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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Neritidae
Similar nerite snails
How to tell them apart?
updated Oct 2016

These snails with thick hemispherical shells belong to the Family Neritidae. Each species may come in a wide variety of patterns and colours, so they can't be distinguished by shell patterns and colours alone. Their shell structures look very similar. Here's how to roughly tell apart some of the most similar looking nerites. Positive identification, however, can only be made by looking at internal features of the shell and animal.

Chameleon nerite snail
Nerita chamaeleon
Waved nerite snail
Nerita undata
Scaled nerite snail
Nerita histrio
Spire slightly sticking out. Spire sticking out a lot. Spire not sticking out or depressed.
Thicker ribs Smooth finer ribs Rougher texture of shell
Underside may have ridges
and rounded bumps.
Underside may be wrinkled
or have some ridges.
Underside smooth.
A few tiny ridged 'teeth'
at the shell opening.
3-4 - 'teeth' at the shell opening. A few tiny teeth at the shell opening with reddish stain on young snails.
Sometimes one large 'tooth'
at outer lip.
Sometimes one large 'tooth'
at outer lip.
No large 'tooth' at outer lip.

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