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  • José H. Leal

The Slender Eulima

The Slender Eulima, Melanella hypsela (Verril & Bush, 1900) is one of the locally found species of parasitic snails in the family Eulimidae, which usually live embedded in the bodies of sea cucumbers, sand dollars, sea stars, and other echinoderms. Its shell may reach 8 mm (about 0.3 inch), and is delicate, straight-sided, with a minute protoconch. As with many members of the Eulimidae, shells of live snails (or fresh-dead) are translucent or transparent, becoming opaque after the snail dies. The tentacles of Slender Eulimas have each a red band, which is interrupted around the eye. The picture of the live Slender Eulima was taken by the late Smithsonian photographer Chip Clark in the Bahamas, during the 1999 Shell Museum/Smithsonian Deep-sea Expedition.

The Slender Eulima, Melanella hypsela. From left: shell from Sanibel; live animal from the Bahamas. Photos by José H. Leal and Chip Clark.

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