Shark eye - Neverita duplicata
Habitat Common in Sandy areas just below the tide line. They are commonly found washed up on beaches.
Range Found from Massachusetts to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.
Description Neverita duplicata is a variety of moon snail. They can be as large as three inches in diameter. Shark eyes are usually bluish-gray to brown in color, with a dark "eye" at the tip of its spire. Their foot is large and extends way past the shell. The foot is so large that if needed, it can envelope the entire snail shell.
Ecological Notes Shark eyes are predators and feed on bivalves that are buried in the sand by drilling holes into their shells with their radula and an acid secretion. During breeding season, the females lay egg masses that are surrounded by a sand and mucus mixture for protection.
Personal Information We found a Shark eye washed up on a beach at Pea Island that seemed like it was still alive. It was withdrawn and you could see the operculum. It turned out that it wasn't alive.
To learn more about the selectivity and feeding habits of Neverita duplicata, please see:
Dietl, G. P. & Alexander, R. (1996). Borehole site and prey size stereotypy in naticid predation on Euspira (Lunatia) heros Say and Neverita (Polinices) duplicata Say from the southern New Jersey coast. Oceanographic Literature Review, 43(9), 912.
To understand how Neverita duplicata (AKA Polinices duplicata) impacts its community and the organisms around it, see:
Wiltse, W. I. (1980). Effects of Polinices duplicatus (Gastropoda: Naticidae) on infaunal community structure at Barnstable Harbor, Massachusetts, USA. Marine Biology, 56(4), 301 - 310.
Contributed by Rachael Glover - 2010