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need ID on possible whelk


new-b-reefer

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help, I need an ID on a possible whelk, I had a deresa clam that started declining and during its decline I looked inside and saw this:

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as you can see I have taken it out of the aquarium and took a couple snapshots of it up close. I did not put this in my tank! it seemed to be living inside the clam. Once I noticed it, the clam continued to decline and the snail was inside of it, the clam disappeared and only leaving the shell, then the snail moved, didn't see it actually move, went to bed woke up the next morning and it was on the rock. I have never actually seen this snail move but I am convinced it is the cause of the death of my clam because I have never seen it before and did not add it to the tank.

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Looks like it may be a whelk, but there are a couple of benign varieties. From what I've read it's fairly hard to ID them unless you are an expert.

 

I had a whelk hitchhiker that I IDed positively. This one looked like a large nassarius with "tatoos" though. Can you take a pic of the flesh of the snail?

 

http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-11/rs/index.php

That may help. My whelk is now exiled to my mantis tank (so far it is not destroyed)

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I saw some of the flesh at one point. Was white with what looked like pink spots! Looks kinda like a nassarius but the shell extends and covers the siphon. I will see if I can get better pics. He rarely moves.

Very interesting critter, I wouldnt mind keeping him if he is harmless (other than clams). I dont have any other clams so if that os the only danger then no worries there anymore lol. I pulled him out of my 55 and put him in my pico for now. Easy to keep an eye on it and there are only a cbs and an emerald crab with some corals in there. No fish to harm just incase thats what he is.

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Many whelks prey on other inverts, including snails. I wouldn't think the crab or shrimp would be in danger though. The one I found most definitely dined on my CUC.

 

Looking at your last pic, it has the same markings on it's proboscis as the one I found, but has a very different shell. To be fair it may have just been eating your clam after it died.

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Yeah but I never notoced it until I saw a peak under the clam mantel. I never added it in there either and its a decent size at about an inch, inch and a quarter. I think it may have come in, living in the clam and matured in there. I had this clam for a while and never seen it.

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Maybe dump it in your sump? I don't trust any whelks or whelk look alikes unless I'm sure it's a nassarius or a fighting conch. Those are the only two that I've read of that aren't full on predators.

Here is a decent number of invert shells with IDs. I don't want to give any false IDs, so I'll let you look through them. Hope its a good snail, it looks pretty cool looking.

http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/seashell-identification/

 

Yeah, it is pretty, for a snail at least.

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Maybe dump it in your sump? I don't trust any whelks or whelk look alikes unless I'm sure it's a nassarius or a fighting conch. Those are the only two that I've read of that aren't full on predators.

 

Yeah, it is pretty, for a snail at least.

Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I am having a hard time identifying it. It is awesome lookin so I indeed would love to keep it. I have nassarius and fightong conchs in my 55 gallon where I found it. This guy is now in my pico reef where I can observe and keep an eye on it. And there are no fish or clams to chance damaging. He has become much more social and mobile since I moved him.

Now for some observations...

-he is obviously pretty colorful, not hard on the eyes and interesting.

-He moves like other snails and similar to a nassarius but not as fast.

-He definitely doesnt move anything like a conch, atleast not like my fighting conchs. He can cruise up the glass with no issue where as the conchs sort of limp there way around the bottom.

And that link has alot of shells, the only thing that had the same shape with the extension over the siphon tube was the horse conch but he is nowhere near that size and as I said, he doesnt move anything like a conch...

This is a tough one.

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Thanks for the replies. Yeah, I am having a hard time identifying it. It is awesome lookin so I indeed would love to keep it. I have nassarius and fightong conchs in my 55 gallon where I found it. This guy is now in my pico reef where I can observe and keep an eye on it. And there are no fish or clams to chance damaging. He has become much more social and mobile since I moved him.

Now for some observations...

-he is obviously pretty colorful, not hard on the eyes and interesting.

-He moves like other snails and similar to a nassarius but not as fast.

-He definitely doesnt move anything like a conch, atleast not like my fighting conchs. He can cruise up the glass with no issue where as the conchs sort of limp there way around the bottom.

And that link has alot of shells, the only thing that had the same shape with the extension over the siphon tube was the horse conch but he is nowhere near that size and as I said, he doesnt move anything like a conch...

This is a tough one.

 

 

Same behavior as the Whelk I found as a hitch hiker. He hid all the time in my main tank, but after moving to a tank without other snails to eat he now cruises around a lot. Presumably looking for food. Fairly fast, but not quite as fast as a nassarius. Never buries itself in the sand, but hides in rock crevices.

 

My thread on the SOB.

http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/338039-to-catch-a-predatory-snail/

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Same behavior as the Whelk I found as a hitch hiker. He hid all the time in my main tank, but after moving to a tank without other snails to eat he now cruises around a lot. Presumably looking for food. Fairly fast, but not quite as fast as a nassarius. Never buries itself in the sand, but hides in rock crevices.

 

My thread on the SOB.

http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/338039-to-catch-a-predatory-snail/

Lol nice. Yeah o been thinking a whelk from the start. Behaves like one. You still have yours? I think I will keep him. Hes in my pico as I stated, easily viewable and neat lookin. So far hasnt caused any issues with my lone astraea snail. The others are a coral banded shrimp and some hermits. The cbs is to quick on its feet for this thing and my hermits travel in packs lol. Like a little shell gang. So far so good. I think hes pretty cool, good fit for my invert pico :)

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Lol nice. Yeah o been thinking a whelk from the start. Behaves like one. You still have yours? I think I will keep him. Hes in my pico as I stated, easily viewable and neat lookin. So far hasnt caused any issues with my lone astraea snail. The others are a coral banded shrimp and some hermits. The cbs is to quick on its feet for this thing and my hermits travel in packs lol. Like a little shell gang. So far so good. I think hes pretty cool, good fit for my invert pico :)

 

I kept him to feed to my mantis when it arrived. The mantis grabbed it but the next day the damn snail was cruising around just fine. I guess he didn't taste good.

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Oh lol. Well atleast now you have more than one invert in that tank lol. Im joping to come by a small mamtis for my pico one of these days. Little green or yellow one. Had a green one a while back, went a different route with that tank. Wish I never got rid of him. He was so cool

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