Epitonium is a genus of little ruthless ocean snails, marine gastropod mollusks. Epitonium is the class of the family Epitoniidae, the wentletraps.

The regular name wentletraps came from the Dutch word wentletrap, meaning a winding staircase. This alludes to the striking structure and figure of the shells of the mollusks in this class.

Also, they belong to a lesser degree and the entire family is of epitonium. The family Epitonium was isolated in the past by a few creators into a few subgenera. However, these subgenera were constructed just in light of shell characters.

source: www.marlin.ac.uk

Also, they did not mirror the genuine fundamental connections or phylogeny. Their shells are high-spired and are all-white in a large portion of the species in this genus.

A couple of animal groups are tinted with darker to differing degrees. Some of them may also have a darker stripe on the shoulder of the whorl. The shells ordinarily have an edge like vertical ribs, known as costae.


Scientific NameEpitonium

Vernacular Names

English: Tinted wentletrap

Danish: Lille vindeltrappesnegl

Dutch: Witte wentletrap


As with different wentletraps, this species feeds on anemones. It is generally found in the sand close to the base of Anthopleura elegantissima or Anthopleura xanthogrammica, to which the species is emphatically attracted.

At high tide (two times per day) it feeds on the tips of the anemone arms; at that point at low tide tunnels into the sand. Living wentletraps contain a purple, lethal color. The color gives off an impression of being a sedative.

Origin Of Epitonium

Also, it is imagined that the snail may utilize it to loosen up the anemone tissues before sustaining. While sustaining it broadens its proboscis which might be longer than the shell. The radula is reached out with the proboscis.

source: www.arsint.com

The snail demonstrates some appreciation for Urticina lofotensis and Epiactis prolifera and it will eat these species, yet the fascination is not as much as that for Anthopleura.

These anemones likewise demonstrate a more grounded withdrawal when nibbled by the snail, so maybe the snail soporific is best with Anthopleura. They are not pulled in to Corynactis Californica.

Fossil Records Of Epitonium

Also, they are repulsed by Metridium decrepit. A few snails reaching Metridium decrepit were slaughtered. The species produces sand-encrusted egg cases which are hung together by a string.

The containers are laid among their anemone prey. Little Pagurus hirsutiusculus recluse crabs every now and again possess the unfilled shells.

Distinctive Features

Shell up to 15 mm however typically smaller. Protoconch with four smooth whorls. Teloconch with 7-8 arched whorls and tolerably profound suture, with 17-22 thin ribs for each whorl.

Moreover, it sometimes forms a shaping a limit edge at a distance from the suture; interspaces smooth. Protoconch whitish to caramel, teleoconch white.

These species might be hard to recognize from the southern European E. pulchellum (Bivona, 1832) which varies in having more swarmed ribs, up to 30 for every whorl, and in being more extensive at a similar stature.


It is usually present in Southern Alaska to Bahia Magdalena, Baja California, Mexico.


Wentletrap shells (family Epitoniidae) more often are white, tall and tight, and have an awed suture between the whorls. They have no winding edges. The opening is nearly round, and inside isn’t magnificent.

This species has 8-14 thin pivotal lamellae which are consistent from whorl to whorl. The lamellae bend equally, without sharp edges or projections close to the sutures. It has a little purplish or darker line close to the suture between the whorls.

source: www.twistedsifter.files.wordpress.com

There is no winding edge or sharp shoulder around the base of the body whorl. The tower is tall, and the shell tallness is significantly more than double the breadth. The shell, as a rule, has at least 6 whorls.

Shell length up to 3.2 cm yet for the most part not in excess of 1.5 cm. Northern populaces in California are bigger than southern ones and subtidal people are bigger than intertidal.


At all ordered levels, epitoniums are second just to the bugs as far as their decent variety. They have the best quantities of named mollusc species. But, evaluations of the aggregate number of these species change generally.

The number of epitonium species can be learned from evaluations of the quantity of portrayed types of Mollusca with acknowledged names: around 85,000 (least 50,000, most extreme 120,000).

But, a gauge of the aggregate number of Mollusca, including undescribed species, is around 240,000 species. The gauge of 85,000 molluscs incorporates 24,000 portrayed types of earthbound gastropods.

Distinctive evaluations for sea-going snails (in light of various sources) give around 30,000 types of marine snails and around 5,000 types of freshwater and harsh gastropods.

The aggregate number of living types of freshwater snails is around 4,000. There are 444 as of late terminated types of epitonium (wiped out since the year 1500) and 18 species.

These are presently wiped out in the wild (yet existing in imprisonment) and 69 “potentially wiped out” species. The quantity of ancient types of epitonium is no less than 15,000 species.


The ecology of the Epitonium is below:


Depth range based on 5 specimens in 2 taxa. Water temperature and chemistry range based on 2 samples. Wentletraps usually live in the sand near sea anemones or corals. So it is presumably mostly intertidal.

Food Habits

These snails are predators and feed by embeddings their proboscis. Also, they gnaw out little bits of the anemone’s tissues. A few types of wentletrap feed on just a single type of ocean anemone. However, they are species-particular as far as their prey.

Life Span

Fetuses form into planktonic trocophore hatchlings and later into adolescent veligers before winding up completely developed grown-ups.


It is an earthbound animal species with nighttime habits. It does the vast majority of its everyday exercises around evening time or at a young hour toward the beginning of the day.

However, in the event that it downpours amid the day, it normally goes out. In hot or dry season, Helix aspersa withdraws in its shell. It also covers the opening with a layer of bodily fluid called epiphragm.

This liquid keeps the dampness inside and maintains a strategic distance from the assault of creatures that can slaughter it, similar to a few ants. In the wake of doing this, it enters a condition of inertia that analyzes hibernation.

source: www.i.ytimg.com

But, not every one of them sleeps. For instance, in Southern California, youthful people are regularly dynamic consistently. Some of them rest amid winter months, particularly when they are developed.

But they come back to move with the spring. They are to a great degree moderate as their quickest speed is just 1.3 centimeters for each second.


Known Hazards

This species is consumable. Also, it is now used for cooking, in spite of the fact that it ought not to be mistaken for the helix pomatia, the “Escargot.”

Despite the fact that it is viewed as a vermin in many spots. It has procured ubiquity in the restorative business as a result of the regenerative properties of their bodily fluid.

It isn’t debilitated, yet given that it is viewed as a bug. Mostly, people endeavor to murder them to keep away from misfortunes in the area. This is eatable and in a few nations like France and Spain, they get them for food.

Similar Species

Opalia species, for example, Opalia montereyensis have a solid shoulder or winding edge along the base of the body whorl. Some other wentletrap species have well more than 14 hub lamellae.

Moreover, the lamellae have sharp edges or spines close to the suture. Epitonium indianorum becomes bigger, is to a great extent seaward and subtidal, and does not have the dark colored or purple line close to the suture.

Some of the species similar to Epitonium are:

Epitonium conjunctum (Yokoyama, 1922)
Epitonium crispatum (Pease, 1863)
Epitonium crypticorona (Kilburn, 1985)
Epitonium cultellicostum (de Boury, 1913)
Epitonium duocamurum (Lee Y.C., 2001)
Epitonium durhamianum (Hertlein & Strong, 1951)
Epitonium eboreum (E. A. Smith, 1906)
Epitonium eclecticum (Melvill & Standen, 1903)
Epitonium fasciatum (Sowerby, 1844)
Epitonium fauroti (Jousseaume, 1912)
Epitonium gravieri (Jousseaume, F.P., 1912)
Epitonium greenlandicum (Perry, 1811)

Fun Facts

Some fun facts about the epitonium are:


They may be funny, but sometimes they are dangerous as well.


  1. www.eol.org
  2. www.en.wikipedia.org
  3. www.inverts.wallawalla.edu
  4. www.wikivisually.com
  5. www.sealifebase.ca

Amna Shaheen

I have done Bachelors in Computer Software Engineering from Foundation University in 2017. Now, I am doing MS in Project Management and I am a blogger at TapeDaily. I am very passionate about plants and animals. I like to study about them, so I write blogs that are related to plants and animals.

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