Tiger Turret Shell, White-Mouthed Screw Shell
(Turritella leucostoma)

Tiger Turret Shell, Turritella leucostoma: The Tiger Turret Shell has a light buff coloring mottled and striped with reddish brown. Each whorl has 8 or 9 spiral ribs and is contracted just above the suture.

They reach 11.5 cm in length and 2.0 cm in width.

They range from Cedros Island south along the west coast of Baja California, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and south to Panama.

The shells are used to make decorative jewelry and are also sold for shell collections. Finding a live shell is a rare event.

The Tiger Turret Shell is a member of the Turritellacea Family, the Tower Shells, which are commonly known as Turret and Screw Shells. The Tower Shells have thick shells with several whorls, a round apature and a multispiral horny operculum. When present, they reside in large colonies just below the surface of the sea floor. They are found beyond the low tide line and depths as great as 120 feet and consume detritus the majority of which is broken bits of seaweed.

Tiger Turret Shell picture

Tiger Turret Shell picture

Tiger Turret Shell, Turritella leucostoma: Fairly common at certain times of the year off the beach about 5 miles north of La Playita, B.C.S., Mexico. Size 7.7 cm (3.0 inches) x 1.7 cm (0.7 inches); diameter 5.3 cm (2.1 inches). Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.