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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Beautiful Top Snail

Calliostoma pulchrum (C.B. Adams, 1850) is the rarest of the local shallow-water species of the family Calliostomatidae. Shells may reach about 18 mm (about ¾ inch), have flat-sided whorls with a few beaded cords, and a larger beaded cord just above the suture (the line separating adjacent whorls.) The species has the smaller spire angle (angle formed by the two shell sides) of all local top snail species. The general color pattern is a tan background mottled with reddish-brown spots and grayish streaks.

A young Beautiful Top Snail, Calliostoma pulchrum. Photo by José H. Leal.

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