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Individual species accounts may be accessed through either taxonomic order or by genus alphabetic order


Nomenclature follows the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) which is more up-to-date than even recent published literature, and is being continually updated. Older names can be cross-referenced there. The WoRMS Aphia ID is given for each species as a direct link to the WoRMS web site.

Nomenclature on this web site was last updated December 2017.

It should be emphasised that this web site is not intended to be a taxonomic guide.


Illustrations have been chosen that clearly represent the species. Where possible, we have used our own, either photographs or line drawings. Otherwise we have used a great variety of sources, all referenced, and where necessary have sought copyright permission (see Acknowledgements). Illustrations of some species are missing because we have no illustrations of our own and have not received copyright permission to include them. We include, where different, the name under which a species was illustrated. Illustrations referred to in (brackets) are of alternatives which may be useful.


Information on the habitat, depth range, etc., as recorded in our area, is given, as is that concerning the diet, if known. This information has in some cases been from our own observations, but, unless otherwise indicated, we have relied on Fretter & Graham (1962, 1988), Picton & Morrow (1994) and Thompson (1988).

The maximum dimensions of shells is given (or in the case of non-shelled species, the animal). These data are largely from published figures, but where specimens are known to be considerably larger, the additional information is also shown (for example 10-15mm).

Maps are not given for species imprecisely located (mostly old records). Dots on the maps indicate the status of records:

  • black circles are for species found living from 1950 onwards;
  • grey circles are for those found as dead shells only pre-1950 and for all records pre-1950;
  • dark crosses indicate doubtful records of any age.

As has already been discussed (see Methods), most of the information has come from the late 1970s up to 2005; this is not such a problem as it might appear. At the moment there is a lull in fresh or repeated surveys, and thus the present maps form an excellent baseline for future reappraisal.

Some organisations quoted in the text are referred to by initials i.e. BGS = British Geological Survey; SAMS = Scottish Association for Marine Science.

The location of voucher specimens held in collections (not necessarily the only place where a species may be represented) is shown as follows:

    SMS = Smith, personal collection, being partly removed to the National Museums of Scotland, the rest to be lodged there in due course

    Nunn has collected a considerable quantity of material which has been deposited with both the Ulster Museum (National Museums Northern Ireland) and the National Museum of Ireland; thus her specimens are listed under these Museum collections

    GAGM = Glasgow Art Galleries and Museum

    NHM = Natural History Museum, London

    NMI = National Museum of Ireland, Dublin

    NMSZ = National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh

    NMW = National Museums Wales, Cardiff

    SAMS = Scottish Association for Marine Science, Oban

    UM = Ulster Museum, National Museums Northern Ireland, Belfast


Links are provided to web sites that may supply additional information concerning each species

Conchological Society of Great Britain and Ireland

National Museums of Wales - Oliver et al., 2010

Encyclopedia of Marine Life - this site is managed by Bernard Picton, and hosted by the National Museums Northern Ireland

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Copyright © Shelagh Smith & Julia Nunn