Family Epitoniidae


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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.

Epitonium indianorum
San Juan Islands, WA
Epitonium indianorum (Carpenter, 1865)
Money Wentletrap
intertidal to 180m          size to 38mm
northern Mexico to southern Alaska
This is infrequently found intertidally.  It is usually found feeding on the Urticina anemones.  This species has rounded whorls and a rounded aperture.  It was sometimes used by native peoples as money.
(synonyms - Nitidiscala indianorum, Scalaria indianorum, Epitonium columbianum, Epitonium montereyensis, Epitonium regiomontanum)

Epitonium tinctum Epitonium tinctum
                   Slip Point, WA                                              Slip Point, WA, intertidal
Epitonium tinctum (Carpenter, 1864)
Tinted Wentletrap
intertidal to 45m          northern Mexico to southern Alaska          size to 32mm
This is infrequently found intertidally, but when it is found, there may be many.  It is usually seen feeding on Anthopleura anemones.  This white shell usually has a purplish-brown band just below the suture line.  It has a more stout shape than E. indianorum.   The axial ribs may sometimes be pointed at the tops.
(synonyms - Nitidiscala tincta, Nitidiscala eelense, Epitonium subcornatum, Epitonium indianorum tincta)
Epitonium sawinae
Barkley Sound, BC
Epitonium sawinae (Dall, 1903)
Sawin's Wentletrap
subtidal, 18-90m          size to at least 20mm
California to BC
This pure white shell has axial ribs which are usually pointed at the top.  The sutures are deeply impressed.

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This page last revised: 5-25-2019

Opalia wroblewskyi Opalia wroblewskyi
    Whiskey Creek Beach, WA    off Hurst Is., BC, subtidal


Opalia wroblewskyi Mörch, 1875
Boreal Wentletrap
intertidal to 90m          size to 32mm
northern Mexico to northern Alaska
This is occasionally found intertidally.  It generally has a worn look with thick axial ribs.  The shell is usually grayish-white.  The animal can exude a purple dye and this can sometimes stain parts of the shell purple.  Like the others, it prefers to eat anemones.
(synonyms -  Opalia borealis, Epitonium borealis, Scalaria borealis, Opalia wroblewskii, Opalia chacei, Acirsa chacei, Opalia gouldi)