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Species / Terebellum Terebellum


History and Synonymy

Terebellum terebellum (Linnaeus, 1758: 718) (Conus)

  • Syn.: Terebellum album Link, 1807: 99
  • Syn.: Terebellum lineatum Röding, 1798: 135
  • Syn.: Terebellum nebulosum Röding, 1798: 135
  • Syn.: Terebellum punctulorum Röding, 1798: 155
  • Syn.: Terebellum sabulatum “Lamarck” Montfort, 1810: 379
  • Syn.: Terebellum spirale Perry, 1811: pl. 37 fig. 2
  • Syn.: Terebellum subulatum Lamarck, 1810: 301
  • Syn.: Terebellum terebra Bosc, 1801: 72, pl. 38 fig. 7
  • Syn.: Terebellum variegatum Link, 1807: 99


Terebellum fusiforme in J. Sowerby (1821), Tab. CCLXXXVII (probably Paraseraphs placitus)


Terebellum subulatum in Kiener, 1834, pl. 1 (Terebellum), fig. 1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d


Terebellum subulatum in Berge, 1847, pl. 42, fig. 9


Terebellum fusiforme in Cossmann, 1904, pl. II, fig. 10 (Seraphs subconvolutus)

Terebellum fusiforme in Cossmann, 1904, pl. III, fig. 4 (Seraphs subconvolutus)


Terebellum (Terebellum) terebellum Ladd, 1972; Tagpochau Limestone, Miocene; Saipan Island, Marianas Archipelago, Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, USA; In Ladd, 1972, pl. 15, fig. 4; 35,5 mm; Coll. USNM no. 648456


Jeanette & Scott Johnson about Terebellum terebellum from Kwajalein Atoll:

  • "Terebellum terebellum used to be considered one of the Strombidae, but now is often put in its own family, the Seraphsidae. They are reasonably common buried in sand in lagoon and seaward reef areas. It is a very active animal capable or rapidly burying in the sand, hopping away, or even swimming several meters through the water. It appears to spin its foot kind of like a propeller for swimming. A rather thin and fragile shell, it would probably be easy prey if it could not move so quickly. Some have called it the fastest snail. Marshall Islands specimens have been found between about 5 and 20m depth, and range in shell length up to about 34mm. This species is known to be distributed widely in the Indo-Pacific, from east Africa and the Red Sea to the Marshalls and Samoa."

"Note the long stalked eyes poking up through the sand."

All Photos of Kwajalein Atoll-specimens courtesy Scott & Jeanette Johnson, Kwajalein Atoll

Bob Abela about Terebellum terebellum from Guam

Terebellum terebellum (Linnaeus, 1758); L x W: 29.3 x 8.4 mm; collected by a friend; ~90 ft, buried in sand; Agat Bay, Guam; April 2005; aquarium photo Bob Abela

Terebellum terebellum (Linnaeus, 1758); collected by a friend; ~80 ft, Agat Bay, Guam; ~2003-2004; aquarium photo Bob Abela

Specimens from private collections

Terebellum terebellum Linnaeus, 1758; Agat Bay, Guam Island, Mariana Islands, Micronesia, USA, North Pacific Ocean; 60-70 ft in silt on sand; 1986; 1.r: 30,9 mm, 2.r: 31,9 mm, 3.r: 36,9 mm, 4.r: 29 mm; Coll. Paul Merrill

Terebellum terebellum Linnaeus, 1758; Double Reef, Guam Island, Mariana Islands, Micronesia, USA, North Pacific Ocean; in sand, 55 feet, Scuba; 1:28,8 mm, 2:33,1 mm, 3:27,7 mm, 4:25,9 mm, 5:15,4 mm; 9/1979; Coll. Richard Salibury

Terebellum terebellum Linnaeus, 1758; in 3-5 m of Swan Reefs, Coral Sea, Queensland State, north east Australia; Ex-coll. Doug Thorn; Coll. Aart Dekkers

Terebellum terebellum Linnaeus, 1758; Saipan Island, Marianas Archipelago, Northern Mariana Islands, Micronesia, USA; l:36,5 mm, m:38,3 mm, r:37,1 mm; Collected under sand at 18 to 20m; Coll. Doug Brennan

Terebellum terebellum Linnaeus, 1758; Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa Province, Vietnam; Coll. Dieu Cu

Terebellum terebellum Linnaeus, 1758; Surigao, Surigao del Norte, Caraga Region, Philippines Islands; 42,6 mm; Coll. Jurnessam Minguito Tuyor


  • D.P. Abbott, 1962. Observations on the Gastropod Terebellum terebellum (Linnaeus), with Particular Reference to the Behavior of the Eyes during Burrowing; The Veliger, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-3, Fulltext
  • Sowerby, 1821

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