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Nassarius or Whelk or ???

Discussion in 'Pests and Possible Troublesome Inverts' started by MrMischief, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. MrMischief

    MrMischief Copepod

    For those who didn't see my story the other day. I'm setting up a new tank I found a guy with live rock and sand he was giving away. When I got there and started packing it up I found skinny but alive clownfish and watchman goby. The tank apparently hadn't been fed in a couple of months and there were no lights on it. When I set it up at my house I saw a lot of other life, including what I believe to be a nassarius. Not knowing what was in the tank, I was feeding Rod's original blend. A month in, my levels were good (I saw a cycle, but it wasn't as large as I expected) so on Thursday (Wednesday?) I added 6 hermits and 5 cerith snails. This is in a biocube 29 with no light yet (LED setup should be here Tuesday), I'll admit it may be a bit overkill right now, but I was thinking that perhaps with feeding Rod's, and already having a couple of fish it might be OK. I was primarily concerned about the ceriths not finding anything to eat.

    This morning I came down to find what I believe to be the nassarius consuming a hermit crab on the sand. The nassarius had the hermit's shell enveloped and I could see the shells actively clicking together, as if the nassarius was working on pulling the crab (or what remained) from the shell. I got on the google machine and saw articles about whelks being confused with nasssarius. I went back to the tank for another look, saw remains of a crab, an empty shell, and no nassarius. I thought he had buried himself somewhere and went about looking for the remaining crabs when I came across the nassarius. He was at the top of my rockwork and sort of standing up, for lack of better terminology. He was up on the back third of his foot, the front third pointing almost straight up with his trunk extended and waving around. I grabbed him, threw him in a small cup and snapped some pics. Sorry for the quality, this was very quick work. He is currently floating in the cup.

    I still think he is a nassarius and either he's starving and gone predatory or the crab was dead/dying and he just took advantage. Just looking for a second opinion before I release him back to the tank.

    Full Resolution Album With Additional Photos

  2. aztecdreams

    aztecdreams Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    IMO, that's a whelk
  3. Cake_Boss

    Cake_Boss Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    Trash IMO, unless you have a use for a whelk
  4. MrMischief

    MrMischief Copepod

    Thanks for the input. I think I'll run him over to aquamart today to get their opinion and see if they want him. I kill enough things accidently I try not to kill things purposely.
    JodiI likes this.
  5. projectx

    projectx Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

  6. MrMischief

    MrMischief Copepod

    Thank you! I had actually read that this morning before I posted and was initially thinking it's a nassarius. The initial posts in here had me second guessing though, so I kept him isolated. A pic I didn't get but what I saw as he was floating around my tank in a cup was his eyes are very short, barely extending past his shell. The nassarius has longer eye stalks according to that link. That got me back to looking at the trunk again. He has a clear pattern on it. I took him out of his cup, tossed him on a section of sand and watched him. He moved what I would describe as slowly along the sand and sort of bumped and bounced along. It reminded me of a Jeep along a rocky trail. In the past the nassarius snails that I've had glide pretty quickly along the sand and I don't recall seeing them bounce like this guy did. Those things settled it on me, not a nassarius. I never saw the shell on the tail that the link talks about, but I just may not know what I'm looking for.

    So I took him to aquamart where I could get a second set of eyes actually on him. They weren't able to confirm exactly what he was, but they were also pretty confident that he was not a nassarius. I told them they can have him if they like but I suspect he's not invert safe, or I was just going to throw him in the garbage. They took him and said they'd isolate him to see if anyone on the staff can positively ID him. Either way, he's out of my tank. Thanks for everyone's input and help.
  7. projectx

    projectx Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    I think Nassarius (at least mine) have a smooth shell as well, that one looks like it is ridged
    fishguy69 likes this.
  8. tomtom2245

    tomtom2245 Amphipod M.A.S.C Club Member

    It kind of looks like in the last picture it has the protective shell that a whelk uses to cover itself when it goes all the way into its shell but it isn't necessarily using it in that pic. That is always the dead giveaway for me as the nass. snails do not have those coverings.

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