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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 5

Related Articles: GastropodsSea SlugsMollusksAbalone

Related FAQs: Snail ID 1, Snail ID 2, Snail ID 3, Snail ID 4Snail 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 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

Turbo fluctuosa babies?  9/29/05 I'm new to reefing, I have only had my 75g tank for about a year.  I purchased some Turbo fluctuosa (id from picture on your website) several months ago.  I think I have hundreds of babies now.  Way too many to count.  Is this ok?  Thanks. <I'm doubtful that these are in fact babies.  Sounds to me that this is more likely a parasitic snail population of some sort.  I would search this site/the net re this. - Josh>
Re: Turbo fluctuosa babies?  9/29/05
I tried to get a closer look.  The shell is similar in shape to the Astrea, kind of brown with fine ridges from the tip down to the edge instead of circular, and  the foot fills the bottom of the shell, it is not to the side like the turbo. They are only on the live rock and the glass.  I have been looking through the posts for hours, but it becomes hard to know without pictures.  If they are parasites, what are they feeding on? <Unfortunately, it's impossible for me to give a definite ID on these without a picture.  Can you send a good, clear pic.? Try to get one on the glass for a good view of the foot as well. - Josh>  

Over Population of Unknown Origins  9/28/05 Bob, <Mark> I've been looking thru the FAQ's and Articles for a "snail" that is basically multiplying like rabbits in my tank. <Surprised you missed this one> I've attached a photograph, albeit a poor one, of one of these things.  I've been unable to find anything close to this on the site.  They seem harmless and are eating algae and the "gunk" on the glass.  It appears to have a shell but it's not like a "normal" snail.  I looked at the slugs and this doesn't fit there either. It may be some sort of abalone but it didn't quite fit the description or pictures here either.  Not really sure what to make of it but it really reproduces fast.  I have hundreds of the little guys in my tank and a couple of big ones (assume mom and dad).  The largest is probably a 3/4" long and they are brown with a mostly brown shell. <Looks like a Stomatellid to me... plug this family name into Google/WWM> They really seem to be exploding in population while my tank goes fallow. I'm trying to slay Crypt the dragon. <Heee!>   I'm winning the battle slowly.  I don't think that any of the fish I have were keeping the population down. I think these guys were in the live rock and were so small I didn't see them until they got big.  LR was labeled Marshall Island at the LFS.  It's beautiful rock with lots of purple and red in it.  There were only 2 of the little buggers so I didn't really think anything of it.  They were kind of cool to watch.  Several months later and there are hundreds of little ones. At some point the population boom has to slow down or I'm going to have to start removing them. <Likely you can sell them!> I know you will know what they are.  I'm sure they are very common if I've got em.  They sure don't look very exotic. Mark <Are useful algae eaters... about as "reef safe" as gastropods come. Bob Fenner>

Re: Over Population of Unknown Origins Bob, <Mark> Thanks for the reply.  The difficulty in finding something like this is not being smart enough to know where to start.  Even after having the starting point of Stomatella It took a bit to find the matching picture  Found it here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaq5.htm.   I was looking in the wrong spot before.  This is a very good match to what I have but the one in this picture is better looking, better color. <Yes> Sell them, now you're talkin.  How much are these things worth?  I'll have to ask the LFS If they want any. <Mmm, I'd look about locally... take some to your bigger shops that are privately owned/managed... and to the fish clubs... trade will get you far more than cash sales...> Thanks again, mystery solved Mark <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Snail ID? Unfortunately I had a new peppermint shrimp die the other day (possibly killed by a fish and/or cleaner shrimp). After catching the fish/cleaner shrimp during the attack, I left it the peppermint in the tank to see if it would come back around. Later after the lights went out, its body had 3 of these snails crawling around on it. I managed to catch 2, but 1 remains at large in the tank (of course there may be others that I don't know about). Any ideas what they are and more importantly if they pose a threat to corals or clams? <Don't know the exact ID, but not likely "that" predaceous... though likely do feed on other (smaller, slower) invertebrates> The snails are very small (about 3.5 mm or 1/8-inch). They have a "snout" similar to a Nassarius snail.  The shell seems to have a white/orangish barring on it. <Oh! Perhaps a Stomatella species. Please do use your search tool, look at Google Images... though the pic doesn't show this... is this shell more flat than cylindrical? Not a harmful species... and I suspect that these snails were just opportunistically feeding on the deceased shrimp carcass. Bob Fenner>

A Cowry Maybe? - 08/28/05 Hi, I just started a 55 gal reef tank about 2 wks ago and on the 1st day I got my live rock, one of these little guys came out. I've seen it rarely and usually at night. Two days ago I got more live rock and another hitchhiked with it.  I didn't get a pic of the new guy.  I touched it when it climbed into my skimmer, and its "head" was hard like a shell but had "skin" over it...what is this?? I attached the best 2 pics I have of it... <<Mmm, difficult to tell from the pics...but looks like a gastropod, possibly a cowry.  Please have a look through our FAQs:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gastropo.htm>> -Alec Heilmann
<<Regards, EricR>>
Hmm.. it doesn't have a shell though.. It does have 2 antennae and a mouth maybe its a sea hare.. thanks for your help! -Alec Heilmann

A Cowry Maybe? II - 08/28/05 Hmm.. it doesn't have a shell though.. It does have 2 antennae and a mouth maybe its a sea hare.. thanks for your help! -Alec Heilmann <<Hi Alec...the pics weren't very clear, but what you've got doesn't look like a sea hare to me.  You described it as "hard" with a "skin" over it which led me to guess a cowry.  If so, its shell is covered by its mantle.  I still think it is a gastropod of sorts...likely harmless, but I would keep an eye out as some are known coral predators.  EricR>>

A Cowry Maybe? III - 08/28/05 Thank you very much! They seem to just eat film algae and green hair algae off of my live rock. -Alec Heilmann <<Ahh,  

Repeat Gastropod ID 8/14/05 Hello, The attached images are of some slug-like being I see in my tank at night. It seems to just graze about on the rocks, but of course, I don't stare at it for much more than a minute. I'd love to know what it is, and more importantly, if it's harmless. Thanks so much, - Andrea <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailidfaq5.htm and learn/use the indices, search tool on WWM in future. Bob Fenner>

Is this a sea slug? Is it harmful? 7/22/05 <Is a slug of some sort, likely not harmful> Yesterday, at least two 8mm "slugs" cropped up in my 8 week old, 30-gallon saltwater aquarium. I am a new saltwater aquarium hobbyist. The water tests perfectly and life seems to be thriving in my new reef. The tank consists of aragonite substrate, many hermit crabs, sand fleas, and snails, plus one whelk, and one 3" horseshoe crab, all brought directly from the Atlantic ocean on the North Carolina coast. I recently added 6 lbs of live rock, 2 mushroom coral and 3 small fish, all from a reputable saltwater fish store. This week, the tank also started getting baby Hard Tube-worm Feather Dusters on the glass. I read that this is a good sign. However, I suspect I've been overfeeding and under cleaning, so I've been correcting those two problems this week. Could this "sea slug" be related to the overfeeding or infrequent water changes? <Mmm, not really... likely "due to" your good care, healthy live rock...> Should I be concerned about the slugs? <Nope>
Thank you,
Terri Bruns
<Enjoy! Bob Fenner>

Snail ID Hi folks <Hello Yun> I found this hitchhiker and from what I could find on the web, it seems to be a Morula granulata, is this correct?.  It is about ¾ inches long and I haven't noticed it bothering anything.  Is it ok to leave in the tank?  The crew has always been such a great help.  Keep up the great work! <It does appear to be one, Yun.  I wouldn't leave it in the tank.  They do feed on bivalves, mollusks etc.  They use their radula to drill through the shell and then secrete acid into the shell and consume the animal.  Some even use the acid alone and feed on corals.  James (Salty Dog)> Yun

Snail Search... Hi Crew, <Scott F. here today!>   Thanks for the reply to my last questions. I had an unsolved death a couple of days after I sent the last E- mail. On Sun. I noticed one of my clowns had a little nick in her tailfin. I had also noticed her swimming around the top of the tank in the current with clamped fins. She was eating well and she would come down and swim with her friend so I let it go. I also noticed her jerking forward a few times, other than the nick in the tailfin she had no visible symptoms of anything. I awoke a couple of times that night and checked on her. She was on the bottom, she was upright but would sometimes stop moving. I had seen both Clowns on the bottom after lights off ,so I did not find that too strange. What was strange was her tailfin was even more ragged. Still I waited, I was hoping she would swim up in the morning and I would get a qt ready. In the morning, however, she seemed more listless and breathing heavy. I moved her and ran out for some antibiotics. [I could only guess a  bacterial infection] I had read Clowns are sensitive to Furan compounds so I got Kanacyn. She died later that afternoon. I had her for almost five weeks and she had seemed fine. Its been a couple of days and so far the other fish seem fine. Any ideas? <Hmm...In the absence of visible symptoms, it's so hard to guess. The difficulty in breathing seems to be indicative of either a parasitic disease or an environmental lapse of some sort. I'm afraid that I could do little more than guess at this point.> They were supposed to be tank bred but now I'm kind of wondering about that. I stocked up on Spectrogram, Kanacyn and already had Furan-2. [the guy at the LFS said Aquatronics is going out of business?] I had added about 24 Nassarius Snails on Sat. but I believe the tailfin was already nicked. I was hoping to add another Clown if the other fish remain healthy. [ after 4 weeks in qt. of course] <Yes...quarantine is the way to go! Do buy form a source that can assure you that they are captive-bred.> Another quick question, if you don't mind. I made an E-BAY impulse buy! I had been on a role, I had already bought a [very] used 40 gallon for $25.00, a  new large hang on refugium with light and pump for $ 130.00 [ I really want to build a sump with one of my 30 gal. but I am scared, with my luck I would flood the living room] So my impulse buy was 100 Ilyanassa snails. I had read great reviews on E-Bay from other buyers and bought them, THEN checked your website. I did not find much. I have since read mixed reviews on another site. The bad I read was that they are predators, they carry Flukes, they don't live long in warmer waters. Then I would read the exact opposite! I put them my 20 gallon for now. Any info you guys have on these snails would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much, Kim <Well, Kim- my best recommendation would be to do a search on one of the larger search engines. To get the most accurate information on these animals, it may be better to turn to academic sources like university biology departments, etc. Sorry I could not be more specific, but this is a species that I have no personal experience with. Perhaps one of our other readers could share his/her experiences on this one. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>  

Another unknown critter Things seem to be coming out of everywhere all of a sudden. I just found this in my tank. I think it's a slug. I just sent the email about the red fan which I'm sure is now because it shot back in it's tube when my wife was near the tank. Just never seen a red one online before. Here is a picture of the slug. I think it's called a paper bubble shell sea slug. There's also an unknown shrimp that's in there that was too fast for me to get a picture. It hides under rock and is sort of tan colored and it was covered with sand. I love this hobby!  All this life just popping up, from the live rock I guess. Sorry, I'm just excited to see my tank coming along. It's only 5 weeks old. <The more you look, the more there is to see. Bob Fenner>

A Chiton?

Limpets for Dinner Hi gang: While cleaning the glass on my reef today, I pried loose a hard-shelled creature. It's resembles a snail -- sort of cone-shaped hard white shell with a rough surface texture -- with a soft interior that grips to the glass, but once they settle in, don't move for weeks/months on end. I've never seen anything on these creatures that resembles a head, eyes, antennae, etc.) <Sounds like limpets. The small ones are common, harmless detritivores.> Anyway, as the critter slipped from my tweezers' grasp, my piglet-with-fins pacific blue tang darted over and gobbled the thing, shell and all. I waited for him to spit it out. . . but didn't see it happen. The tang is about 5-6" long. . . the shellfish about the size of its eye (which I know is a rough gauge of stomach size for fish). What're the chances of my fish being in big trouble in terms of intestinal blockage? And is there anything I can do to help? Chuck  <No worries. I doubt that the fish would have eaten something it can't digest. Also, digestive acids should make quick work of dissolving the shell. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Flatworm or Nudibranch? I.D. please I posted this guy after I found him clinging to the underside of my hammer coral. He's about an inch or so long, 1/2 an inch wide, and about 4-5 mm thick. I've looked on the net and books for an I.D. but thought maybe you guys could help out. Here's a link to where I posted a pic of this fella. Thanks, Mike <Mmm, is a Stomatella... a beneficial mollusk... as others have already pointed out. Bob Fenner>

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