Trichotropis cancellata Hinds, 1849
Common name(s): Checkered hairy snail, Cancellate hairysnail, Hairy snail
|(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2007)|
How to Distinguish from Similar Species: Several other Trichotropis species have an aperture at least half the height of the shell. May look like a small Oregon triton Fusitriton oregonensis, but the aperture is more circular in Trichotropis.
Geographical Range: Bering Sea to Oregon
Depth Range: Extreme low intertidal to 200 m. Mostly subtidal
Habitat: Areas of strong currents and little mud. Often under subtidal rocks, among tunicates and tubeworms. May climb up the tubes of large tubeworms.
Biology/Natural History: This species is a filter feeder. It traps microscopic particles in mucus, which it then swallows. Since its food comes from suspended particles it has no need to move around much. It mounts a stone or other object out of the mud and remains there for a long time. Deep-water individuals frequently have the tiny white parasitic snail Odostomia columbiana next to the aperture. Odostomia uses its eversible proboscis to suck body juices from Trichotropis. Trichotropis also often has ascidians, hydroids, diatoms, sponges, barnacles, or other sessile animals growing on it. This species is a protandric hermaphrodite. For its first year it is a male, then becomes female but retains the penis (behind its right eye). Females lay disk-shaped egg capsules at night, then die.
Cancellate means checkered. The spiral and
form a checkered pattern on the shell, but the pattern is often hard to
see because of the thick hairy periostracum.
|Main Page||Alphabetic Index||Systematic Index||Glossary|
Johnson and Snook, 1955
O'Clair and O'Clair, 1998
Ricketts et al., 1985
Yonge, C.M., 1962. On the biology of the mesogastropod Trichotropus cancellata Hinds, a benthic indicator species. Biological Bulletin 122: 160-181
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
The species has a horny operculum. The foot is pink. The aperture is less than half the height of the shell and has no siphonal notch but the anterior end of the aperture (the right side in the photo above) is angled like a spout.
Another view of the snail pushing back its operculum and looking out the aperture. Photo by Dave Cowles, August 2012