Family Batillariidae, Cerithiidae & Cerithiopsidae

Home > Northwest Shells & Marine Life > PNW Shells & Marine Life Photos > Gastropods >  Gastropods - Batillariidae, Cerithiidae
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Click on photo to enlarge.  Scale line in photo equals 1cm unless otherwise specified.
* Species which are commonly encountered on the beach.

Batillaria attramentaria Batillaria attramentaria Batillaria attramentaria
       Padilla Bay, WA                                  Boundary Bay, BC, intertidal

Batillaria attramentaria
Boundary Bay, BC, intertidal, can be very abundant

Cerithiopsis sp. 1 Cerithiopsis sp. 1                                     Oak Bay, WA, intertidal
Cerithiopsis sp. 1
This species gets to at least 4mm. The spiral and axial grooves form beading.  The beading is somewhat flattened, especially in the later whorls.

Batillaria attramentaria (G.B. Sowerby I, 1855)
Mudflat Snail *
intertidal          central California to central BC; Japan          size to 50mm
This is commonly found and can be extremely abundant in places.  It was
introduced from Japan with oyster seed.  The shell has spiral ribbing and may be uniform in color, usually gray-brown, or striped with white.   The interior of the aperture is dark.  As the name suggests, it prefers mud or muddy sand.
(synonyms - Batillaria cumingi, Batillaria zonalis, Batillaria alterima)

Cerithiopsis sp. 3
Cerithiopsis sp. 3
This species is similar to #2, except that the sutures between the whorls seem less impressed and the body whorl more rounded.

Bittium vancouverense
Dall & Bartsch, 1910
intertidal to subtidal          size to at least 10mm
southern BC to central Alaska
This is infrequently found.  The shell is dark with spiral ridges and pronounced beading from axial grooves.

Neostylidium eschrichtii (Middendorff, 1849)
Threaded Bittium *
intertidal to 55m          northern Mexico to southern Alaska          size to 20mm
This is commonly found intertidally.  It is the largest of the Bittiums in our area.  They are found under rocks and are often inhabited by hermit crabs.  The shell is gray to brown.  It has flattened spiral cords and no axial grooves.
(previous names - Stylidium eschrichtii, Bittium eschrichtii, Turritella eschrichtii)
This is a recent change from Stylidium to Neostylidium.  See reference - Doweld, A. (2013)

The Cerithiopsis are a little understood group in the Pacific Northwest which need further study.  We do not attempt to identify them to species level at this time.  Our numbering system does not correlate to any other reference, but is simply our own way to keep track of the types we have found.  We are not sure exactly how many valid species exist in our area.    

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Neostylidium eschrichtii Whiskey Creek Beach, WA

This page last revised: 5-25-2019

Bittium vancouverense
Tofino, BC

Lirobittium attenuatum Lirobittium attenuatum Lirobittium attenuatum
                  Tofino, BC                               Crane Island, WA                    Anacortes, WA, intertidal
Lirobittium attenuatum (Carpenter, 1864)
Slender Bittium
intertidal to 70m          northern Mexico to southern Alaska          size to 15mm
This is somewhat common. The early whorls show faint beading from axial grooves.  The grooves taper off and the later whorls are smooth.  It is more slender and does not grow as long as N. eschrichtii with which it might be confused.  The shell is light in color but may have brown markings.
(synonyms - Bittium attenuatum, Bittium boreale, Bittium esuciens, Bittium latifilosum, Bittium multifilosum)

Cerithiopsis sp. 2
Campbell River, BC
sp. 2
This species gets to at least 4mm.
It is also beaded only the beads are rounded and rather prominent.