Howies Scuba

 Marine Life Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving


The Mollusca, common name molluscs or mollusks,is a large phylum of invertebrate animals. There are around 85,000 recognized extant species of molluscs. This is the largest marine phylum, comprising about 23% of all the named marine organisms. Numerous molluscs also live in freshwater and terrestrial habitats. Molluscs are highly diverse, not only in size and in anatomical structure, but also in behaviour and in habitat... (Wikipedia)


Pleurobranchus hilli

These things are massive, so big you could put a saddle on it and ride out of Dodge (only recommended for those who completed the riding Mollusc skill as part of the Advanced Open Water course). These stunner's can reach over 300mm long and underwater they look a lot bigger.

You may be surprise to realise that it took me over 12 months to realise that that behind this beautiful egg ribbon was in fact the Pleurobranchus hilli laying the eggs

Being so big and slow you would think it would be easy to photograph, no, it appears to like days when the water content is very silty or at night.

These last two photographs show how massive its surface pustules are, looks like a giant raspberry.

Every time I am Robbs Jetty I look out for this beauty, only seen right next to the pylons, never out on the open sand.
The first photograph taken at Ammo Jetty on a night by myself. And the spiky one on a day dive at KGT by Mel Turner....

These thing just seem to absorb light, so difficult to bring the detail out. These both only small in comparison to the top photos.
Variation, taken on a night dive at Ammo Jetty, similar size as above left.

Friends Cowrie
(Cypraea friendii)

Friends Cowrie photographed at Robbs Jetty & BBR.

Unknown Cowry

This little Cowry was photographed at Boy in a Boat Reef. Currently unable to identify it.

Torr's Whelk
(Cominella eburnea)

Photographed @ Ammo Jetty.

Wavy Top Shell
(Clanculus undatus)

Photographed @ Ammo Jetty.

Western Creeper
(Rhinoclavis bituberculata)

Photographed at Point Peron.

Everytime I see this shell, I just think it looks like a green version of the Western Creeper.

I don't have many resources on molluscs and shells and I haven't been able to find anything on the internet either.

If it is something different and anyone knows about this, please let me know.

Giant Creeper
(Campanile symbolicum)

Photographed @ Point Peron.

Mitre Shaped Volute
(Lyria mitraeformis)

Photographed @ Jervoise Bay boat ramps.

Elysia ornata

Donated by Mel Turner, taken at WPG.

 Green-lined paper Bubble Shell aka Rose-petal Bubble Shell

(Hydatina physis)

Photographs of the Rose-petal Bubble Shell taken on a night dive at Ammo Jetty.

Snowy Volute
(Cymbiola nivosa)

Thanks to Sharky Jones for the loan of this little chap.

If you wish to submit a photograph of the marine life you have seen on your dives along the Perth shoreline, just follow these simple instructions here.


 Reticulated Dog Whelk

(Nassarius Particeps)

The Reticulated Dog Whelk is tiny, maybe 10 -15 mm. This was sitting on my Buddy's glove.

Photographs taken just outside the sea grass area Robbs Jetty. 

I am not making judgements here, but these little buggers were misbehaving at the Gareenup Wreck, chasing each other into the sand.

Southern Bailer

(Melo miltonis)

Southern Bailer photographed at Ammo Jetty, BBR, Point Peron.

The Bailers shell was traditionally used to bail and carry water by the indigenous population of Australia.

The detail in these shells and feet are quite wonderful.

Photographs 7 & 8 taken at Point Peron just on entering the water at the steps, the Baler disturbed this tiny little Reticulated Dog Whelk, but it didn't hang about too long and quickly buried itself back in the sand. See above Mollusc for size comparison.


Photographs taken @ Ammo Jetty, what I presume is a dead Bailer.

 Southern Bailer
Laying Eggs
By Bernadett Szokol

These beautiful photographs kindly donated by Bernadett Szokol taken whilst diving at Quinn's Lagoon.

I have never been fortunate enough to see this process myself.

How beautiful is the colouring of those eggs. Almost look like Bubblegum flavoured cotton candy.

Photographs 3 & 4 taken on a boat dive with WBDC in the Marmion Marine Park, I am wondering whether these are the same thing, clearly a different colouring but very similar in all other aspects, maybe the colour changes once they have been laid as a camouflage protection ? 
Photographed at Point Peron.

Giant Hairy Triton aka Oyster Drill

(Cymatium parthenopeum)

Photograph taken at Bulk Jetty.

At first this Tritons' shell blended in perfectly with the silty seabed and only a minute part of its colourful foot was evident, but there was just enough to grab my attention and take a closer look.

Hairy Shore Chiton

(Acanthopleura hirtosa)

Photographed at Jervoise Bay Woodmans Point.

Elephant Snail aka Duckbill

(Scutus antipodes)

Photograph taken at Point Peron. I have to say this thing had me baffled when I saw it on the dive. I just sat waiting for it to move for about 5 minutes and it didn't budge.

Elephant Snails can grow up to 150mm and this thing was huge.  The average size of the Urchins here are approx. 120mm including spines and this is twice the size.

If I knew what I know now, to confirm this is indeed an Elephant Snail, I would of gently stroked the outer covering of the snail as apparently this would of revealed its shell. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

There is a couple of years between the top photographs and these two. I am wondering if the top ones are of some other from of mollusc, just purely because of the size.

Giant Conch

(Syrinx aruanus)

This is an impressive mollusc, but I am not convinced it is one of the fastest.

Dived Robbs Jetty  two days on the run and this huge thing was in approx. the same place, it had only moved about 0.5 of a meter in 24 hours. That surely cant be right, can it ?

I am sure its not and it was just an odd chance that it was seen at the same place two days on the run.

I have dived Robbs plenty of times and in the past two years and this was the only two times I had seen this impressive beasty.

Love the bottom photograph, the Giant Conch doing its best to blend in with the bottles at Robbs Jetty.

Violet Snail
(Janthina janthina)

Violet Shells are quite pretty little things. This is the only time I have seen one, and this was washed up on the shore at Point Peron with a set of Blue Bottle which they dine upon.

Being washed up on the shore is a common experience and they can be washed up in large numbers.

The Violet Shell will produce a bubble sac (bottom) and float under the waters surface tension.

Sagaminopterum ornatum

This Jazzy little creature was snapped at Halls Head in Mandurah, it is the only time I have seen it, currently.

Unfortunately I was having a few strobe problems on this day, with it bleaching out everything (strobe eventually bust later that day).

However you can see the distinct colouring to this Slug. Apparently it is common to see them on this Grey Finger Sponge.
So next time take a moment and check the sponge out, you never know what will be hiding behind it.

Coodgee Elysia

This tiny little chap photographed at one of my winter dive spots in the sheltered area of the boat ramps at Jervoise Bay.

I am absolutely astonished just by the fact that I actually saw this tiny tiny thing which was only a few millimetres in length.

Free Floating Mollusc Egg Sacs

I don't know how common these are but I  have seen a fair few whilst diving. Obviously due to its transparent design these can very difficult to notice but I can imagine they are extremely abundant.

They look and feel gelatinous they are quite firm to the touch (don't squeeze too hard), they appears to be holding thousands of eggs.


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