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Nerita costata (Family Neritidae)

Ribbed Nerite


The Ribbed Nerite is an Indo-West Pacific species that has a restricted range in Australia limited to eastern Queensland (QLD).


The Ribbed Nerite has a turban-shaped shell with a high spire. It grows to a length of between 20 - 35 mm. Its shell is sculptured with 12 to 15 broad, spiral ribs. The outer lip edge is sharp and ornamented with grooves called flutes. The inner lip of the shell opening has strong bumps called teeth, with one large one at the posterior end. The columellar deck is sculptured with strong pustule-like bumps at the anterior end, and has cross striations at the posterior end and four or five large teeth at the margin. The grey or green operculum is marked with very fine granules.

The shell exterior is dull black, with white to yellow lines between the ribs. The shell interior is white.

Ecology/Way of Life:

It occurs at high-tide levels and below, and may be exposed to the sun for long periods. The tight fitting operculum prevents water loss. It seems to be less common than other nerite species.

Interaction with Humans/Threats:

Because its range is limited to occurring only on the shores and rocky islands sheltered behind the Great Barrier Reef along the eastern coast of Queensland, and it appears to be uncommon throughout its range, could have the effect of being threatened by an extensive oil spill.

Other Comments:

Nerita costata , Gmelin, 1791. Nereites or nerites are the Greek words for a sea snail of various kinds. Costata comes from the Latin word costa, having the appearance of ribs, or a rib.

Further Reading:

Davey, K. (1998), A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. New Holland Press. p. 97.

Short, J. W. & Potter, D.G. (1987), Shells of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. Golden Press. p. 18.

Wilson, B. (1993). Australian Marine Shells. V.1. p.40.

Wilson, B. R. & Gillett, K. (1979). (1993) A Field Guide to Australian Shells: Prosobranch Gastropods. Reed.


Text, map & photograph by Keith Davey.

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