Polinices lewisii

Polinices lewisii

name = "Polinices lewisii"

image_caption =
status =
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Mollusca
classis = Gastropoda
ordo = Mesogastropoda
familia = Naticidae
genus = "Polinices"
species = "P. lewisii"
binomial = "Polinices lewisii"
binomial_authority = (Gould, 1847)

"Polinices lewisii", or Lewis' moonsnail, Lewis' moon, Lewis' moon-shell, northern moon snail, or western moon shell, is a species of marine gastropod mollusc in the family Naticidae.

Being the largest of the moon snails, the shell can reach up to 14 cm across, but its body can appear larger than that.


This species can be found from southern Alaska to northern Mexico, as well as Japan.


Found intertidally at depths of up to 180 m, usually in the substrate looking for its prey.


The moon snail's most distinguishing characteristic is probably its extremely large foot which usually extends up over the shell and mantle cavity. Part of the contains a black-tipped siphon which leads water into the mantle cavity. The cephalic tentacles, located on its head, are usually visible above the propodium.


"Polinices lewisii" feeds mainly on bivalve molluscs by drilling a hole in the shell with its radula and feeding on the organism's soft parts.


"Polinices lewisii" lay their eggs in the core of a "sand collar". The eggs may number in the thousands and hatch into microscopic larvae which then swim and feed on plankton until they undergo torsion and metamorphose into small versions of the adult "Polinices lewisii".


* Brusca, Richard C., and Brusca, Gary J. "Invertebrates." 2nd. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc., 2003.
* Nybakken, James W. "Diversity of the Invertebrates." Dubuque, IA: Times Mirror Higher Education Group, Inc., 1996.
* Lamb, A. and Hanby, B. P. (2005). "Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest: A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds, and Selected Fishes." Maderia Park, B. C. Harbour Publishing.

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