The Tollin Wentletrap
Tollin Wentletrap, Epitonium tollini Bartsch, 1938, is one of the less common among the eight recognized species of local Wentletraps. Measuring a tad more than 0.5 inch in size, it differs from the more common Angulate and Humphrey Wentletraps by its slender shape, with a more acute spire angle (the angle formed by the “sides” of the shell.) The costae (“blades”) that comprise the bulk of the shell sculpture line up nicely along successive shell whorls. The operculum (“trapdoor”) in this species is translucent golden-brown (see photo) and, as it happens with most local Wentletraps, shells of this species are more commonly found on the eastern half of Sanibel, from the Lighthouse to Gulfside City Park beaches. 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 Tollin Wentletrap, Epitonium tollini, Sanibel; snail on right was photographed alive. Shell photos by James F. Kelly. Photo of live animal by José H. Leal.