netted dog whelk

Netted dog whelk by Wembury Marine Centre

Netted dog whelk

Scientific name: Tritia reticulata
A small, but feisty scavenger, this carnivorous sea snail does not let anything go to waste!

Species information

Statistics

Up to 3cm in height

Conservation status

Common

When to see

January to December

About

Netted dog-whelks often bury themselves in the sand but stick up their siphon to detect carrion much further away! Females lay very distinctive clear egg capsules with tiny yellow eggs inside, which can be seen on seagrass, seaweed or under rocks.

How to identify

A small, creamy-brown sea snail, with a ‘netted’ rectangular pattern of lines across the shell, formed when the spiral ridges intersect flat ribs. A long siphon can sometimes be seen protruding from the head end of the shell.

Distribution

Found on most coasts around Britain and Ireland

Did you know?

You will often find large numbers of netted dog whelks together feasting on dead crabs and other carrion!

How people can help

Always follow the Seashore Code when rockpooling, be careful to leave everything as you found it - replace any rocks you turn over, put back any crabs or fish and ensure not to scrape anything off its rocky home. If you want to learn more about our rockpool life, Wildlife Trusts around the UK run rockpool safaris and offer Shoresearch training - teaching you to survey your local rocky shore. The data collected is then used to protect our coasts and seas through better management or through the designation of Marine Protected Areas.