Home > Northwest Shells & Marine Life > PNW Shells & Marine Life Photos > Gastropods >  Gastropods - Borsoniidae, Mangeliidae
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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.

Kurtzia arteaga
off Ucluelet, BC
Kurtzia arteaga
(Dall & Bartsch, 1910)

Beaded Mangelia
subtidal to at least 114m          size to 10mm
northern Mexico to central BC
This species has axial ribs and spiral cords which give it a beaded effect where they cross.
(synonyms - Mangilia arteaga, Kurtzia gordoni)

Oenopota cf. elegans Oenopota elegans
                 San Juan Islands, WA                               San Juan Islands, WA
Oenopota elegans (Möller, 1842)
Elegant Lora
subtidal          size to 18mm
circumboreal, extending south to Washington,   Maine, northern Europe
This shell has prominent axial ribs which are slightly angled down the shell.  It also exhibits smaller spiral ridges.  They are typically found on silt/mud in fairly shallow water.
(synonyms - Propebela elegans, Lora elegansDefrancia elegans, Lora galgana)   

Mangelia crebricostata
Neah Bay, WA
Mangelia crebricostata
Carpenter, 1864
Violet-Band Mangelia
intertidal to 85m          size to 15mm
northern Washington to Alaska
This is rarely found intertidally.  The shell is white to tan with a darker brown to violet spiral band.  Look for it in sand or sand/mud habitat feeding on polychaete tube worms.  
(synonyms - Kurtziella crebricostata, Oenopota crebricostata)

The Oenopota can be very difficult to identify.  Any identification is a "best guess", but our best guess was done by Pacific Northwest turrid authority, Dr. Ron Shimek.  There has yet to be any DNA work done on specimens from the northeast Pacific to verify their relationships.


Family Borsoniidae, Mangeliidae

& Pseudomelatomidae


Oenopota levidensis Oenopota levidensis
            off Victoria, BC                                   San Juan Islands, WA, subtidal
Oenopota levidensis (Carpenter, 1864)
subtidal          Washington to Alaska          size to 20mm
This shell has a very tall spire with wide axial ribs. It may be orangish brown to reddish brown.  This is one of the most common Oenopota in our area.
(previous name - Mangelia levidensis)

Propebela fidicula
San Juan Islands, WA
Propebela fidicula
(Gould, 1849)
subtidal          size to at least 12mm
Washington to Alaska
This shell has axial ribs, spiral ridges and  squared shoulders.  The snail lives on or near rocks.
(synonyms - Oenopota fidicula, Canetoma fidicula)

Oenopota excurvata
Howe Sound, BC
Oenopota excurvata

(Carpenter, 1864)
subtidal          size to at least 10mm
Puget Sound to Bering Sea
This shell has axial ribs, closely spaced spiral ridges and distinct shoulders.
(previous name - Bela excurvata)

Oenopota pyramidalis
San Juan Islands, WA
Oenopota pyramidalis
(Strom, 1788)

Pyramid Lora
subtidal, 9-466m          size to 20mm
Puget Sound to Bering Sea; Massachusetts to Arctic Canada; Norway
This shell has angled axial ribs and fine spiral lines.  The spire is somewhat high.  It is usually found on rocks/gravel in deeper water.  Very similar appearance to O. elegans but they have different radulae.
(synonyms - Buccinum pyramidalis, Fusus pleurotomarius

Oenopota tabulata Oenopota tabulata Oenopota tabulata
          San Juan Islands, WA               San Juan Islands, WA                      San Juan Islands, WA, subtidal
Oenopota tabulata (Carpenter, 1864)
subtidal          Washington to Alaska          size to at least 15mm
This shell is distinctively pink when alive.  It has straight axial ribs, fine spiral lines and squared shoulders.
(previous name - Mangelia tabulata)          

Propebela turricula
San Juan Islands, WA
Propebela turricula
(Montagu, 1803)
Turriculate Lora
subtidal, 9-347m          size to 15mm
Washington to Bering Sea; Massachusetts to Arctic
This shell has weak axial ribs and fine spiral lines.  It has squared shoulders.
(synonyms - Oenopota turricula, Murex turricula)

Ophiodermella inermis Ophiodermella inermis Ophiodermella inermis
        Dyes Inlet, WA                                             Dyes Inlet, WA, subtidal                                            Whidbey Island, WA, subtidal
Ophiodermella inermis (Reeve, 1843)
Gray Snakeskin-Snail
intertidal to 70m          northern Mexico to northern BC          size to 40mm
This is infrequently found intertidally.  This tall-spired shell has fine spiral grooves.  Brown, wavy axial lines give it its name.
(synonyms - Ophiodermella ophiodermella, Ophiodermella incisa, Ophiodermella halcyonis, Ophiodermella montereyensis, Moniliopsis incisa, Pleurotoma inermis)

Ophiodermella cancellata
Barkley Sound, BC
Ophiodermella cancellata
(Carpenter, 1864)

Cancellate Snakeskin-Snail
subtidal, 50-500m          southern California to BC          size to 13mm
This shell has cancellate sculpture.  The white shell is covered with a brown periostracum.  It lives in sandy/silty areas.
(synonyms - Ophiodermella rhines, Pleurotoma vancouverensis)

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This page last revised: 5-25-2019

Antiplanes sp. Antiplanes sp. Antiplanes sp.
 Barkley Sound, BC  W. of San Juan Island, WA      unknown PNW location    
Antiplanes sp.
subtidal          size to at least 50mm
probably California to BC
This is a sinistral species, one of the few in the Pacific Northwest.  Little study has been done on the Antiplanes in our area and there is a great deal of confusion on the names.  The possible species name of this one may be A. vinosa.

Antiplanes sp.
Barkley Sound, BC
subtidal          size to at least 40mm
probably California to Alaska
This is a dextral species.  This may  be Rectiplanes thalaea.