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Bubble Shell

Hydatina physis

Variously known as the bubble snail, striped paper bubble, green-lined paper bubble, brown-lined paper bubble, and rose petal bubble shell, this species is part of a group of mollusks in which the shell has become so thin as to provide almost no protection to the animal.

The large body of the bubble shell (about 2-1/4 inches long by 2 inches wide) can vary in color from very dark to a pale pinkish white and cannot be fully retracted into the shell. The large foot has lateral fleshy winglike flaps. The thin, round, fragile shell is translucent white with transverse brown lines. The sensory mechanisms are well-developed.

bubble shell

Bubble snails are found circumglobally in shallow, tropical waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, in the Red and Arabian seas, and off the Iberian Peninsula. It is seldom seen by divers because it spends its days buried in the sand, only coming out at night.

This species feeds on small marine worms, mussels, and slugs.

The egg mass is gathered on the mantle before being attached to the sand by a mucous thread.

Bubble Shell egg mass

Scientific Classification

phylum Mollusca
class Gastropoda
order Cephalaspida
family Aplustridae
genus and species Hydatina physis

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The Robinson Library >> Class Gastropoda

This page was last updated on August 12, 2018.