Acmaea virginea

(Müller, 1776)

Description (shell):
Shell smooth and conical without a marginal slit, apical hole or internal septum. Apex tilted forwards, about one third of shell length behind anterior end. In sublittoral animals the apex is more central (A. virginea-drawing).

Up to 10 mm long, 8 mm broad, 4 mm high.

Pink lines on white-yellow background, the lines often broken to give a chequered pattern. Inner surface white or pink and smaller shells have a dark red V-shaped mark with the point near the apex and the arms diverging posteriorly.

Mantle edge with red bands under those of the shell; no marginal tentacles and no pallial gills; a ctenidium in the nuchal cavity. Foot without epipodial tentacles and operculum. The head has a broad snout with two tentacles each with a small eye at its base. The lips round the mouth are drawn out into posterior lobes. Flesh white, yellow or pale pink; mantle edge with glands which are chalk white or scarlet.

At LWST to depths of 100 m. Common in rock pools, also attached to the underside of smooth, fixed stones with a growth of red weeds, especially Lithothamnion , on which it feeds.

On both coasts of the North Sea (Distr. A. virginea). Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Europe.