Gulf Specimen Marine Lab

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Snails, Whelks, Conchs

Class Gastropoda

Watch Gastropod videos on

Barnacle beast . Moon Snail close up . Whelk squirts water . Whelk Egg case . Periwinkle snail

M-810 KEYHOLE LIMPET , Diodora aspera or other species

A primitive uni-valve gastropod. The conical shell resembles a coolie hat. Moves freely over rock or shell as it grazes on algae, but invariably returns to its original location. Has eyes at the base of tentacles and expels gametes through aperture on top of shell. Size: 1-2 cm.

Each: $16.50

M-820 SLIPPER LIMPET, Crepidula fornicata

Other flattened univalve excellent for embryological studies, demonstrating spiral cleavage. A protandrous hermaphrodite, it often piles up, one individual upon another, when breeding. It possesses a crystalline style and is a ciliary feeder. Size: 2-4 cm.

Each: $10.00

M-840 MOON SNAIL, Polinices duplicatus

It has a smooth rounded shell and a greatly expanded foot. It plows a furrow in the sand and engulfs bivalves, which it then drills.

Each: $17.00

Large Each: $25.50 (4-8cm)

M-850 EAR SNAIL, Sinum maculatum

An unusual gastropod with a small, delicate shell encased in a huge white slimy foot. Even experienced shell collectors seldom realize that within this hunk of white, porky meat is the delicate ear shell. Size 4-6 cm.

Each: $20.50

M-851 CROWN CONCH, Melongena corona

It is a particularly hardy and attractive gastropod that is found around oyster reefs and mud flats in West Florida. Its handsome, pointed spiral shell is used extensively in shell craft. Tolerant of low salinities, Melongena is excellent for feeding demonstrations: food is placed in a test tube and the gastropod extends its long, snakelike proboscis down to get it. Occasionally it feeds on live oysters. Size: 6-10 cm.

Each: $16.00

M-866 COMMON AUGER, Terebra sp

A cone-shaped pointed gastropod about 2 inches long. Dwells in the inter-tidal sand flats making semi-circular furrows. Size: 2-4 cm.

Each: $14.00

M-870 LIGHTNING/ LEFT HANDED WHELK, Sinistrofulgur sinistrum

It is the traditional large whelk used for dissection in invertebrate and general biology courses. Its ribbon of teeth scrapes away at other mollusk tissues, and it is excellent for demonstrating radular movements. It will quickly burrow down into the gravel, emerging to forage at night.

Each: $17.50

Large over 24 cm: $41.50

M-878 PEAR WHELK, Busycoptypus spiratum

A smaller form with a thinner shell, has a very long, well developed radula which is easily removed from its proboscis. Size: 6-12 cm.

Each: $16.00

M-879 CONE SNAIL, Conus floridanus

A small and less poisonous species, no one has ever died or been stung by one of these slow-movers, but like all cones, they have a venomous proboscis. Size: 2-4 cm.

Each: $28.50

M-890 BANDED TULIP SHELL, Fasciolaria lilium

A small predatory snail that feeds on clams. The highly polished shell has a marbelized pattern of grey, brown, and white with distinct purple-brown spiral bands. Females will lay eggs in an aquarium in vase shaped horny capsules. Male is said to eject water, setting up vibrations, to attract a mate. Size: 5-7 cm.

Each: $18.50

M-900 COMMON TULIP SHELL, Fasciolaria tulipa

It has a larger, less colorful shell than F. hunteria and a bright purple foot. This species is useful for displaying fluke larvae, which can be produced almost 100 percent of the time by cracking the shell and soaking the animal in a dish of seawater. The common tulip feeds on small gastropods. Size: 10-14 cm.

Each: $18.50

M-901 FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCH, Strombus alatus

Despite its name is really a peaceful herbivore that cruises the night bottom. Its huge stalked eyes seem to peer up at you with an alarmed expression. When handled, it may go into a startling defensive behavior thrusting around with its small pointed foot, hence the name. Sporadically available. Size: 8 cm.

Each: $18.50

M-910 FLORIDA MUREX, Murex pomum, (and other species of Murex)

They drill into oysters and other bivalves. This is the genus that produced the famous royal purple dye of the ancient Phoenicians. The shell is armoured with spikes. Size: 4 cm.

Each: $16.00

M-911 CABRIT’S MUREX (Murex cabritii)

Each: $20.00


A small, rounded herbivorous snail (Archaeogastropoda), with a beautifully pearly operculum. Found sporadically in turtle grass beds. Often seen scouring the shells of larger whelks and horseshoe crabs. Turbo crawls up the walls of the aquarium, consuming algae like a vacuum cleaner, making pronounced tank clear and visible in a few days. Sporadic. Size: 1-3 cm.

Each: $16.00

M-920 PYGMY DOG WHELK, Nassarius vibex

In a sand aquarium, they remain buried until a piece of fish is dropped in, and within minutes their siphons pop up like small periscopes and they converge on the meat. Nassarius will readily regenerate its tentacles, eyes, frontal lobe, operculum, foot and siphon. It has a long proboscis and moves by ciliary waves on foot. Preyed upon by tulip shells whose trails produce violent evasive action by Nassarius. Size: 1-1.5 cm.

Dozen: $48.00

Per 100: $157.50

M-930 OLIVE SHELL, Oliva sayana

It has a smooth, elongated and polished shell. Dwells on sand bottoms just under the surface. However, when a piece of shrimp is dropped in the tank, the snail thrusts its siphon up and emerges, dramatically upheaving the substrate and pouncing on the food. Size: 4-6 cm.

Each: $17.00

M-940 HORSE CONCH, Triplofusus giganteus

The largest gastropod in the Gulf of Mexico. It has a pointed shell and a huge orange foot making it a striking demonstration piece. Shell may be encrusted with a variety of worms, barnacles and bryozoans. Does not feed on clams, but feeds on other carnivorous gastropods. Size: up to 60 cm. long (smaller specimens shipped for aquarium) large, over 24 cm.

Each: $24.50

Large: $49.00

M-945 DEER COWRIE, Macrocypraea cervus

They have bands when they’re small, which grow into spots when they mature and become adults. In the wild, they can grow up to three to four inches and have been known to eat algae and sponges. They’re best known for their beautiful shells that are kept shiny by the mantle of the animal, which is covered by the shell.

Each: $34.00

M-971 PERIWINKLE SNAIL, Littoraria irrorata

They adorn salt marshes from New York to Texas. When the tide rises, they ascend the grass stalks until well above water level. Periwinkles lap up diatoms and filamentous algae, and follow each other’s mucous trails, up and down the stalks.

Dozen: $24.50

Per 50: $37.50

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