The Sub-class Prosobranchia contains the marine
snails and a few freshwater and terrestrial species. The characteristic used to spilt them is the operculum (a horny lid used to close the opening of the shell). If it has an operculum it is in the subclass Prosobranchia, if it doesn't it is in the Pulmonata. Also Prosobranchia have one pair of tentacles.
On the right Triton australis
On the left is Strombus gigas, the Queen conch or the Great green conch. It is the largest North American mollusc, with some specimens reaching just over 30 cm. It is found in the Caribbean and surrounding waters; usually on sand.
On the right is Cassis madagascariensis which is often used by jewellers for carving cameos. It is a possible predator of invasive sea urchins, and is found in tropical and temperate oceans from surface to 1000 m deep.
Lacinate conch, Strombus sinuatus, Sinustrombus sinuatus, on the right, is found in the South Pacific 30 - 40 m deep.
Chiagara spider conch, Lambis chiagra, in the Strombidae family, on the right, is found in the Indo-Pacific in the intertidal zone at depths of 1 - 30 m near the shore and on sand. It emerges to hunt at night and feeds on fish and worms.
Papal mitre shell, Mitra papalis, on the right, is found in the Indo-Pacific in coral reefs and under rocks. The average size is 10 cm.
The Sundial shell, Architectonica perspectiva, below and right is found in shallow waters on sand in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. The whorls are flattened on one side rising to a steep spire on the other. There is a beautiful opening inside the spire that is wide and looks like a spiral staircase.
The Banded tulip shell, Fasciolaria liluim, above, grows up to 100 mm long. It is found in the tropical and sub-tropical Western Atlantic, and preys on larger snails such as the Queen conch (above).
Girgyllus star shell, Bolma girgylla, on the right, is found in deep waters around the Philippines and Taiwan. It is as tall as it is wide. Adults are 30 - 60mm.
Many cone snails are venomous. The venom is a neurotoxin used to immobilise their prey. These snails should not be handled while the animal is alive unless you are an expert.
Striate cone on the right is found in the Indo-Pacific in sand and under coral. Fully grown its length reaches around 11.5 cm. It emerges at night to hunt fish and worms.
Tesselate cone, Conus tesselatus, on the right has a length of 6.5 cm when fully grown. It is found in the Indo-Pacific region up to 20 m deep in sheltered environments around coral reefs where it burrows into the sand. It is predatory and venomous.
Left, the Prometheus cone or Butterfly cone, Conus prometheus. Found in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean. Size around 140 x 65 mm.
The Beech cone, Conus betulinus, on the right is found in the Indo-Pacific.