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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 8

Related Articles: GastropodsSea SlugsMollusksAbalone

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 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, & 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

Re: what is it?   11/15/06 Dear "crew", Ok, I'll look up some pictures of a Stomatella. I have never heard of those, a few more FAQs on Stomatella's would be great. It does have a shell. The little creature showed up again last night and I reached in to touch him and there is a hard shell on his back. Shannon <Mmm, use your search tool/s on/off WWM with the genus name... Plenty there. Bob Fenner>

Re: Re: what is it?   11/15/06 Thank you for heading me in the right direction. After doing some more research on a Stomatella, I am 100% sure I have a  Stomatellid. However, I am a bit concerned because the posting that lead me to this critters name was about how they had over run a tank. Is this a problem I should be concerned about? <Mmm, highly unlikely> Since I have one, are there probably more that came in with the live rock. How big will he become? <Not too large... not a problem> It seems otherwise he will be a good cleaner for the tank and I should just let him go about his business. Your thoughts and any other facts on Stomatellids would be appreciated. Thank you, Shannon <Mmm, the Net... Bob Fenner>

Bright green snail  10/26/06 Hi I have a 33 gal tank with 4 seahorses and just found a pea sized very green snail on my plant on live rock. The shell and body are same colour. Is it harmful to seahorses or plants? <Mmm, highly unlikely> Thanks so much if you can help me out, I searched the web and can't find info on it. Johanne <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Small white snails in marine tank  - 08/26/06 I am new to your site but I see others have written about this topic but cannot locate the answer.  I have about 50 small white snails on the glass of my 55 gal fish only tank with live rock. Size of a pinhead.  Are they harmful?  How can I get rid of them?  Will my starfish or other snails eat these?  Source of these pests?  Thanks. Lynne <<Lynne:  It's hard to help you without a picture.  However, the most common small snails would be either Collonistas (harmless) or pyramid (parasites to either other snails or clams) snails.  Do a search and see if you can confirm what you have.  A six line wrasse will eat small snails.  Best of luck, Roy>>

Goodbye Blastomussa   8/22/06 Bob, Anthony, crew: Hope you are all well. Been a while, all has been good.  But you know, rarely do we mail you when things are currently good :).  Although I have sent along some thank yous over the last year... Anyhoo, one day, my small colony of blue zoo's 'poof' seemed to vanish.  A couple days later, my 14 head ruby/silver Blasto colony appeared to be down to skeletal stages on about 7 polyps and fringes of others. <Bizarre... frightening> I scooped it out to check and something launched (not exaggerating) off the rock, landed on another rock and did a 'I have squished myself into a small blob and now you don't see me', so there - maneuver. <Mmmm> Well, I did see it.  And sucked it up in a baster.  Now it lives in a Tupperware.  It looks like a whitish slug, about the size of a nickel, with a somewhat darker top.  Moves rather fast.  Multiple sensory tentacles (appx 4, frontal).  I am trying to get a clear pic but it is bland, small and my camera is not the best. I have researched on the site as well as the slug forum.  Nothing.  Any ideas or a genus or something to point me in the right direction?  Am I looking for the Blasto/zoo eater in the wrong place and should return the goober to the tank? Thanks much, best to you all Bill (Tirion) <... need more to go on... Could be a fast-moving mollusk of some sort... Perhaps a Notaspidean... that seemed to "jump"... Please send along the pix... Bob Fenner> Re: Goodbye Blastomussa   8/22/06 Crew; Strike some of that.  It has turned more darkish on top and I never touched it previously (never be too careful)..  However, I have found that it has a thin shell like top but is still very flattish.  Very fast mover.  Almost whelk like in speed and movement.  Mouth has no visible barbs or rasps.  Still no good pic.  Thank you. <Still no good guess. Bob Fenner>

Re: Goodbye Blastomussa   8/23/06 Bob, Crew. I might have caused a ruckus over nothing.  I now believe this is a largish Stomatella. <Ah ha!>   Had never seen one this size prior, mostly smaller in refugiums and 'dingy' with that environment.  Testing in my zoo frag tank :) <Do keep your eyes peeled for others... Bob Fenner>  

Mollusk ID...Keyhole Limpet? - 08/14/06 Hello, <<Good Evening>> I apologize for bothering you, but I have been searching for hours to what this creature is. <<No bother friend>> A few hours after the aquarium lights went out I looked at my aquarium with a flashlight and came across this odd guy. <<Ahh...indeed many cool things to espy in our reef tanks after the lights go out!>> It almost looks like a snail, but as I watched it, it seemed to excrete small white particles at an interval of one every 30 seconds from the tip.  I took a few pictures, but when I went back later it was gone.  It's in a 180 gallon reef/fish tank with 200lbs of live rock.  It was pretty remarkable to watch, but I'm concerned it may be bad news.  Thank you so much for any help and information you can provide, and for your time. <<Well Jerry, this picture is not close enough/clear enough to be sure...but from what I can see in the picture and your description I believe you have a Keyhole Limpet...and a beneficial herbivore if so.  Try a Google search re and see what you think>> Your web site has been very handy in maintaining my reef. <<A collective effort...we're happy you find the site useful>> Sincerely,
<<Regards, Eric H. Russell>>

Unknown snail...   7/24/06 To the WWM Crew,             Thank you for making such a great and informative site.  I recently noticed two snails in my 55 gallon reef tank that must have hitch-hiked their way in.  I could not get a decent photograph due to their size; about 1/8 of an inch.  I became concerned with them when I noticed things starting to disappear, and/or end up dead.  I have a very bare stock level for the take, and all my levels are at zero.  There was absolutely no reason for the deaths to occur from what I know of.  So far it was a healthy Coral Beauty, and a large Peppermint Shrimp.  The most aggressive thing in my tank that I purposely put there is my Thai Damsel.  Well, these snails looked peculiar because they had a very large proboscis extending from the shell, which is always waving around the tank.  They have a long shells and are very intricately patterned brown and white.  The bodies of the snails are a mottled grey and cream color.  I found them on the glass near the top of the tank, and separated them into a fish bag and left the bag in the tank.  I was worried they might be a cone snail species but still unsure.  They were not grazing algae from the glass, that I can tell.  I know cone snails are more prone to be in/on the sand bed.  Are there any other snails that have a large proboscis, that these might be?  Ones that just wave it around in search of something?  Are there any good books or websites that focus with pictures on gastropods?       Thank you for your time, and great website.       Sincerely,   Brett R. <<Brett:  It seems highly unlikely that such a small snail would cause the death of a fish and shrimp.  Since you don't have a picture, here are 3 links to sites with pictures and/or more info. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaqs.htm   http://melevsreef.com/id/snails.html   Here is a link to the first of 3 articles on snails.   http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rs/index.php  Best of luck, Roy>>

Beneficial Gastropod? - 07/15/06 Hi Crew, <<Howdy!>> I've a couple of snails appeared, presumably LR hitchhikers in my reef tank that I was wondering if you could help me ID. <<Will try>> I've had a good hunt about on this site and others, particularly Googling for images.  They don't seem to be cone snails or tulips from what I've seen. <<Agreed>> They both have tubes - proboscis?  (similar to Nassarius snails). <<Breathing tubes/siphons...similar to Nassarius snails>> I've not seen them up to anything I disapprove of yet, just grazing on the glass. <<I have these as well (breed prolifically)...seem to be quite well behaved detritivores>> Their shells are currently less than 2 cm long.  My main concern is if these will prove reef safe or not.  Please see 2 attached images. Cheers, PR <<These do look to be a species of Nassarius...but notice the eye stalks.  I don't recall the name, but when Anthony (Calfo) saw these in my tank he made mention of a tiny "Conch", in fact the only conch he felt was suitable/reef safe.  But whether Nassarius or Conch, you should have little concern over these Gastropods.  Regards, EricR>>

Smoking Hitchhikers 07/10/06 Hello, and thanks again for all of your great information. <<Hello...and you're quite welcome!>> I have used your site religiously since starting out and things are going fine. <<Excellent>> My question regards a few hitchhikers that have "appeared" in my tank. <<What a neat hobby this is, eh?>> They seem to have the slime over the shell. <<...?>> Some are black, some white. <<Hmm, could this "slime" be a fleshy mantle?...cowries perhaps?>> I have maybe 3 or 4.  My concern is if they are a danger to my soft corals. <<Hard to say without knowing more/seeing a picture>> I have noticed every now and then they stop and have a smoke.  They start puffing little smoke billows for about 10 puffs in a row and then it won't happen again for a while.  Any ideas? <<Is likely spawning behavior>> I'm sorry I have no photo. Thanks so much, Jill <<While unwanted hitchhikers are a possibility, often times these incidental organisms are harmless, with most "cycling out" of a system in short order.  I would keep watch and enjoy the critters while you can/remove them if it becomes apparent they are harmful.  Regards EricR>>

Thrum, thrum... Don Knotts is gone but not the incredible Mr. Limpet    7/1/06 I have a 125 gallon reef system that has been running for about a year and just recently I found a snail that's shell looks like an abalone but it is only about 1/2 a dime in size.  It was found around what looks like rows of eggs.  Is this creature bad? if not what is it? <Uhh, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Snail ID 6/17/06 Hi there, <Hi> We had a snail named Speedy who met an unfortunate encounter with a crab this evening, and we would like to be able to see if we can find another one as my wife ended up being very attached to him. Can you help in identifying what he is so we can ask the right questions?  He had both a horn and two little feelers at the front, which doesn't quite come out with the photos.  We've seen the same shells in hermit crab tanks locally so I'm sure it's quite a common one. Thanks Denis C. <Looks like some type of Nassarius snail.  With a Google search you may be able to narrow it down to species, but are fairly common in the trade.  Sometimes referred to as sand sifting snails or burrowing snails.> <Chris>

Mystery Marine Snail - 06/09/06 Greetings WWM Crew, <<Morning Crystal>> First, a huge thank you goes out to each one of you for doing what you do! <<We are pleased to assist>> Your site has been a tremendous help for me in setting up my tank. <<Wonderful!>> Almost every question I've had has been answered and clarified, so I now have a deeper (though still 'shallow' in the grand scheme of things) understanding of how things "should" work. <<And your "understanding" will only continue to improve...just keep reading, researching>> So, on to my question.  I've cycled my new 47g tall tank with 45 pounds of live rock, 40 pounds of live sand and decided to start stocking by adding a very basic, small clean-up crew.  I have two scarlet reef hermits and two Nassarius distortus.  Last night, one of the snails popped up and stuck onto the glass while remaining very still.  This morning, when the lights came on, I found him still there, but it had created this trail of yellow palm-frond looking dots. <<I see them>> The entire work measures approx. 2" long and is very intricate.  I have no idea what it is, and I've looked over and over your site for an answer.  Google images yields no answers, and they look nothing like Nassarius eggs. <<Agreed>> So now two questions come to mind, the little guy looks exactly like Nassarius distortus, was sold to me as such, and behaves as such. <<Though very difficult to tell from the picture, but the shell of this snail looks more narrow/elongate than the typical "Nassarius" shell.  Possibly a Cerith species>> But this is odd - so is the answer simply that I do not actually have a Nassarius distortus and that the snail is laying eggs? <<Would be my guess...I have seen snails get mixed/confused during selection/shipment before>> I don't think my snails are happy enough to do this in just three weeks, but who knows. <<Three weeks or three hours, wouldn't make a difference to the snail as long as the proper environmental cues were present>> I've included the best picture of it as my camera could manage. <<Hmm, perhaps time for a new camera <grin> >> Thank you in advance for any answers or help! Crystal <<Thank you for writing so well.  Cheers, EricR>>

Mystery Marine Snail II - 06/10/06 Hello again! <<Howdy!>> Thank you for the quick response about the eggs. <<You're quite welcome>> Per your suggestion, I began looking at information on Cerith snails, and the eggs certainly do look a lot more like theirs.  I included another photo of the snail coming out of the sand, and two of a shell, sans snail (don't ask). <<Ruh Roh!>> Tell me what you think! <<Hmm...from this angle, with the empty shell photos, it indeed looks to be a Nassarius species.  Try searching this site for a positive ID:   http://gastropods.com/ >> Was I indeed taken for a country rube and sold something other than Nassarius? <<Maybe not>> I apologize for the resolution, but all my money is currently floating in a large box of salty water in the living room and is not being thrown at new cameras.  <grin> <<Ha!  A common issue>> Keep on truckin' and thanks again! Crystal
<<Always welcome, EricR>>

Who is this guy in my reef aquarium    4/12/06 Greetings from Portugal. <Hello Pedro> Can you please tell me who is this guy in my reef aquarium? <Wish I could... very nice photos... distinctive... has a shell like a gastropod mollusk... an Ovulid?...> He's little, about half inch (+- 1cm), and when he feels in danger a white liquid comes out from he's shell (fig. 3). <Likely reproductive products and no problem> I'm afraid about this white liquid and the toxins on it since my shrimps don't like it and run away every time this happens. <Mmm...> Best regards (sorry about my bad English), Pedro Azevedo <Your English is perfect. Am going to show these images about and see if someone can identify this organism. Thank you for sending this along. Bob Fenner>
MOLLUSK - OVULID? Dear Bob,       Hope all is well with you guys.  I'm sure you've been off and about - any interesting shell finds while as of recent? <I do have some shells to show you...>       Sorry for the delay in getting back to you re the requested shell i.d.   I was over in the P.I. & Thailand until early this month & it's been a crazy rush since my return.  Hunting for new employees, and still dealing with our conflict of business interest situation re our ex-sales manager!   My only comment - stay away from legal schist if at all possible - I don't have one (comment) re Workman's Comp.!!!! <Heee! Well I know...>       Anyway, if the little orangish gastropod is from the Med., and indeed an Ovulid (an Ovulid should have cephalic tentacles - not to mention eyes?), then it most closely resembles (without examining it firsthand) Simnia nicaeensis Risso 1826. <Ahh!, thank you Marty>       If the fellow really is determined to find out what it is - see if he knows origin/locality, I'll then see if John can i.d. - he's better on general misc. Gastropoda by far!  As a parting thought - if it is an Ovulid - it shouldn't last very long without its host! <Agreed> Regards,     Marty <Hope to see you soon. Hello to Angela, Harry, John... Bob F> Marty Beals

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