moshira's picture

Vermetid Snail / Worm Shell

Observed: 13th March 2009 By: moshiramoshira’s reputation in Invertebrates
Mucous of Dendropoma over fire coral
Fire coral with mucous of vermetid
Opening and tube of Dendropoma

Vermetid snail, also called worm-shell
Vermetidae - Gastropoda
Dendropoma maxima is a sessile snail that lives in tubes in the reef limestone. It occurs on the reef flat until about 1-2m water depth.
In these photos it is embedded inside the fire coral Millepora platyphylla. It does not bore into the coral, but rather builds its own tube and is overgrown by the coral at the same pace the coral grows. It also occurs directly on the reef limestone.
Dendropoma maxima produces nets of sticky mucous with which it collects its food (visible in the photos).
This is the largest vermetid snail. The tube can reach several 10s of cm in length and usually not coiled at all or slightly coiled or twisted at the end. The tube may also follow the contours of the substrate (coral).
The opening of the tube in these photos is about 1.5cm in diameter. It is closed by an operculum.

  • Vermetid snail (Dendropoma maxima)
    Confidence: I'm as sure as I can be.
    Likely ID
    Vermetid gastropod (Dendropoma)
    Confidence: It's likely to be this, but I can't be certain.
Species interactions

No interactions present.


dejayM's picture

vermetid gastropod

A very old posts.
The name is not up to date; even so, its modern name Ceraesignum maximum is not in the CoL Dictionary nor very well described on the web. I wanted to be more constructive but cannot.
The colony is quite distinctive but the specific 'worm' is not to be seen. This almost always means that we cannot be certain.
Neverthess the ID Panel is flawed - not being complete.
It is always unwise to lay hyperlinks in the ID Panel, first because they do not form HOlTlinks and secondly cannot be editted - they are best in a comment of the Description notes.
Here they are -
Not easy reading and not totally relevant. The link ingentaconnect does not work for me.
World occurrence is here so it's withing range.
It's the best I can do to get the ID up and running - who will come?