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Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I was running out of daylight when I encountered this small snail on Doran Beach this past weekend, but here are a few quick, tantalizing shots.

Over the years, I've found a few of these shells washed up on local beaches.  But this was the first time I'd seen live individuals!

Do you remember the recent post about Purple Olive Snails (Callianax biplicata)?  This species is related to them, but it's smaller, more slender, and has beautiful zigzag markings across a golden background.  Meet the Zigzag Olive Snail (Callianax pycna)!

I noticed a few trails in the sand that were narrower than the typical Purple Olive Snail trail.  I was curious about whether they were made by juvenile Purple Olives.  So I probed around and found these snails at the ends of the smaller trails.

I can't find much information about Zigzag Olives.  It sounds like they might occur in the low zone (or subtidal zone) on sandy beaches from central California to Vancouver Island (and perhaps are more common in California and Oregon).  Have you encountered them before?  Do you know more about them?  If so, I'd love to hear about your observations.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

You can't beat the name!