Banded Nassarius

Nassarius pyrrhus

Nassarius pyrrhus - Banded Nassarius
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Size: 3 cm

Distribution: All SA coastal and gulf waters

Habitat: Sandy areas

Depth: Lower intertidal to subtidal

Nassarius pyrrhus - Banded Nassarius
Nassarius pyrrhus - Banded Nassarius

The distinctive shell of this snail will be very familiar to observant jetty divers, where it is a common home for the sponge-dwelling hermit crab Pagurixus handrecki. However, the living animal is more often found scavenging subtidally on the sandy sea floor. The shell has a tall spire and is white, with narrow red to brown bands, and beaded ribs. Unlike others of the family Nassariidae, it is clean and usually free from epiphytes. The beading and well-defined narrow bands are diagnostic for this species.