Gastropods 

Family Calliostomatidae 






Home > Northwest Shells & Marine Life > PNW Shells & Marine Life Photos > Gastropods >  Gastropods - Calliostomatidae

< Previous     Next >

Click on photo to enlarge.  Scale line in photo equals 1cm unless otherwise specified.
* Species which are commonly encountered on the beach.


















Calliostoma canaliculatum Calliostoma canaliculatum Callistoma comparison
                Davenport, CA                                   California, subtidal                                 Calliostoma comparison
Calliostoma canaliculatum (Lightfoot, 1786)
Channelled Topsnail
intertidal to 25m          northern Mexico to central Alaska          size to 35mm
This is rarely found at an extreme low tide and is more often seen by divers.  It lives on large kelp species.  Its
coloration is very similar to the very common C. ligatum, but can be distinquished by its sharp-edged profile.
(synonym - Calliostoma doliarum)






























Calliostoma variegatum Calliostoma variegatum Calliostoma variegatum
       offshore WA coast                            Barkley Sound, BC, subtidal                   Partridge Banks, Puget Sound, WA
Calliostoma variegatum (Carpenter, 1864)
Variable Topsnail
intertidal to 182m          northern Mexico to southern Alaska          size to 38mm
This is rarely found at an extreme low tide and is more often seen by divers.  The shell may be very pale to brightly
ringed with brown spots.  It may be found around pink branching hydrocorals and bryozoans.






Calliostoma ligatum Calliostoma ligatum Calliostoma ligatum Calliostoma ligatum
                   Tofino, BC                Marrowstone Island, WA, intertidal      Anacortes, WA, intertidal               Whidbey Island, subtidal, spawning
Calliostoma ligatum  (Gould, 1849)
Blue Topsnail *
intertidal to 30m          southern California to central Alaska          size to 30mm
This is common intertidally.  It can be a dull gray-brown color to blue-white with reddish rings.  It is frequently covered with algae.  Young shells can easily be confused with Margarites pupillus, but this shell does not have an open umbilicus like the margarite.  When the surface of the shell
erodes away, it reveals a blue color.
(synonym - Calliostoma costata)






Calliostoma annulatum Calliostoma annulatum Calliostoma annulatum Calliostoma annulatum
            Victoria, BC                                                                 Washington, subtidal                                                        Barkley Sound, BC, subtidal
Calliostoma annulatum (Lightfoot, 1786)
Purple-Ring Topsnail
intertidal to 42m          southern California to central Alaska          size to 30mm
This is rarely found at an extreme low tide and is more often seen by divers.  Locally it is one of our most colorful shells.
The distinctive purple rings identify this shell, although they can be very faded.  The animal is a bright orange color with darker patches.
It feeds mainly on hydroids.


Akoya platinum
just offshore Haida Gwaii, BC

Akoya platinum (Dall, 1890)
Silvery Topsnail
subtidal, 75-700m          size to 32mm
southern California to southern Alaska
This is a rare species to find.  The shell appears smooth with only faint spiral ridges.




















Home  About Us  Meetings&Events  Articles  Northwest Shells  Links  Contact Us  Site Map














This page last revised: 5-20-2019