moon snail Naticarius
Family Naticidae updated
seen? This moon snail with a spotted shell and intricately patterned body is sometimes seen on clean sandy shores on some of our
Southern shores. Elsewhere it is found offshore on sandy bottoms. It was previously
called Natica onca.
Features: 1.5-2cm. Shell smooth thick spherical
(not flat) with the spiral tip sticking out a little. Shell pattern
beige usually with 5 spirals - white with dark brown bars, sometimes the white is not so obvious. On
the underside, a small circular depression. Operculum plain pearly white (no markings), with
several fine grooves. Foot transparent with a white margin
and a pattern of white bars and red spots, front part of the body
white with four wide red or orange bands (which appear as large spots
when the animal is fully expanded). Tentacles short, red.
Snail takeaway? Some have been seen 'dragging' a small snail shell behind them attached
to the foot. Is it taking the meal away to some other place to eat it in safety?
Spiral tip sticking
out a little. Cyrene Reef, Aug 11
Small circular depression on underside. Operculum shelly with regular grooves.
Sisters Island, Nov 11
Dragging a small shell behind.
Cyrene Reef, Aug 11