Thursday, October 13, 2011

CA horn snail ~ 10/13/11 ~ Morro Bay

posted 11/03/11 - I wanted to revisit this ID with fresh pictures and conduct another online ID search. What I noticed this visit was that all the snails on the path were dead with their openings facing down in the mud. I thought this was peculiar and probably not random. For the second picture above, I turned one over and cleaned the opening to show the shape of aperture. I reached into the green gunk to take a closer look at an actual live snail. The one I'm holding is about medium sized compared to the larger empty shells.

Walla Walla University still has the best somewhat-local ID comparative description I've found under Batillaria attramentaria (one of two Japanese false cerith snails, with the other being Batillaria zonalis, if indeed it is a distinct species). Plus, this time around I noticed Conchology, Inc. has at least two errors on their Potamididae family page; Batillaria spp. belong to the Batillariidae family page. So, this got me thinking about looking at other similar looking marine snails. WoRMS is great for listing the names of other Cerithioidea families. I looked through the Natural History Museum Rotterdam's site and came up with the following families that have similar looking shells: Batillariidae, Cerithiidae, Dialidae, Potamididae, Scaliolidae, Thiaridae, and Turritellidae. I checked the EOL for the locations of some of the snails, but none are recorded anywhere near central California's coast, except C. californica and B. attramentaria. Nature's variations amaze me.

I don't often post so many pictures for a single ID, but this was a personal quest after my minor hubbub around a permissions request and withdrawal from my first post of CA horn snails. It caused me to go into major blogging existential contemplation, which I wrote about in am I doing the right thing with this blog?

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I can't believe I missed these shots
This is soooo cool.