Calliostoma variegatum (Carpenter, 1864) 

Common name(s):  Variegated top shell


Phylum Mollusca
 Class Gastropoda
  Subclass Prosobranchia
   Order Archaegastropoda
    Suborder Trochina
     Family Trochidae
C. variegatum, about 2 cm diameter, collected by otter trawl at 100 m depth in San Juan Channel July 2004
(Photo by: Dave Cowles, July 2004)
Description:  A top shell with a pearly interior, no nodes on columella, umbilicus closed, has tan or brown, beaded spiral ridges on a white background.  The base of the body whorl is nearly flat, and the sutures between whorls are not deeply indented.  The animal is cream colored with brown spots.  Periostracum is usually gray, brown, or olive-green.

How to Distinguish from Similar Species: C. ligatum has unbeaded spiral ridges and clearly convex whorls. C. annulatum also has beaded spirals but the lower spiral on each whorl is blue or purplish.

Geographical Range:

Depth Range:  Subtidal


Biology/Natural History:

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Dichotomous Keys:

Kozloff (1987)

General References:

Flora and Fairbanks, 1966

Scientific Articles:

General Notes and Observations:  Locations, abundances, unusual behaviors, etc.:  I have found this species several times in benthic trawls at around 100 m depth.  It is apparently not commonly found intertidally since it is not mentioned in Kozloff's Seashore Life.  It is not a species listed as present in Central or Southern California either, at least intertidally.

The image above and below are of an individual from a benthic trawl in the San Juan Channel, about 100 m depth, July 2006.

Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2004):  Created original page