Marine Life‎ > ‎California‎ > ‎Invertebrates‎ > ‎

Sea Snails A-H

Banded Turban Snail

Tegula eiseni

(1: Sea Landing Cove, Santa Barbara Island)

Beatic Dwarf Olive Snail

Olivella baetica

(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Black Turban Snail

Chlorostoma funebralis

(1: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Blue Top Snail

Calliostoma ligatum

(1-3,6,8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 4-5: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 7: Monterey State Beach, Monterey)

Blue refers to the color of the snail's foot, not its shell, which is often encrusted in brown algae.  In the second image, the smaller snails are carinate dovesnails. 

These are eating a red sea urchin:
(1: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

This one's shell has been polished so far it really is blue:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Blue-Ring Top Snail

Calliostoma annulatum

(1-3: East Pescadero Pinnacle, Pebble Beach / 4: Monterey State Beach, Monterey / 5,8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 6-7: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Note the clear operculum in the 8th picture.  That's the door the snail slams shut when it pulls back into its shell.

This one is tiny - just a few mm:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Brown Turban Snail

Tegula brunnea

(previously Chlorostoma brunnea)

(1-2: Monterey State Beach, Monterey / 3-4,8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 5: Lovers Cove, Monterey / 6-7: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Slipper snails like hitching rides on these.

These are eating a kelp holdfast:
(1: Lovers Point, Monterey)

Tegula brunnea has a closed whorl at the bottom:
(1: Lovers Point, Monterey)

Promartynia pulligo (below) has an open one.

I may have some of these mixed up with the other species of brown turban snail below.

Brown Turban Snail

Promartynia pulligo

(1-2,5: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 3-4,6-7: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Something has been eating away at this one's shell:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

California Cone Snail

Conus californicus

(1-5,8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 6: Lovers Point, Monterey / 7: Monterey State Beach, Monterey)

Cone snails spear their prey with a poisonous tooth.  California cone snails are not quite as deadly to humans as their tropical cousins, but handling them is still not recommended.  You and the snail may become very upset.

They lay their eggs on blades of seaweed:

(1-3: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Carinate Dovesnail

Alia carinata

(1,3: Monterey State Beach, Monterey / 2: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

These are small - only half an inch long.  Compare with the size of the blue top snail in the second photo.

Carpenter's Turrid

Megasurcula carpenteriana

(1,3-5: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 2,6-8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Close up of snout and eyes:
(1: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

These are its eggs:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Channeled Top Snail

Calliostoma canaliculatum

(1,3,6,8: Monterey State Beach, Monterey / 2,4-5,7: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Chestnut Cowry

Cypraea spadicea

(1-4: East Pescadero Pinnacle, Pebble Beach / 5: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 6: Black Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 7-8: Flame Reef, Santa Cruz Island)

Coffee Bean Cowry

Trivia californiana

(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 2: Monastery Beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea)

About the size of a coffee bean, too.

Dark Dwarf-Turban

Homalopoma luridum

(1-3: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

It's the pink snail to the top of the second pic; the slug at the bottom is an opalenscent nudibranch.  In the third image, it's the small snail at the center bottom; the larger one above is a red top snail.

Frilled Dogwinkle

Nucella lamellosa

(1: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Giant Western Nassa

Caesia fossatus
(1,4: Monterey State Beach, Monterey / 2-3,5-8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Glorious Top Snail

Calliostoma gloriosum

(1-2: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 4-6,8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 7: Monastery Beach, Carmel-By-The-Sea)