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FAQs about Marine Snail Identification 22

Related Articles: Gastropods, Sea Slugs, Mollusks, Abalone,

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 16, Snail ID 17, Snail ID 18, Snail ID 19, Snail ID 20, Snail ID 21, Snail ID 23, Snail ID 24, Snail ID 25, Snail ID 26, & Marine Snails 1, Marine Snails 2, Marine Snails 3, Invertebrate ID, Snail Behavior, Snail Selection, Snail Compatibility, Snail Systems, Snail Feeding, Snail Disease, Snail Reproduction, Mollusks, Sea Slugs, Abalone,

Unidentified life form; likely gastropod -- 01/05/10
Crew;
<Hi John.>
Sorry to bother you again but I have found a new nocturnal inhabitant in my tank a few hours ago and have looked on Google and you site and other images but have no clue what it is. I attempted to get a picture of it but since it was fairly dark (only moon lamps on and did not want to scare the tank into awakening so early (3AM) I decided to leave well enough alone and will describe it to the best of my ability. This is the first time I have seen this little guy so I have no idea how long it has actually been a member of my community.
Some brief history:
I found one of my larger Mexican turbo snails grazing near my Zoa colony and after an hour or so later I noticed the Zoa was knocked off the rock I had it tied to (obviously not very securely he he). So I did an emergency re-tying down in the low light condition. When I pick up a small piece of LR to get the other LR home of the Zoa retrieved and to retrieve my fishing line I was using to tie down the Zoa I noticed movement which started me a bit.
After a closer observation I thought what I saw was a snail but there is not a visible shell. I watched it as it came across the substrate and onto the glass. It measures 2cm in length (measured it while on the aquarium glass), has two antennae (or what I deemed to be antennae) one longer than the other. It had a foot very similar to a snail but again, after looking closely through a 6x magnifying glass it had no discernible shell. It was a pale color, almost gray in appearance with a small hump in the back with what looked like spikes. I then assumed it may be some type of slug, so I briefly turned on the lights (< 1 minute) to see if any color. The hump was a very very pale yellowish color (almost white and the body had very small darker spots scattered about all over except underside of foot). I turned the lights off again and watched it for about 15 minutes. It went across the entire front of the aquarium across the side then up near one of the powerheads when I lost sight of it because it is not well lit there (remember have only moon lighting on). I suppose it possibly could have been a hitchhiker as well since the Zoa (was not attached to any rock/frag piece when purchased) and Green Star Polyps (on a rock frag) (both very small) are recent additions to the tank (Zoa about 3 weeks and the Star about a week). I am hesitant to believe this came with the LR as a hitchhiker due to the curing process and the newest piece of rock has now been in tank only about 2 weeks now.
I have 2 Turbo Mexican Snails and 2 Nassarius snails in the tank.
Is it possible to have had this life form hitchhike on the LR, make it through the full curing process and take up residence in my little piece of the ocean?
<Oh yes. Many life forms are quite hardy and survive the processes of transport and curing hidden in rock crevices.>
It was pretty quick for its size and I am almost certain it is a type of snail just growing it's shell possibly?
<No.>
I thought all snails required a shell in which to retreat and live from birth, either by growing or picking one up along the way.
<No picking up, they are no hermit crabs.>
Is it possible that one of the listed snails I mentioned had a child?
<No.>
I apologize for asking you to try and ID something with just a description and will send my picture I took if so requested to further assist you.
<If you think it might help and contains at least some detail feel free to send it.>
I do have a pic of it, but it is of the foot and another from an odd angle to try and get the top portion of the life form but both are not real
definitive so I do not want to ask you to identify something from a picture, especially since it is of low quality. John. Marine tank Newbie, Marine lover always.
<Without a clear picture it is hard to give you a definite ID. A most common hitchhiker are Stomatella and related snails from the family Haliotidae. They have small shells that may look like a bump and long retractable antennae. They are fast for a snail and their flat shell can have small holes. You may want to compare your hitchhiker to some online pictures. Other less common hitchhikers are sea hares, they have bumpy backs, no shell, ear like antennae (more often four). They come in various colors and shapes. A third possibility is you saw a sea slug (Nudibranch)'¦ there are more than 3000 species in various colors and shapes. Cheers, Marco.>

Thanks for the assistance!!
Unidentified life form; likely gastropod II -- 1/6/10

Marco et al;
<Hi John.>
Just a follow-up on my recent question asking about my unidentified hitchhiker.
Following your possible suggestions, I thoroughly researched each one you mentioned. I easily ruled out Sea Hares. I looked at a lot of images, some worse than what I took, lol). Took a few hours but I am now pretty certain it is a Stomatella.
<Fine. I brought up the Nudibranchs, because you noted possible spikes on the bump (which would be their breathing organs, but Stomatella type snails can also have holes/tiny decorations on their flat shell.>
This makes me a happy camper. I read they will reproduce. I have a few questions related to them;
Will they consume red hair algae?
<Only if you have masses of Stomatella.>
I have read they are not compatible, necessarily, with wrasses. I have 2 McCosker's Flasher Wrasses. Is this a bad pairing?
<I cannot exclude they'll eat smaller individuals, but I think this comment mostly applies to snail eating wrasses and/or small snail species.>
If I have seen one, what are the odds there are more? (am interested in hopefully reproducing more.)
<Quite good, they often lead a secretive life.>
I must add, you guys are amazing. Being able to at least steer one in the correct direction, with just enough info, that if one truly does their research can further their knowledge. You have done exactly that. You gave a few possibilities, I researched and now am a tad bit more knowledgeable. I appreciate this gentle guidance more than words can say.
<Thank you very much for your kind words.>
For someone who is new to the hobby, I do try to use the search engine as much as possible, but it can be a bit hard when one has no clue what direction to search... hard to search for something when one has absolutely no idea where or what they are searching for!
<Kudos to you for your effort. Not every hobbyist would be willing to spend a few hours on a snail he saw once at night.>
Much appreciated. John. Marine tank Newbie, Marine lover always.
<Cheers, Marco.>

Mystery Snail 1/3/10
Hi guys, I love this website! I was at the LFS yesterday for some lil blue legged hermits and I saw this neat snail. They're neat to watch and I just couldn't resist. The owner didn't know he had it or what it was so he gave it to me for a dollar. It's not usually my habit to buy unknowns but he's quarantined until I get help from the experts. ;)
Anyway, it's a reddish purple and rather round with a point on the backside of his shell. I tried getting a pic of his shell opening but he wouldn't stay retracted long enough to focus the camera. He does have a small "shield" on his tail like a whelk would but not the same shaped shell from what I've found. He's also slow moving compared to my Nassarius snails. I hope this and the pics are helpful.
Thanks for your time!
Ron
<Mmm, looks to be some species of Nassariid... likely predaceous on other Gastropods. Bob Fenner>

Re: Zoa placement and new id confirmation please -- 12/15/09
G'Day to the crew!
<And you Richard>
The Zoanthids/Paly's in contact with the feather duster is (as you stated) no issue... may even provide a little added protection for one or another - thank you to Bob for your input! On a new front, snails. I have a couple
that have shown up, one in my isolation tank - one in my main, and I am having difficulty discerning the difference betwixt the Collonista,
<I think this is what this is>
the Heliacus or a Meriad or others that are 'close'. I was unable to get a picture to show from your site of the Collonista, and at least 3 from other web sources that were conflicting. Mine measure aprox. 5 mill across, and
seldom travel the substrate or glass. Would you be so kind as to help identify them please?
<The genus Collonista>
I appreciate the assistance... again,
Richard J.C.
<Welcome! BobF>

Re: question for the experts. Snail ID f' -- 12/09/09
Thank you so much for the great info, and again thank you SO SO much for your website. After reading through the mystery invert id pages, I actually think the snails are Stomatellids. Anyway thanks again for the amazing
service you provide, its really priceless.
<It is for you, your enjoyment and successes that we labour Katie. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

What Are These? Egg Capsules -- 11/29/09
Greetings to you at WWM!
<Woo-hoo and greetings to you too, Jamie! Lynn here this afternoon.>
I tried to find this "thing" on WWM and did not have much luck. What are these?
<Egg capsules.>
I've just emptied my tank of fishes due to ich and today I saw these on my glass! Scary!
<Nah, they're neat!>
I tried to look for them at other places in the tank but these are the only ones that I can see. I imagine that I wouldn't be able to see them if they were on anything else but glass. I guess in a way that I'm lucky that they are where they're at! They look like some type of eggs or crustaceans, I hope it's not another parasite!
<Nope, they look like snail egg capsules to me. By any chance, do you have any Columbellids, aka dove snails in residence? They're small, harmless/beneficial grazers of film algae, etc., in the family Columbellidae. Please see the following link for photos and more information:
http://bb.wetwebmedia.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=341 . By the way, mine come out of the proverbial woodwork at night to graze on the glass, so if you don't see any during the day, be sure to take another look after the lights go out. If you don't have any of these snails, please let me know what kind (if any) you do have, along with the size of the individual capsules, and we'll see if we can't solve this mystery.>
Do I need to do something to the DT to treat for these things?
<Nope, let's see if we can't first figure out what left these on the glass. Worse case scenario, if they're from a snail you don't want, you can scrape the capsules off and suction them out. After that, it's a matter of locating and removing the snails.>
It's a 225 gallon reef tank sans fishes.
<Nice size>
I've enclosed a photo.
<Nice photo!>
Thanks So Much!
<You're very welcome!>
Jamie Barclay
<Take care, Lynn Zurik>

Re: What Are These? Egg Capsules -- 11/29/09
<Hello, Jamie>
Yippi!
<Yay!>
I actually like these snails very much. They came FREE with my live rocks!
<Love it when that happens!>
Thank you for sending the link to the pictures, I have one grazing on the back wall as we speak.
<You're very welcome. Columbellids are terrific little snails.>
I had sent another e-mail a day ago but had no response yet. I thought WWM was "resting" over the weekend, but seeing that YOU are here...I've copied it and pasted it here. I hope you don't mind giving me your thoughts on this!
<I'd love to but I'm going to instead leave it in Chris's far more capable hands!>
Thanks again Lynn!
<It was my pleasure!>
[?] I'm glad to see another woman who's into the hobby!
<We've got plenty of company!>
Jamie Barclay
<Take care, LynnZ>

Snail hitchhiker 11/27/09
Could you guys/gals possibly tell me what this is and whether it is reef safe or not?
<Mmm, looks to be a predatory Fasciolariid species. See here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/MolluscPIX/Gastropods/Prosobranch%20PIX/Conchs%20Strombids/ConchF1.htm>
The only snails I have in the tank purposely are Astraea, Margarita, Nerites, Cerith and Nassarius. I don't think this is any of those. The size is about 0.5 cm at the moment.
Thanks much!
Roxanne
<I'd remove this animal. Bob Fenner>

Slug ID, cutest Scutus 11/24/09
Hi Crew,
<Howdy Shanne!>
Just want to say you have an awesome site. Have spent many nights glued to WWM.
<I'm mainly annealed in the AMs>
I was changing out my skimmer as I am currently battling a very annoying algae problem (Diatoms) and didn't feel the one I had was doing much to help. As I was pulling pieces out of my sump, I came across this critter crawling across my floor.
It really moves, as it goes on its way 2 antenna wave back and forth and as you can see it has a hairy back. Not sure if I want this thing back in my tank or should I send him packing?
<Is fine... a type of Limpet. Please see here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/MolluscPIX/Gastropods/Prosobranch%20PIX/Limpets%20Scutus/LimpetF1.htm>
I have a 180G reef tank with a 55g sump. Running for just over a year.
Coral are all softies. So far everything seems to be getting along, no chemical warfare. Run lots of carbon in the sump.
Have a Naso Tang, One Spot Foxface, a couple Chromis, 3 yellow tail damsels, a scooter dragonet (eats frozen & pellet foods) a couple grey damsels (first couple fish, no clue that damsels figure they own the tank),
<They do>
they are soon going to be finding another home. A Yasha Ray goby, a Zebra Goby & a couple Clowns.
About 20 Astrea and 15 Cerith snails about 1 dozen blue leg and 5 red leg hermits. Had plenty more snails and hermits but the latter population was manually thinned when my snail population started to disappear at a stunning rate.
In a separate 45G, plumbed into the same system we have 4 H. Erectus Seahorses. This was plumbed in about a month ago.
Parameters
Salinity - 1.026
Temp. - 78F
NA3 - 0.00
NO2 - 0.00
NO3 - 1.00ppm
PO3 - 0.00
PH - 8.3
CA - 420
KH - 7.5
MG - 1400
W/C - 10% average every 10 days.
I know you don't need this to tell me what kind of slug I'm looking at but figured it couldn't hurt. Unless you may have an idea about my diatoms that I'm not seeing. Top off water is RO I get it from a water store, thinking I should ask to see there TDS meter. Going to purchase one myself soon, I do get a good deal on the store water.
Thanks,
Shanne
<I'd leave it be... more helpful than possibly harmful. Cheers! Bob Fenner>

Hoof limpet - 11/07/09
Hello,
I have attached a picture of what I believe to be Hipponicidae sp. residing on the back of one of my snails!
<Looks like it!>
I have 'Googled' around and found some supporting information but wondered whether this was a true example of symbiosis
<Mmm, of a sort... I'd label this animal as a "space parasite"... as the "host" appears to be harmed to a degree, and definitely doesn't seem to benefit from the Limpet>
or just an accident. The forked proboscis (if that's the right term) extends significantly from the shell during feeding as it picks around the areas that the snail is grazing so I assume is diet is basically the same.
I not been able to narrow down to species level but suspect that it is a harmless hitchhiker as the 'host' seems to be unaffected.
<Mmm... I don't know... having something so large, heavy on ones shell...>
I found it interesting and have not seen any similar pictures on the web so wondered whether you would be interested too.
<Yes. Thank you for sharing>
Forgive my ignorance if it is actually common and I'm just bad at web searches but if it is unusual I can think of no better place to share it.
Your site has helped me a great deal over the years and continues to be my favourite reference as the reliability and accuracy of information here is in my humble opinion, above question.
Many Thanks,
Chris
<Welcome Chris! Bob Fenner>

Unknown Gastropod Eating Starfish: Possible Snail Predation and/or Dying Sand-Sifting Star -- 10/14/09
Crew,
<Hello Aaron, Lynn here this morning.>
This morning I woke up to find this guy with his stomach extruded dissolving my sand sifting starfish.
<Interestingly enough, these snails don't actually extrude their stomachs like we're used to seeing with sea stars. Instead, they use a proboscis which is basically a mouth on the end of a flexible trunk that's used to tear away/remove bits of flesh. It's still not good though, to wake up seeing a snail apparently dining on your sea star - no matter the method!>
This guy was a tiny hitchhiker on a piece of live rock I purchased three years ago and has grown to about 2.5" long.
<Wow>
He has a long trunk similar to a conch, but much skinnier. He only comes out at night.
<Looks/sounds whelk or whelk-like.>
He has co-existed with the starfish for about two years without incident. As you can see, he completely consumed one of the starfish's arms, and severed another.
<Yikes! I can't help but wonder if the star wasn't doing well and the snail was simply scavenging on dying flesh -- or getting a head start on a star that was on the way out. These stars are very difficult to keep and can take a surprisingly long time to starve to death. What size system do you have?>
I threw him in my sump/refugium.
<Can't blame you there -- better safe than sorry!>
The starfish seems to still be alive. Do you think it will live? Will its arms regenerate?
<Given otherwise good health, good water quality, lack of predation, ample food and time, hopefully so.>
Can you identify the predacious gastropod?
<Possibly so, but I'd need several good/detailed photos and the location of origin (where the live rock came from). Photos should include at least one of the underneath portion of the snail (where the opening is located), one of the opposite/top side, and if possible, one showing the snail crawling around (in water) so I can see the soft tissue (foot and any other anatomy including the operculum/trapdoor).>
(FYI, the stringy thing on the gastropod's shell is a tube worm, not the trunk)
<Thanks, any and all information you can give me is helpful!>
Is there any benefit to keeping him?
<I'll be able to tell you more when I know exactly what it is.>
Does he also eat detritus or algae,
<Ditto above>
..or has he just been grazing on copepods and worms that live inside the live rock
<It's possible that he's survived so far by scavenging leftover food remnants. If he indeed attacked a healthy sea star, it's possible that he's not been able to find enough food and is going after the most easily accessible source. Supplemental feedings could help discourage this from happening again, but I wouldn't bet on it.>
..by extruding his stomach and eating those also? Could he be the reason I have had zero luck with anemones?
<Shouldn't be>
Will he eat corals?
<I doubt it but, again, I'll know more when I can determine exactly what it is.>
Thanks! You guys are awesome.
<Sorry I couldn't give you a concrete ID! Do please send along more photos if/when you get the chance. In the meantime, I'd leave the little fellow in the sump and away from the display. You might try tossing it a bit of fish, shrimp, etc., and watch its reaction. I'm betting this guy is a predator/scavenger and will likely react pretty quickly to a bit of food. I'd also keep an eye on that poor star. Watch for holes in the center and signs of further disintegration. I suspect the poor thing may have been on the way out and the snail was simply acting on an opportunity to feed. Please see the WWM FAQ's regarding these stars for more information. Start with the following link (see related links at top of page as well): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/sndsftstrdis.htm>
Aaron Chandler
<Take care, LynnZ>


What Are These? Likely Nassarius Species - 10/9/09
Hi,
<Hi there, Lynn here this afternoon.>
Can you help me out?
<I'll sure try.>
Before I put these in my tank! lol
<Heee! I'll hurry!>
These were sent to me as Tongan Nassarius snails.
<Uh-oh. That's the trouble with common names. They're not specific!>
They look like whelks or something not good.
<I can understand your thinking. I'd be concerned as well. Nassarius snails and whelks can indeed resemble each other. Both are in the same Superfamily, Buccinoidea. The good news is that, as we know from experience, not all in this large group are a danger to the other snails, etc., we keep in our tanks. The most commonly kept Nassarius species are beneficial scavengers, living the majority of their lives buried in the sand until feeding time, when they erupt en masse. That's not to say that all Nassarius are harmless, though. The larger species in particular can pose a significant a threat if they're not supplied with enough readily available food.>
These are NOT what the picture in their ad showed and NOTHING like my AUTHENTIC Tongans. (see picture below this one to see mine).These are mine and these are Tongan.....
<Yes, they're not what I'm used to seeing tagged as Super Tongan snails either, but again, that's the problem with common names. The snails you received most closely resemble Nassarius margaritiferus, or Nassarius margaritifer depending on the source. They're commonly called a 'Margarite Nassa' snail. Now, the big question of the day is whether these will be well-behaved and not eat their fellow snail tankmates. Unfortunately, I honestly can't answer that with any certainty. It could go either way. They're almost certainly scavengers but whether they'll attack your other snails is up in the air. You can either release them, keep them fed and keep an eye out for trouble, or perhaps put them in another tank, feed them as usual for a couple of days, then add a snail and see what happens. If they go after the poor thing, get it out of there before it's killed. For more information/photos, please see the following links:
http://www.gastropods.com/3/Shell_3313.shtml
More photos so you can see the variation: http://www.conchology.be/t=27&family=NASSARIIDAE&species=Nassarius%20margaritifer
Take care and good luck, LynnZ>

Part 2: What Are These? Likely Nassarius Species - 10/9/09
Hi,
<Hello, Lynn here again.>
Here are more of the "Nassarius" snails.
<Excellent photos!>
I tried to find something about how to tell the difference between the Tongan and these "TONGAN" impostors. They have a thing that looks like can seal themselves up in a watertight type door (not the reddish brown "door" on the right).
<Called an operculum>
My REAL Tongan Nassarius snails, I have NEVER seen inside their shells. A LOT of their body is WAY out in the open.
<They can seal themselves inside.>
So are these whelks and should I flush them?
<No! Even if you do find that these snails won't work in your tank, please try to find them another home (perhaps at a LFS). Please see previous email and check photos for comparison. Take care, LynnZ>


Part 3: What Are These? Likely Nassarius Species - 10/9/09
<Hello again>
I found this link below: http://www.wildsingapore.com/wildfacts/mollusca/gastropoda/nassariidae/livescens.htm
<Yes, I believe the species shown (see photos in the bottom group) is the same one I linked in the original message: Nassarius margaritiferus, a common specie in the Philippines. The fact that they refer to it, at that site, with the common name 'whelk' doesn't necessarily mean that it's a snail killer. It may or may not be.>
Scroll down to the NOT REEF SAFE on this link.... we have a winner!!!!..... http://www.chucksaddiction.com/Hitchsnails.html
<Ah yes, my friend in the Philippines -- great guy! I don't see a photo of your snail at his link but the term 'not reef safe' is used there to indicate the fact that Nassarius snails (even those you already have) can and do eat the beneficial little critters within sand-beds. In that respect, they are not reef-safe. Are they safe with other snails? Maybe.>
Now here are the snails I have.... yeah, teeth like bumps on the opening!!!!! In the Nassarius family yet, but not the "dog whelks" that are safe like mine.
<Heeee! Don't get me started again on common names! LynnZ>

Part 4: What Are These? Likely Nassarius Species - 10/9/09
Well, I think I have found my answer......
<Yay!>
Excerpt from Reefkeeping.com article by Ronald Shimek PhD
"These problems notwithstanding, it is generally pretty easy to determine if a snail is a whelk. Whelk shells are generally biconical or broadly fusiform. Their aperture is typically oval. The animals typically, but not always, have an operculum on the back of their foot which plugs the aperture when the animal withdraws into its shell. If such an operculum is present, it is made of protein and typically is brown, golden or black; and it is never calcareous and round, but rather oval, crescent-shaped or somewhat "leaf-shaped."
Whelks always have a siphonal canal with an anterior siphonal notch.
The notch is generally quite distinctive, although the canal may be short and twisted. All other sculpturing is variable and dependent upon at least species, and maybe upon environment."
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-11/rs/index.php
<Thank you, that's very informative! LynnZ>

Part 5: What Are These? Likely Nassarius Species - 10/9/09
<Hi>
"FLUSH" is a relative term!
<Whew, that's good! You had me going there for a sec!>
lol Here in Las Vegas they would not survive,
<Not in freshwater, that's for sure!>
..but I do NOT want to give them to someone and have them harm their charges.
<No, you would never want to give them to anyone without full disclosure. You could, however, offer them to a LFS. I'd explain the situation and see what they say. They might be able to take them off your hands, or even offer you some sort of credit/exchange.>
The REAL SUPER Tongan.... NEVER, I mean NEVER have I see them close up in their shell.
<I understand. You may have never seen them close up all the way, but they can. All of these snails have an operculum and can seal themselves within their shell. Sometimes that operculum can be hard to see, though! In your Super Tongan photo, if you take a look at the individual on the right, you'll see a small light brown operculum towards the end of the foot. If push came to shove, the snail would pull in on itself and close up shop. Snails use their operculum mainly as a defense against predation and desiccation/drying out. In the normal course of grazing/traveling about without threat, there's no need for them to close up. The only time I've ever seen any of my snails close up is if they're in trouble (ailing or dead) or feeling threatened.>
If they tried, it took a while, but they try to flop over and slither first. The whelks pull in QUICKLY like these.
<'¦>
Yeah operculum... I was being "general" for layman reasons.
<That's perfectly understandable. I just wanted you to have the term in case you wanted to look it up. Snails are fascinating creatures. Some have a thin/flexible operculum like what we see in this group of snails, while others have a thickened, calcareous version. Conchs actually have a claw-like operculum that they use to aid in locomotion. It's not exactly graceful, but it works!>
Nonetheless, I will not be adding them to my tank......
<Can't say I blame you!>
SIDE question... Can Halichoeres (Clown wrasse) wrasses decimate a copepod/amphipod population in a tank? I have always had fairy wrasses
<Love fairy wrasses!>
..and though they would eat them here and there, there would always be plenty on the rocks.
<I think the wrasse would nab what it could, but there would always be nooks and crannies for the 'pods to hide. Be sure to check out Bob's page on his pick for the three best candidates: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/halichoeresbestart.htm >
Thanks
<You're very welcome. --LynnZ>

Part 6: What Are These? Likely Nassarius Species - 10/9/09
Hi,
<Hello>
Sorry I have to disagree about the ones I have eating stuff in the sand.
<No problem. I'm not always right and individuals can differ.>
They go under and stay in the SAME SPOT until I put in some fish flesh.
<Sounds like they're trained! It also sounds like they're very well fed, which is terrific.>
THAT being said, there ARE species of Nassarius that are not good for the sand bed. Plus if they were, my water quality would be shaky, so no, these I have... my true TONGAN or NASSARIUS DISTORTUS are perfectly suited.
<I'm glad to hear that.>
I had a Sand Sifting Star fish that ATE everything in my sand bed,
<It happens, yes.>
..causing serious water quality issues.... that was when I FIRST had a tank years and years ago and the dope at the LFS said I should get that Sea star!
<Not good>
He knew my tank was only 55 gallons. So my experience with a dead sand bed in the past would indicate that My N. distortus are fine.
<Good to hear.>
Oddly Nassarius are part of the whelk family, but not destructive in attacking other snails.
<That's right for the most part. I've heard the occasional report of a Super Tongan snail attacking others but I've never had any problems with mine. Perhaps the snails were starving or perhaps the person had another snail entirely that they called a "Super Tongan".>
I have never seen mine go near any other creature in the tank.... in fact they get bumped by something and they go under the sand!
<Heee! It sounds like you've got some good snails! Take care, LynnZ>

Part 7: What Are These? Likely Nassarius Species - 10/9/09
<Hello>
Okay, is that other thing that is pink, the think they use to kill other snails etc, with?
<If the animal is indeed a snail killer then, yes, it would use its proboscis/mouth (the pink thing) to kill/rip tissue from its prey. It's also used by non-snail killers as well, like Nassarius vibex. The proboscis is basically a flexible trunk with a mouth on the end. The dark thing you see sticking up is the siphon. It's used for breathing as well as for scenting prey/food. You can't see it in the photo, but at the base of the each 'cephalic' tentacle, you should be able to see an eye. Here's a good link regarding whelk/snail anatomy that you might find interesting: http://webs.lander.edu/rsfox/invertebrates/busycon.html >
It was about 1" LONG before I took the picture.
<The snail's probably hungry and testing the Styrofoam!>
What are your thoughts on that?
<I think it's a great photo - thanks! Take care, LynnZ>
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