bodied animals with a hard external shell (mussels, winkles, snails), or
an internal shell (sea hares, cuttlefish) or have lost their shell in the
course of evolution (nudibranchs). Molluscs have a mantle that secretes
the calcium carbonate that makes up the shell. They inhabit numerous different
environments with a large number living in the sea.
and squids have evolved to intelligent mobile forms with complex behaviour.
species of molluscs found in the seas and estuaries around these islands
The commonest and most widespread
chiton found on British rocky shores is Lepidochitona cinerea.
On many shores it is the only species to be found.
It is in this class of animals
that the typical spiral snail-like molluscs are classified. However, unlike
snails, the marine ones breathe through gills to obtain oxygen from
sea water. Gastropods have a feeding organ called
(Marine Snails) front-gilled snails.
Most of this taxa contain
a spirally-coiled shell and a prominent foot on which it crawls around.
The foot can usually be retracted in the shell. The opening is called the
aperture. They breathe through gills.
Topshells, Trochidae http://www.turin.net/shell/trochus.html
under construction: Dogwhelks,
Jim Hall discovered
the curious lamellarid mollusc called Lamellaria perspicua
on a bare boulder on the extreme lower shore (on a spring tide) of Lydstep
beach, 3 miles from Tenby, SW Wales.
Ormer Database file
L. Geigers Homepage (Malacology)
Breban, a scallop fisherman brought me a Knobbed
Triton, Charonia lampas, which
he caught in his scallop dredge somewhere in the Little Russel to the east
of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.
whole animal weighed 541 grams (drained) and had a total shell length of
16.5 cm. It had a shell width of 10.5 cm and a shell height of 7.5 cm.
This large gastropod mollusc is expected to find a home in Guernsey
Public Aquarium at St. Peter Port.
Shuker from Sark caught a Knobbed Triton,
lampas (L.), to the west of Sark, north of Les Hautes Boues and south
of Brehou Island. (About 2 ° 23 minutes 30 West and 49 °
25 minutes 30 North). It measures 222 mm total length. Weight drained
1128 grams. The specimen is alive. I took the triton to the
Aquarium on Monday. Since receiving the specimen I have spoken
with some fishermen. Maurice Downs,
now a sand eel fisherman, says that in the
late 1960's during the queen scallop fishery boom he and several other
dredge fishermen caught a couple each. I was told that a scallop
diver, Richard Keen, picked up a few in the
late 1980's or early 1990s. The Guernsey aquarium kept one for about
eight years in one of their tanks. They recently had two from local
waters but they died within days of each other. This specimen was
caught in gill nets set for fish.
Whelk from Cornwall
one from Cornwall
Makeham discovered the unusual gastropod mollusc Lameillaria
latens under a rock at low water on Hannafore Beach, Looe. These gastropods
were covered by a mantle that felt leathery. Two specimens were discovered,
one was brown, the other a carmine red. The species was identified by the
Gastropods that have lost
their protective hard shell during the evolution of the species.
footage by Penny Martin
interesting study shows the Sea
rather awkwardly with their heavy (shelled) end hanging down, rather like
a large heavy beetle flying.
This sea slug featured as
a discovery news item.
Sea Slug, Aeolidia papillosa (photograph)
Hare, Aplysia fasciata
the size if which (between 30 & 35 cm) indicates that it is Aplysia
fasciata. It was photographed swimming
in Helford River,
Cornwall. It was seen on 25 August 2007
by Steve Potter.
fasciata is the largest and the rarest of the three species of
sea hare found in the British Isles. It is an Atlantic species, found from
the Channel to Angola (South west Africa and to Brazil) and also throughout
the Mediterranean. It appears to reach its northern limit in Ireland and
along the Channel coast of England.
is one of the largest sea slugs in the world. The other two British species
are the relatively common Aplysia punctata variable in colour
and growing to 20 cm; and the uncommon Aplysia
depilans with different shaped back lobes,
brown or green and growing to a maximum of 30 cm.
Aplysia depilans, News Report
Hare, Aplysia punctata
(photograph of juvenile)
Aplysia punctata. Autumn report from Cornwall
Aplysia punctata. May report from Cornwall
Picton's Nudibranch Site
small sea slug occurs on the shore in the south and west of the British
Isles. On juveniles the green or blue spots may be absent. It is reported
to feed on the seaweed Codium, but it has been discovered where
this weed is absent.
It has been recorded from
the Old Fort (opposite Kingston Beach on the
other side of the Adur estuary),
Sussex, where the only weed immediately noticeable is
If you search you will probably find Ulva
I have discovered
on the Fucus.
I have also discovered this
sea slug in whelk egg cases.
(Terrestrial and freshwater Snails) lunged snails.
Lamellibranchia or Bivalvia
Scallops, Oysters etc.)
Molluscs of Norway (Thumbnails by UW Photo)
on the Lulworth Bank, Dorset Coast, English Channel
& the Slipper Limpet
by Darryl Mayer (Dive
Mayer Photograph Gallery
colony of the Gaping File Shell,
hians, has been discovered in Loch
Alsh, a sea inlet between the Isle
of Skye and the western Scottish mainland. The reef habitat covers
an astonishing 4.6 sq miles (7.5 sq km) and was discovered during
a survey commissioned by Marine
Scotland. It is the largest known colony
of Gaping File Shells
in seas around the British Isles and possibly the world. Numbers
of the bivalve mollusc
exceed 100 million and they create their own specialised
habitat with unique fauna.
large native European Oyster,
edulis, weighing 1.36 kg, width
180 mm, length 170 mm and depth 70 mm was spotted on Plymouth fish
market in a box of mixed fish bought by merchant,
Randall of Mevagissey, and is now in the Mevagissey
Oyster & Slipper Limpet
Clam, Arctica islandica,
dredged up off the coast of Iceland was thought to be between 405 and 410
years old and the oldest animal alive on Earth until it was killed. Researchers
from Bangor University in north
Wales said they calculated its age by counting rings on its shell.
walk along the Sandwich Bay seafront revealed the first 2005 record of
the pretty bivalve mollusc Moerella
a type of tellin which was only discovered to be present at Sandwich in
Bay (non-avian) Nature 2005
pretty bivalve mollusc Moerella donacina
collected by the Kent Shoresearch group at Sandwich Bay. This is the first
known record of the mollusc from this area. The record was submitted by
& Medway Biological Records Centre Monthly Records 2004
Cuttlefishes, Squids etc.
guide for shelf cephalopods in the UK waters (North Sea, the English Channel,
Celtic and Irish Seas)
16 Oct 2000 11:12:32 +0100
on the strandline
Driver (with Paul Gainey) found, amongst other items, the coiled
shell of Spirula
spirula. This tiny cephalopod (more closely related to the
cuttlefish than the octopus) is believed to live in the depths of the Sargasso
sea. Shells are occasionally cast up on the western coasts of Britain
and various countries of mainland Europe, but never - so far - with the
remains of the living animal. This one was found on Perranporth Beach,
Cornwall, and was exceptionally large at 25 mm (one inch), as they are
rarely more than half an inch. I must do some surfing to find out what
the latest research has to offer about this small mollusc.
Smith's One-List/Cornish Wildlife
the Giant Squid
Page (NHM Host)
pages at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC
of Shells, Why?
Pages (Matt Stribley)
Report 2000 (Cornwall)
Octopus News Report
Poisoning (Harmful Algae Page)
& Squid Eggs masses
new licensing scheme is being proposed by the Government to protect crustaceans
and other shellfish from being over-exploited. Fisheries Minister Elliot
Morley said that there has been "increasing concern about the rate of exploitation
of shellfish stocks in UK waters. The current state of shellfish stocks
requires us to make progress in conserving this vulnerable resource. The
new scheme is likely to reduce the number of boats fishing for shellfish
to around 3,000...."
value of the shellfish industry in the UK is now £165 million, or
one third of all UK fish landings.
Conchological Society of Great Britain