Members of family Velutinidae
have very low, external, firmly calcified spiraled shells like abalones
but do not have the excurrent holes in the shell that abalones
prolongata has an aperture
that is approximately as wide as it is long (photo),
and it does not have ridges
in the periostracum
that diverge as they approach the aperture. Its spire
is short but projecting. Shell is usually pinkish with smooth
The white body seems large for the shell. The edge of the
bright yellow or orange (photo)
and the edges
of the mantle
that overlap the shell have groups of short black bands (photo).
The shell is actually covered by a thin layer of tissue over the periostracum.
Has no operculum.
Diameter to 2.4 cm.
Common name(s): Smooth velvet snail, baby's ear, elongate lamellaria
near Cape Flattery, WA. Shell length 1.4 cm.
|(Photo by: Dave
How to Distinguish from
velutina has an aperture
longer than wide and has periostracal
ridges which diverge as they approach the aperture.
to central California
to 100 m, rarely intertidal
Rocky areas; Most Velutina
feed on and associate with tunicates.
Members of this family feed on and associate with tunicates and lay
eggs on the tunicates as well.
Kozloff, 1987, 1996
Lamb and Hanby, 2005
General Notes and
abundances, unusual behaviors:
I have rarely found this shell, but it can be found both on
coast and in Deception Pass.
This view of the underside shows the brilliant yellow or orange rim
around the foot.
The groups of dark bands at the edges of the mantle
can be seen in this live individual sitting on my hand. Photo
Dave Cowles, July 2010
aperture is approximately as wide as it is long. Notice also
mantle scars inside the aperture to the right. (the head was to the
This preserved specimen from the Rosario museum was found in
Pass by D. Graham in 1987 and identified by Dave Cowles in
Shell length 2 cm.
Authors and Editors of Page:
Dave Cowles (2010): Created original page
CSS coding for page developed by Jonathan Cowles (2007)
Rosario Invertebrates web site provided courtesy of Walla