Shell of the Week: The Striate Nassa
Nassarius consensus (Ravenel, 1861) is one of the few, shallow-water local members of the nassa family, the Nassariidae. A more common species in that group is the Bruised Nassa, Phrontis vibex. The Striate Nassa may grow to 15 mm (about 0.6 inch), and its shell is thick-walled, with about five whorls. The shell sculpture consists of about 8–10 axial ribs that are round in cross-section and crossed by fine spiral threads. The aperture (opening) is thick, with several denticles on its inner surface. The shell color is cream with varying banding patterns of brownish color. Unlike the Bruised Nassa, which inhabits sandy-muddy or muddy back-bay habitats, this species lives along the sandy, open-water shores of the Gulf of Mexico.