Nassarius cf alfuricus (Fischer & Wagner, 1927)

This is a curious little species that maxes out at about 17mm long. Specimens, usually empty shells, are found occasionally on lagoon and seaward reefs. Living animals are most often observed on lagoon shipwrecks, where they live in the fine, silty mud commonly called "muck" by wreck divers. Looking inside the doorway of the cabin on a small landing craft sunk in the Kwaj ski area one night, I observed dozens of trails in the surface of the muck. The several plucked out to examine were all this species of Nassarius. What they might be eating in there I have no idea, and we have not yet been able to positively identify the species. It resembles one figured as Nassarius alfuricus on www.gastropods.com, but ours are twice as large and have more pronounced aperture denticulation.

This one is still covered with a layer of fine muck from the inside of the shipwreck.

Empty shells are often stained with rusty muck from the shipwreck habitat.

Created 28 May 2011
Updated 11 June 2013

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