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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Brown Moon Snail

Polinices hepaticus (Röding, 1798), is a member of the Naticidae (the family of moon snails) that has a broad distribution in the tropical western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The species is not found along the coast of Southwest Florida, though. It reaches 55 mm (about 2.2 inches) in size, with brown shell color and white on the area of the aperture (around the opening). Like Shark Eyes in the genus Neverita, the Brown Moon Snail has a brown, horn-like operculum, in contrast to moon snails in the genera Naticarius and Natica, which have mostly white opercula made of shell material.

The Brown Moon Snail, Polinices hepaticus, from Coral Cove, Florida. Photos by Patricia A. Starkey.

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