I'm guessing it's a Flame Angel (Centropyge loriculus)? If so, wow are they beautiful.> 1 Velvet Damsel 1 Three Stripe Damsel <These damsels can become *very* aggressive, especially in small/crowded systems such as this.> 1 Ocellaris Clown <Would be nice to have a pair, but at this stocking point, I wouldn't add one.> 1 Scooter Blenny 2 Fire Shrimp <These are truly beautiful shrimp, if a bit shy (especially in systems with strong lighting.> 1 feather duster <Can be difficult to keep.> 1 2" Tridacna crocea <I would not have added this until the tank was 6-12 months old at the very earliest.> 1 Turbo snail <Terrific herbivore.> 5 Margarita snails <Unfortunately, these are cooler water snails that don't live long in reef systems. The warmer water speeds up their metabolism. It's a case of 'the candle that burns twice as bright, burns half as long'.> 2 Cat Eye snails <These, plus the Turbo listed above, have big appetites and will need a lot of algae to survive. If there isn't a sufficient amount existing in the tank, they'll starve to death. You may need to supplement with dried seaweed/Nori sheets (available at most regular grocery stores and Asian markets).> 10 or so hermits <Hmmm, careful here. Hermits are neat, but many reef keepers (like me) choose to avoid them. They tend to be opportunistic little fellows that can cause trouble (picking at things, stealing food from corals, killing small snails, even fellow hermits). This is especially true when they're in high numbers, as is the case here. It just makes for more competition for food. Keeping them well fed, along with supplying plenty of (larger) empty shells, will help deter (but not necessarily prevent) unwelcome behavior.> 1 hammer coral 1 torch coral 1 small Acropora frag 1 plate coral a tiny patch of green star polyps that never come out <Watch out. If/when these do come out, they can spread and take over like you wouldn't believe. They'll even climb up the sides of your aquarium. It's best to keep these separate and away from your main rockwork so they can't spread and cause problems.> a small rocks with a few Zoanthids on it 2 red mushrooms <'Shrooms can also take over too, so watch them.> 4 other bluish mushrooms that were given to me and I don't know the names of. <Yikes, this is an overcrowded tank, especially considering the fact that it's only 3 months old! I would have skipped the Damsels, the Margarita snails, the two 'Cat eye' snails, the feather duster, clam, and at least 8 (or all) hermits. There's also a potential for serious trouble down the road with the various corals you've listed. In smallish systems such as this, you should really limit the variety of species to those that will get along best in the long run. Corals are like any other animal in that they'll fight to ensure their survival. They do this in a variety of ways, including chemical warfare or 'allelopathy' (for example many soft corals/Gorgonians), direct contact with either sweeper tentacles that sting (Euphyllids, like the hammer and torch coral you have are particularly notorious for this) or mesenterial filaments that digest the neighboring coral's tissues, or by simply overgrowing (for example: green star polyps). Be sure to keep enough space between the corals you have and move/remove as necessary. I'd give the torch and the hammer corals at least a 6" buffer zone all the way around them, and keep an eye on those green star polyps and mushrooms. Mushrooms (Actinodiscus), although seemingly harmless, can sting adjacent, less aggressive corals.> Each feeding, I soak the food in V3 Triple Strength. The food alternates between flake, Cyclops-Eeze pellets, krill, and Mysis. For the corals, clam and feather duster, I dose DT's live marine phytoplankton once every other day, and dose Marine Snow once a week. <I'm not personally crazy about this last product, but hey if it works for you! Just be careful with these two additives and decrease if you notice excessive algae production.> Unfortunately, I bought basically every inhabitant in the tank before learning the error of buying prior to research, and am trying to keep them healthy and correct errors I have made. <Good for you.> Is my tank overcrowded? <Oh yeah.> When I bought all the equipment, sand, and rock, the LFS told me to cycle it for a month, which I did. Other than that, they happily sold me whatever I wanted and I admit that I lost a rose tip anemone and Nudibranch that they sold me not long after I bought them. <Oh no. What a shame.> It wasn't until that point that I started doing research on the internet about trying to keep the rest of the inhabitants alive. I didn't want to lose any of the remaining inhabitants and felt like a real jerk for losing what I did. <Well, we've all made mistakes in this hobby. I know I've made my share and then some! The important thing is that we learn from them. In your case, it sounds like you just trusted people that were either lacking in knowledgeable or that were more concerned with selling their livestock (or both). The good news is that now you know better. You know to always do your research *before* purchasing. That combined with quarantining new livestock will save many lives and much frustration.> That was when I stumbled across your guys' site and have learned TONS of invaluable information. <Excellent!> That was less than a week ago, and it has already saved my Zoanthids from Zoa-eating Nudi's. <Yikes!> I cannot thank you guys enough for your wisdom! <LOL While I would never doubt the wisdom of Bob or my fellow crew-members, the closest I personally come to being wise is wisecracking!> My question: I have had a couple of these slugs running around the tank and was not sure if it was harmful to a reef tank or my inhabitants. <Nope, not at all. They're absolutely harmless and beneficial.> I was wondering if you guys could ID it for me. <Yes we can. Oh, you want to know what it is! It's a species of Stomatella (possibly Stomatella varia), a commonly seen hitchhiker that reproduces readily in tanks and is frequently seen grazing film algae.> I tried to search through your guys' vast resources, but I could not find what this slug is, or if it is harmful to my reef tank. <No worries, it's a good guy.> I might have missed it though in the ID section, as I was trying to find it during work hours, but I was hoping you could give me a hand. <Sure thing. For more information on Stomatellid snails, please see the following link: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=181 Be sure to also check out the many FAQ's regarding these neat little snails at WWM. Just go to our Google search engine, and enter the term Stomatella: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm > Thanks in advance, your site has really opened my eyes to aquariums and I would have no doubt lost everything in a matter of time if I didn't stumble across your Web site. Thanks again! KC <You're very welcome! Take care, -Lynn>

Cowry ID: Likely Arabian Cowry -- 8/16/08 Hey everyone, <Hi Doran, Lynn here this afternoon.> Love your site. I account for 5-10 hits nearly everyday. <I'm glad you're finding it useful!> I did what you're not supposed to do. <Uh-oh> I bought a snail without knowing for sure what it is. <Say it isn't so!> It's a Cowry, but I can't figure out what species. <I think it's most likely a variety of Arabian Cowry (genus Mauritia), but it could also be something in the genus Leporicypraea. Complicating matters is the degree to which these Cowries can vary in appearance, along with the fact that we don't know where yours came from. Please see the following links for comparison: Arabian Cowry: http://www.gastropods.com/7/Shell_37.html Asiatic Arabian Cowry: http://www.gastropods.com/5/Shell_1715.html Giant Arabian Cowry: http://www.gastropods.com/0/Shell_560.html Humped Cowry: http://www.gastropods.com/1/Shell_4361.html Here's a terrific site showing photos for both genera (each photo is a link): http://www.gastropods.com/Taxon_pages/TN_Family_CYPRAEIDAE_CYPRAEINAE_MAURITIINI.html > Picture is attached, feel free to use it as you see fit. <Thank you!> Hopefully you can help, so I can figure out how to take care of it. <Arabian Cowries (if that's indeed what you have) are mostly herbivorous but will take the occasional meaty fare. If the algae supply starts to run low, you can try supplementing with something like dried Seaweed/Nori sheets that are available at most fish stores and Asian grocers/markets. I would also offer the occasional meaty bit (of marine origin) as well.> Thanks again, Doran Figart <You're very welcome. That's a pretty little Cowry you've got there. Take care, -Lynn>

Re: Cowry ID: Likely Arabian Cowry -- 8/16/08 Oops, now it's attached. Doran
<Take care, -Lynn>

A strange shell or Nudibranch? 6/21/08 Dear Bob or Lynn, <Greetings Tineke! Lynn here today.> Do you know what this is? <Yes, it's pretty - hehe!> I thought it was a shell with some algae, but on a site (http://www.aqualifeimages.com/Default.aspx?ShowImage=66 http://www.aqualifeimages.com/Default.aspx?ShowImage=66&QueryIs=89%20results%20for%20%22Latest%20Images%22&sqlstr=SELECT%20*%20FROM%20IMAGES%20WHERE%20INACTIEF%20=%200%20AND%20Release%20=%2048%20ORDER%20BY%20NAAM&QueryIs=89%20results%20for%20"Latest 20Images"&sqlstr=SELECT%20*%20FROM%20IMAGES%20WHERE%20INACTIEF%20=%200%20AND%20Release%20=%2048%20ORDER%20BY%20NAAM)  <Unfortunately, I couldn't get through to the link (error message), but was able to locate the photo - yay! For anyone wanting to see this, please go to this site: http://www.aqualifeimages.com, choose 'Nudibranch' in the drop down menu under 'Aqualife subjects'. Once the page has opened (may take awhile), go to the third row from the bottom and see the photo on the far right. By the way, that's a neat site!> ..I saw almost identical picture as an unknown Nudibranch. <Yes, it looks like the same creature. Apparently, it was photographed in the Red Sea so I'm guessing that yours was taken there as well? You saw some neat things while you were there, didn't you! That does it, I've got to go!> I hope you know this one! <Well, at first I thought that this should be fairly easy to ID, but after hours of searching and exhausting every resource I have, I'm more than willing to admit that I just don't know! The frilly exterior reminds me of something in the genus Hydatinidae (family Acteonidae, Order Cephalaspidea -- 'Head Shield' slugs and Bubble shells). I didn't see any however, that had their shells completely covered/obscured. See this species, for example: http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet.cfm?base=hydaphys http://www.seaslugforum.net/display.cfm?id=4463  Then I checked various Cowries as some of these have very elaborate mantles covering their shells. See these for example: http://chemistry.csudh.edu/faculty/jim/cozaugo4-600/atlantic.jpg http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet.cfm?base=ovulids . It's a shame we can't see a bit more of the shell underneath, that would be a big help! My recommendation to you, at this point, is to send your photo and information along to Bill Rudman at SeaSlugForum.net and see what he says. By the way, please let us know if/when he does ID this neat little guy!> Greetings from Holland, Tineke <Take care and good luck. I'm sorry I couldn't ID this for you! --Lynn>

Re: A strange shell or Nudibranch? 6/21/08 Hi Lynn, <Hi there!> I will send this one also to Bill. I didn't get an answer yet on the other Nudi I sent him...no problem. I will wait a little bit longer. <Well, from what I read on his site earlier today, they had a problem recently with a hacker so that might well be part of it.> No problem that you haven't found it...still a mystery to solve! <Thank you for understanding! I do love a good mystery and am looking forward to seeing this one solved. I'm sure Bill Rudman will have an answer for you soon!> Greetings
<Take care, -Lynn>

Shell and Rhodophyte, BGA? B.

Fw: Gastropod ID - a long time coming!    1/11/13
Well darn - after all that, I spelled the name wrong - doh!  It's not Galaga succincta, it's Gelaga succincta! Sorry about that, Bob!
<Heeeee! Will amend/append. B>
Gastropod ID - a long time coming!    1/11/13

Hi Bob,
I was going through some of my files, pulling out and organizing the ID's I've worked on over the years and ran across an unsolved query that's bugged me since day one (four years ago!).  It's titled "A strange shell or Nudibranch? 6/21/08" at this link: 
The good news is that I was able to contact the original querior, Tineke, and solve the puzzle.  According to Phillipe Poppe (of Poppe Images, son of Guido Poppe - THAT Poppe - yay!), the organism in question is a gastropod known as Galaga succincta, aka the "Lesser Girdled Triton" (family Ranellidae).  Depending on where you look, this species is also listed as Cymatium succinctum.  Which one is right...or more right...is not something I could figure out.
Interestingly enough, the orange exterior that I thought might be an elaborate mantle of some sort is instead the snail's periostracum. I've seen hairy, prickly versions before, but never one as elaborate and delicate as this.  At any rate, the snail is a type of triton, and is therefore carnivorous.  I was unable to find any specific diet information, but in general, the genus preys on a variety of things including echinoderms, tunicates, some Polychaetes, and other mollusks.  It may also be a bit of a scavenger as well.  On the whole, it's a beautiful little snail that's "gilded the lily" with an ornate exterior.  By the way, here's another site with additional photos for comparison:
Needless to say, I am very thankful to Tineke and Phillipe Poppe, for solving this long-time question!
<The Poppes are amazing, tireless photographers, catalogers of Mollusca... RMF>
Hope you had a terrific time over the holidays and are enjoying the new year!
Take care,
 Lynn Z
Re: Gastropod ID - a long time coming!    1/11/13

No kidding, I'd love to meet any one of them so that I could thank them in person for all they've done.  Their site has always been one of my first "go to" sources when looking for photos.  It's simply awesome.
<Indeed; agreed. B>

Mollusk Identification - Hipponicids 06/20/08 Hi all, I'm hoping that somebody there can identify a strange hitchhiker on the outside of one of my hermit crab's shells. I've attached a picture. <Cool pic... thanks> For the first week I didn't really realise that there was a hitchhiker there at all. There was an extra lump on the snail shell that the crab was using, but it was old, covered in coralline algae and seemed to be embedded onto the snail shell. It's obviously been there for a long time. <Indeed, I bet it was there when the snail, that's now a shell for your hermit, was still alive.> Yesterday evening, four of my crabs were feasting on an unfortunate turbo snail and I (sorry, my girlfriend) noticed two pale coloured antennae and a black "trunk" for want of a better word come snuffling about from the edge of the extra lump on the snail shell. The trunk has a little mouth in the end of it. It's obviously some kind of mollusk but I'd like to know more and I can't manage to ID it myself. <It's very likely a Hipponicidae sp.-- a limpet-ish type creature. They're not quite limpets, not quite snails... some people just call them "Hippos." And it even looks like the Hippo on the crab shell has a little (possibly juvenile) Hippo friend of its own (that can happen too). These creatures also often start off in a more spiral shape, then turn more slipper or cone shape as they grow... so that's another clue. This is a nice page on them: http://seashellsofnsw.org.au/Hipponicidae/Pages/Hipponicidae_intro.htm> Interestingly, the hitchhiker has its own smaller hitchhiker too. <Yep! That's not uncommon for these things.> I've seen both snuffling about with their respective trunks at the same time as the crab wandered about. The smaller one is not "out" in the photo though. <They're pretty cool, huh? And no worries, in captivity, they're not harmful to the crab. In the wild they can make their hosts more vulnerable to predators and a little more clumsy getting around. But in an aquarium, it shouldn't make much a difference. The only thing I'd suggest is that if the crab falls, and doesn't seem to be able to right itself, you might want to help it up. ;-) > Thanks for your help. It's a great website. Brian
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Snail Infestation!! Help 6/16/08 Hi again, <Hi Jarod> 55 gallon tank, water quality average or better, community fish, and many leathers, a few SPS, and cleaning crew. <Okay> I travelled this past weekend and got back last night after the tank lights had turned off. I checked to see if I had any floaters, and I noticed several little white "things" on my rock. I turned the light on, and I had dozens of little white snails on my rock and glass. They are the size a small pea, white roundish shell with brown spots. <I'd need a photo to confirm, but what you're describing sounds a lot like harmless/beneficial little Collonista snails. Please see this link for more information and photos: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=242 > Not only that, there were large "slugs" or snails without shells on the glass, at least 6 that I could see. <Again, a photo would be great, but these could easily be a common, beneficial, hitchhiking snail in the genus Stomatella (related to the ever popular Turbo and Astraea snails). Although they do look very slug-like, they're most definitely snails, with disproportionately small, flattish shells that are very often overlooked. Please see this link for more information/photos: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=181 > These guys were the size of my Turbo snails. <Stomatellids can get fairly large.> I have never seen them before, obviously they are nocturnal, <This is often the case with both of these snails. It helps them to avoid daytime predators such as various fishes, etc.> ..but now I am concerned they are nuisance snails and I need to know what they are and how to get rid of them. Should I just pluck the ones I see each night? Should I be concerned that they will kill my coral? <If they are what I think they are, you're in good shape. These are both beneficial and welcome hitchhikers that pose no threat to corals or other livestock. Please check the links provided above for confirmation. If what you have is something different, please let me know. Also, please see the links at the bottom of both of those info sheets. You'll find a link to WWM's Google search engine. Just enter the terms Collonista or Stomatella. You'll find quite a few FAQ's related to these snails.> Thanks for your help! <You're very welcome!> Jared S <Take care, -Lynn Z>

Re: Snail Infestation!! Help: Collonista and likely Stomatellids -- 6/16/08 Lynn, <Hi Jarod!> Thanks a lot for the links and the information. <You're very welcome.> The little guys are definitely Collonista snails. <Terrific!> The others I need to confirm and I will try and get pictures of both. <Sounds good.> If these guys are all beneficial, then I can't wait to see them all come out and roam now. <LOL Yep, the terms 'harmless' and 'beneficial' are what you want to see when it comes to hitchhikers. This is especially true when there are great numbers of said hitchhikers!> I had no idea that the night life in my tank was so fascinating and different than daytime hours. <Oh, are you in for a treat! I think you'll be very surprised to see the number and diversity of creatures that seem to come out of the 'woodwork' after the lights go out. I have no doubt that you'll see all sorts of pods scurrying here and there, possibly some peanut worms (Sipunculids), etc, etc. By the way, a flashlight with a red lens cover goes a long way to improving visibility and not shocking the inhabitants. I can tell you from experience that they do *not* like it when you shine a white halogen flashlight in their tiny little eyes!> Jared S <Have fun! --Lynn>

Re: Snail infestation!! Help: Collonista and Stomatella -- 6/17/08 Lynn, <Hi Jarod.> Big body, little shell, the others are definitely Stomatellids. <Excellent, those are terrific little snails to have around.> I couldn't wait until the lights went out last night to see everything. <It's truly amazing, isn't it?> Of course I grabbed a flashlight and shined it in their little eyes, I will get a red lens tonight. <LOL They'll very much appreciate that!> I did see some pods scurrying about, AND a small brittle starfish. I have read that starfish aren't reef safe, <Some are most definitely not. Among the Brittlestars, the most notorious is the Green Brittlestar (Ophiarachna incrassata), aka 'The Green Death'. These clever stars like to suspend themselves in caves and drop down on unsuspecting fish at night - yikes!> ..should I be worried about him? He was no bigger than a quarter. <No worries. This is very likely a harmless/beneficial species of mini-Brittlestar (Ophiuroid). They range from about the size of a dime, up to about a Kennedy half dollar and pose no threat to corals or other livestock. These common little hitchhikers are detritivores/scavengers that like to hide within/underneath the rockwork, many times extending an arm or two out into the water column to catch food particles drifting by. Most range in color from all white to a combination of shades of white and gray, often with bands of darker gray on the arms. A plus with these guys is that given good conditions, they reproduce readily and sustain a healthy population of clean-up crew specialists! For more information and photos, please see these links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brittlestaridfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/brittlestars.htm > Thanks again, <My pleasure!> Jared S <Take care, -Lynn>

Pest or pleasant? Stomatellids - 6/13/08 Hello experts <I'm as much an 'expert' here as I am a Tang! But happy to help...> In our 550L Reef tank we have discovered this creature: is it a friendly Chiton or a snail pest? <Neither! This is a Stomatellid snail. These little chaps are tremendous algae eaters, besides being fun to watch. They'll grow and reproduce in your aquarium as well, provided conditions remain favorable.> It's body is much bigger than is small, rather flat shell. OR. Am I looking two different animals?? <Nope, just one. Enjoy!> Kind regards <The same!>
Clive Rabson
Worm living in clam... Vermetid living on Tridacnid    5/4/08 Hey guys, <Tom> First, i <... I> just wanted to say I love this website. I use it to research everything I see going on in my tank. It's always been extremely helpful. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the answer to this and am hoping someone can help. <I'll try> I just purchased what I was told to be a Tridacna Clam a few hours ago. <Is> When I got it home, about an hour after I placed the clam in my tank, I noticed a worm coming out of the clam. <I see... a Vermetid snail on the outside... end of the shell... is this what you're referring to?> I read that there are worms that can burrow it's way in, but the reason I thought this is a different situation is that it looks as if the hole that it enters is actually a hole that is part of the clam. It's as if it's hole is a tunnel, and you can see it running down the clam. In the picture, all you can see is the top of it's head and antennae, everything below is actually part of the clam, not the worm. Can someone help? Is this normal, is it a clam that should quickly be quarantined and then returned to the LFS? Thank you so much for your help!!! Tom. <Is a tubiculous snail... not to worry... not destructive, deleterious... And even very interesting... See the family name on the Net, WWM... Bob Fenner>

Black and yellow snail ID: Engina (Pusiostoma) sp. - 5/2/08 Hi, <Hi Johan> Thanks for a very good web site! <Thank you!> I am wondering if you could help me ID this little snail (image attached)? <It certainly is a pretty little snail.> The snail is approximately 1 cm in length and has a yellow base colour with black bands. I tried to find something similar on the snail ID pages but failed. <It looks like one of several different species in the genus Engina, also referred to as 'Engina (Pusiostoma)' or just Pusiostoma in some literature. They're in the family Buccinidae (Whelks), otherwise known as Bumble Bee snails. These snails are sometimes listed as omnivores, but they're actually predatory carnivores that eat worms, sandbed fauna, sessile organisms and the occasional snail. They don't eat algae.> It's in QT for the moment, do you think it is reef safe? <If you're asking whether it's safe around corals, likely so. Although I've heard reports that Bumble Bee snails sometimes eat Zoanthids/other polyps, those reports have only been through second-hand information/rumors. I've never seen, or been able to confirm their validity. The good news is that these snails generally stay fairly small so if you have a large, mature system, one individual shouldn't make too much of a dent in the fauna (but I'd keep an eye on things anyway). If however, it *is* a new system, or a small one, I'd definitely find the snail another home - not within a refugium though! Please see the following link for photos of various snail species within the genus Engina (each photo is a link to more information and usually more photos). Just bear in mind that these snails can vary quite a bit within the same species, not just in color, but also in shape. It certainly makes for a bit of a challenge! I'm hoping that since you have the snail in a QT, you might be able to see structures on the shell a little better than I can and that they will help you to confirm an ID. http://www.gastropods.com/Taxon_pages/TN_Family_BUCCINIDAE_PISANIINAE.html > Thanks, Johan Andersson (Sorry, forgot to attach the image the first time...) <No problem. Thanks for sending it along! Good luck with your little snail. Take care, -Lynn>

Re: Black and yellow snail ID: Engina (Pusiostoma) sp. - 5/2/08 Thanks a lot! <You're very welcome!> It sure looks like the Engina histrio. <I think so too.> I have to get a camera with better macro, it sure is difficult to get good pictures of these little critters... <It can be a real headache but you did a good job with that little snail!> Johan Andersson
<Take care, -Lynn>

Mystery Snails/Slugs? Stomatella sp. 4/19/08 Hi, <Hi Sharon!> I have found your forums really useful in the first few months of setting up my first marine aquarium, thank you. <It's our pleasure, and by the way, welcome to the world of marine aquaria!> I wonder if you would be able to tell me what species (I think a slug or snail) are in the 2 enclosed photos please and are they one and the same? <Yes, they are. They're both a common, harmless, herbivorous species in the genus Stomatella. It looks like the individual in the second photo either has the posterior end up its foot draw up, or has lost/dropped it. They do this as a method of escaping predation much like lizards detaching a portion of their tail (will regenerate). Please see this link for more information, photos, and links: http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=181> We find something new in our tank every day, it's so interesting. <Yes indeed, and it only gets more so with the passing of time!> This morning was our day to find an Asterina star feeding on our glass. <Yay!> Thank you, Sharon <You're most welcome. Enjoy your new additions! -Lynn>

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