The Angulate Wentletrap
The Angulate Wentletrap, Epitonium angulatum (Say, 1831), is the most prevalent (and variable) within the many species of the family Epitoniidae present on Sanibel and other parts of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The species may reach up to 25 mm in length (about an inch). Again, as it is true for other local species of Wentletraps, including the one presented in this column last week, the Humphrey Wentletrap, it is found most abundantly on the eastern half of the island, from the Lighthouse to Gulfside City Park Beach. Wentletraps are known to feed on soft corals, and these are known to live in the relatively calmer waters of that part of the island. The live Angulate Wentletrap in the picture was collected by Rebecca Mensch on April 1st, 2015, and photographed by José H. Leal. Angulate Wentletraps feature sharp sculptural blades that sometimes form “hooks” near the junction of two adjacent whorls. Unlike the Humphrey Wentletrap, which has dark, almost black, operculum (the “trapdoor” that helps seal the shell shut after the animal pulls into it), the Angulate Wentletrap has a translucent golden-yellow operculum.
The Angulate Wentletrap, Epitonium angulatum, shell and animal photographed by José H. Leal.