Marine Snails of the Pacific Northwest



Local Representatives

Species Lists





Welcome to the Marine Snails of the Pacific Northwest web page! This page has been created in conjunction with the Marine Ecology Class at UW Tacoma. The purpose of the class, as well as this site, is to acquaint students with marine life of the Pacific Northwest. This site is devoted strictly to snails, but please visit our class web site to view other marine animals.


Oregon Triton

Oregon Triton, photo: H. Beimler




Snails belong to the phylum mollusca. There are more species of mollusk in the ocean than any other animal group. 1 One feature unique to all of these animals is the radula; a ribbon of small teeth made of chitin used for feeding.

Within the phylum mollusca is the class gatropoda-to which snails belong. Gastropods, which literally means "stomach footed" are the largest, most common and most varied group of all mollusks.75-85% of all mollusks are gastropods. 3 In total there are around 75,000 species of snails, which are mostly marine.

Snails are commonly found feeding on prey in the intertidal zone, or on rocky shores, and beaches as well as muddy bottoms, eel grass, kelps, and occasionally on other snails.

Common snail species found locally are the frilled dogwinkle, Japanese oyster drill, Oregon triton, and the leafy hornmouth.





This web page is part of the UWT Marine Ecology class of 2008 and was created by Amanda Ruby

Top photo credit: H. Beimler