Nassarius or whelk?

Diveks

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I got some nassarius snails from a seller ive bought nassariusses from but they were much darker in color hoping its a different species. They are much more active in the tank than my all white ones. They do move quickly on the sand but i have never seen a whelk so im not sure how fast they are. So had to make sure.
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Alexopora

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I got some nassarius snails from a seller ive bought nassariusses from but they were much darker in color hoping its a different species. They are much more active in the tank than my all white ones. They do move quickly on the sand but i have never seen a whelk so im not sure how fast they are. So had to make sure.
1552710B-A5C4-4684-84B2-3062027F3ED0.jpeg
9039D3CA-A038-4A46-B06B-4A51F6BD7D11.jpeg
These are definitely Nassarius snails. They’ll start burrowing into your sand soon and you’ll probably only see them during feeding and sometimes once the lights are out.
 
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Alexopora

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phew good to know, thank you!
I’m not a 100% sure what species this is since Nassarius is a really large genus but there’s two possible identities. Its either Nassarius livescens or Nassarius siquijorensis.

I believe that I have the same species as yours in my tank. The shell texture, colour and the snails overall morphology matches mine.
 
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MaxTremors

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100% whelk. You can tell by the shell pattern, the ‘tattooed’ siphon, and the little calcareous thing on its tail that it can seal itself in its shell with.

Edit: the shell and siphon are not always definitive ways to identify whether it’s a whelk or nassarius, but the little calcareous bit on the tail is how you can definitively tell, nassarius snails do not have this.
 
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Alexopora

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100% whelk. You can tell by the shell pattern, the ‘tattooed’ siphon, and the little calcareous thing on its tail that it can seal itself in its shell with.
Do a quick search for Nassarius siquijorensis.

Nassarius too have operculums (the little calcareous thing you are referring to).
 
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MaxTremors

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Do a quick search for Nassarius siquijorensis.

Nassarius too have operculums (the little calcareous thing you are referring to).
This is not Nassarius siquijorensis. The whorls on this snail’s spire are not stair-stepped like they are on N. siquijorensis, and the coloration is completely off.
 
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Alexopora

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This is not Nassarius siquijorensis. The whorls on this snail’s spire are not stair-stepped like they are on N. siquijorensis, and the coloration is completely off.
Read my recent reply. Also, Nassarius do have operculums. May I ask what Nassarius do have in your mind right now? All of Nassarius searches clearly shows the operculum (the calcareous bit on their tail).
 
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Diveks

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100% whelk. You can tell by the shell pattern, the ‘tattooed’ siphon, and the little calcareous thing on its tail that it can seal itself in its shell with.

Edit: the shell and siphon are not always definitive ways to identify whether it’s a whelk or nassarius, but the little calcareous bit on the tail is how you can definitively tell, nassarius snails do not have this.
my 100% confirmed nassariuses also have the calareous thing which is confusing me on the identification.
Actually OP, I’m going to say this is more likely to be Nassarius margaritifer. The shell shape and colouration matches better than the previous ID given.
the nassariuses are hard to identify for me as some look simillar to me.
Read my recent reply. Also, Nassarius do have operculums. May I ask what Nassarius do have in your mind right now? All of Nassarius searches clearly shows the operculum (the calcareous bit on their tail).
i agree on this one from my experience as from all the different nassarius i have they all have it. some are not so easily seen though as they blend in with the body. really hoping this is a nassarius as im leaning towards them being nassarius right now. any sure fire way to find out which they are?
 
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my 100% confirmed nassariuses also have the calareous thing which is confusing me on the identification.

the nassariuses are hard to identify for me as some look simillar to me.

i agree on this one from my experience as from all the different nassarius i have they all have it. some are not so easily seen though as they blend in with the body. really hoping this is a nassarius as im leaning towards them being nassarius right now. any sure fire way to find out which they are?
I think the main issue is that “whelks” is a general term describing many different snail genus. Did you know that Nassarius are called dog whelks and are related to True Whelks. Nassarius (Nassariidae) and True Whelks (Buccinidae) are in the same superfamily (Buccinoidea).
 
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MaxTremors

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my 100% confirmed nassariuses also have the calareous thing which is confusing me on the identification.

the nassariuses are hard to identify for me as some look simillar to me.

i agree on this one from my experience as from all the different nassarius i have they all have it. some are not so easily seen though as they blend in with the body. really hoping this is a nassarius as im leaning towards them being nassarius right now. any sure fire way to find out which they are?
I’m not claiming to be an expert, and I think it would be difficult to definitively identify which species these are with out dissection. There are just too many species, without knowing any other information (such as collection point,
behavior, etc), it’s nearly impossible to say with certainty what it is. I’ve always erred on the side of caution after having what I was told were nassarius turn out to be whelks (basing this purely off of behavior) and killing and eating an anemone, other inverts, and even going after (unsuccessfully) fish. After that episode, and doing research, the ‘tattooed’ siphon and operculum were what several sources said to look out for. So, for me unless they’re clearly a common nassarius like N. vibex, I pass.
 
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Alexopora

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my 100% confirmed nassariuses also have the calareous thing which is confusing me on the identification.

the nassariuses are hard to identify for me as some look simillar to me.

i agree on this one from my experience as from all the different nassarius i have they all have it. some are not so easily seen though as they blend in with the body. really hoping this is a nassarius as im leaning towards them being nassarius right now. any sure fire way to find out which they are?
The easiest way is to watch and see if they bury themselves in the sand. If you notice your snails missing and if you see “snouts” or siphons peeking out from the sand, that’s a Nassarius.
 
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Diveks

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I’m not claiming to be an expert, and I think it would be difficult to definitively identify which species these are with out dissection. There are just too many species, without knowing any other information (such as collection point,
behavior, etc), it’s nearly impossible to say with certainty what it is. I’ve always erred on the side of caution after having what I was told were nassarius turn out to be whelks (basing this purely off of behavior) and killing and eating an anemone, other inverts, and even going after (unsuccessfully) fish. After that episode, and doing research, the ‘tattooed’ siphon and operculum were what several sources said to look out for. So, for me unless they’re clearly a common nassarius like N. vibex, I pass.
Ill watch their behaviors since i didnt put that many in. Really hoping they are nassarius, in my country (from those ive seen) they dont sell the species just nassarius and sometimes the picture might not even be the same one so getting actual nassarius species im looking for would be lucky.

The easiest way is to watch and see if they bury themselves in the sand. If you notice your snails missing and if you see “snouts” or siphons peeking out from the sand, that’s a Nassarius.
Mine will all stay inside except for when feeding time occurs. They move really quickly through the sand just like other nassariuses ive had but im not completely sure. Also a question, do whelks not hide under the sand?
 
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Alexopora

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Ill watch their behaviors since i didnt put that many in. Really hoping they are nassarius, in my country (from those ive seen) they dont sell the species just nassarius and sometimes the picture might not even be the same one so getting actual nassarius species im looking for would be lucky.


Mine will all stay inside except for when feeding time occurs. They move really quickly through the sand just like other nassariuses ive had but im not completely sure. Also a question, do whelks not hide under the sand?
Based on my personal experience as I have had actual whelks as hitchhikers. They don’t hide in the sand but hid in the rock crevices. They would drill holes into my limpets, thats how I realised they were whelks. And so far, I have yet to see a true whelk personally or online that burrows into the sand.

Most of my searches on whelks in sand turns out to actually be Nassarius snails. I think you will find many labelling snails as Whelk (Nassarius sp).

I guess another way to distinguish is yours if a Nassarius is that if it only comes out during feeding and that you dont seeing it move around most of the time.

Think about it a whelk is supposedly harmful in our tank because it eats other inhabitants, be it corals, other inverts and fish. Why should it be hiding in the sand all day and not in the rock work or actively hunting when their prey is most likely not going to be the sand.

If you have other snails in your tank, look for any shells that have holes in it. Whelks drill into snail shells with their radula to consume their prey.
 
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Diveks

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Based on my personal experience as I have had actual whelks as hitchhikers. They don’t hide in the sand but hid in the rock crevices. They would drill holes into my limpets, thats how I realised they were whelks. And so far, I have yet to see a true whelk personally or online that burrows into the sand.

Most of my searches on whelks in sand turns out to actually be Nassarius snails. I think you will find many labelling snails as Whelk (Nassarius sp).

I guess another way to distinguish is yours if a Nassarius is that if it only comes out during feeding and that you dont seeing it move around most of the time.

Think about it a whelk is supposedly harmful in our tank because it eats other inhabitants, be it corals, other inverts and fish. Why should it be hiding in the sand all day and not in the rock work or actively hunting when their prey is most likely not going to be the sand.

If you have other snails in your tank, look for any shells that have holes in it. Whelks drill into snail shells with their radula to consume their prey.
Ohh okay, good thing all of mine go under the sand. they do expore the tank at night though and one of them stayed out for about two hours on the rockwork and stopped mid glass climb and started shriveling up a bit (sleeping?)

I usually only see their antenas sticking out unless its feeding time so im positive they are nassarius if whelks don't burrow.

I will be putting in some trochus snails that are breeding like crazy in my other tank and seeing how they live together would add to the fact that they are nassariuses.

one more thing to add to them being nassarius, i found a lot of pictures pop up of them when i search nassarius of a lot of different stores selling and some people having them with no problems hopefully this is true.
 
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Alexopora

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Ohh okay, good thing all of mine go under the sand. they do expore the tank at night though and one of them stayed out for about two hours on the rockwork and stopped mid glass climb and started shriveling up a bit (sleeping?)

I usually only see their antenas sticking out unless its feeding time so im positive they are nassarius if whelks don't burrow.

I will be putting in some trochus snails that are breeding like crazy in my other tank and seeing how they live together would add to the fact that they are nassariuses.

one more thing to add to them being nassarius, i found a lot of pictures pop up of them when i search nassarius of a lot of different stores selling and some people having them with no problems hopefully this is true.
Let me share some pictures of mine. I had to turn the lights on as it is night here (as you can see by the retracted lepstastreas) and take him out from the sand.

You can see that he keeps trying to get back into the sand. He has been with me for nearly 2 years and has been living with my hermits, sally lightfoot, trochus snails, limpets, pistol shrimp, ocellaris clown and springers damsel. He will only come out during feeding time and occasionally when the lights are out. Most of the time he’s just in the sand.
 

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Diveks

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Let me share some pictures of mine. I had to turn the lights on as it is night here (as you can see by the retracted lepstastreas) and take him out from the sand.

You can see that he keeps trying to get back into the sand. He has been with me for nearly 2 years and has been living with my hermits, sally lightfoot, trochus snails, limpets, pistol shrimp, ocellaris clown and springers damsel. He will only come out during feeding time and occasionally when the lights are out. Most of the time he’s just in the sand.
thanks for the pics! i dont see a lot of dark coloured nassarius snails so had to ask since ive heard about bad experiences with misidentified whelks.
 
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