Moon snails

moon snail sand collars
Moon snail sand collars

Last week when the tides were low I took a stroll way,  way out on the mudflats. Lots of sand collars there—these are the egg cases of the moon snailEuspira lewisii. When the snail produces the eggs in a mucous mixture sand is incorporated into its composition, producing these rubber-like rings.

moon snail shell
This snail shell had unusual colours—I expect the green is some kind of algae, but I’m not sure about the red.

Also found a couple of shells. No signs of actual live snails, though I’ve found them on other local beaches from time to time.

closeup of sand collar

This webpage has a lot of interesting details.

One of the things I found in reading on the subject is that they can indeed pull their entire bodies inside their shells if they really need to—quite unbelievable when you see how big the extruded foot is in relation to the shell!


4 thoughts on “Moon snails

  1. Great photos – these are not easy to photograph, but you found the perfect angle (and light). I was trying to photograph these in Haida Gwaii during the recent low tides, and was not successful the way you have been. Though by way of partial excuse I only had a couple to choose between.

    1. Thanks! I was lucky with the light—overcast, so it wasn’t too strong, but still enough to cast shadows. And there were a lot of them on that stretch of beach, which certainly helped.

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