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Sea Snails I-Z

Ida's Miter

Mitra idae

(1-2,4-6,8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 3: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 7: Monastery Beach, Carmel-By-The-Sea)

Kellet's Whelk

Kelletia kelletii

(1,4: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 2-3,6-8: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 5: Golf Ball Drop Off, Santa Cruz Island)

Like many snails, whelks have an operculum - a hard plate which acts like a door when the snail is pulled inside its shell.  It fluoresces under blue light.
(1: Golf Ball Drop Off, Santa Cruz Island / 2: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Kellet's whelks lay eggs in the late spring.  They look kind of like oyster crackers:
(1-2: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 3-4: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Leafy Hornmouth

Ceratostoma foliatum

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

These are leafy hornmouth egg cases, also visible in the 5th photo above (a leafy hornmouth orgy) and 6th photo (a leafy hornmouth that moved too slowly during an orgy and got laid on).
(1-6: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

The egg cases fluoresce under UV light:

(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Lewis's Moon Snail

Polinices lewisii

(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 2: Monterey State Beach, Monterey / 3-6: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos / 7-8: Monastery Beach, Carmel-By-The-Sea)

The foot is huge relative to the shell.  These cruise along underneath the sand, often with just their eyes, snout, and shell visible:
(1: Monterey State Beach, Monterey)

Moon snails lay their eggs in a collar shape.  The third picture shows a snail laying eggs.
(1,3: San Carlos Beach, Monterey / 2: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Lurid Rocksnail

Ocinebrina lurida

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

Money Wentletrap

Epitonium indianorum

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

Norris's Top Snail

Norrisia norrisi

(1: Eel Point, San Clemente Island)

Olive Snail

Olivella biplicata

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

In the first picture, the snail on the right has extended its mantle all the way around its shell.  That's why olive snail shells are shiny, compared with shells where the snail stays on the bottom.  You can see the mantle retracting in the second photo.

These are often found in large numbers in the sand just past the surf zone:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Painted Spindle

Aptyxis luteopictus

(1-4: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

These are pretty tiny.

Pear-Shaped Marginella

Granulina margaritula

(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Extremely small; this one is only 2 mm (1/10") long.

Red Top Snail

Pomaulax gibberosa

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

Below it in the first picture is a dark dwarf turban and a tube worm.

This is what it looks like underneath:
(1: Whaler's Cove, Point Lobos)

Close-up of its head:
(1: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Scaled Wormsnail

Serpulorbis squamigerus

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

Slipper Snail

Crepidula adunca

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

These are the smaller oblong shells on top of the larger snails.

Striped Barrel Shell

Rictaxis punctocaelatus

(1-2: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Three-Colored Top Shell

Calliostoma tricolor

(1-2: San Carlos Beach, Monterey)

Wavy Turban Snail

Lithopoma undosum

(1: Starlight, Santa Catalina Island / 2-3: Ship Rock, Santa Catalina Island / 4-5: Indian Rock, Santa Catalina Island)

Western Lean Nassa

Hima mendica

(1-5: Monterey State Beach, Monterey)

These smallish snails are scavengers.  In the third photo, they're picking a crab carcass clean.