Elenae Moon Shell
Caracol Lunar Estriado
(Natica Elenea)

Elenae Moon Shell, Natica elenae: This species' scientific name was formerly Natica excavata.

The Elenae Moon Shell is a white shell with widely spaced axial lines and closely crowded wavy brown line that cover the whole shell.

The operculum has the middle ridge grooved near the end and the smaller outer spirals are course and irregular.

They are found up to 100 feet deep within the water column and reach a maximum size of 1.3 inches.

Distribution in Mexico

Elenae Moon Shells are found in all Mexican waters south of Cedros Island.

This shell is sold at a modest level to shell collectors.

The Elenae Moon Shell is a medium sized member of the Naticidae family, the moon shells.

The members of the family include minute to large-sized predatory sea snails which has 260 to 300 global members.

They live on sandy substrate at a great variety of depths which is species dependent.

They can be observed ploughing through substrate just under the surface seeking prey; they feed mainly on bivalve mollusks by generating a large amount of mucus to confuse their prey and then drill a hole in the shell with its radula and feed on the organisms soft flesh.

They have two sexes and reproduce via egg laying in a “sand collar” that number in the thousands.

Elenae Moon Shell picture 1

Elenae Moon Shell picture 2

Elenae Moon Shell, Natica elenae: Provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, Mexico. May 2010. Size 2.8 cm (1.1 inches). Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.

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