This tiny pelagic snail ranges throughout the world's oceans. The straight needle pteropod shells shown here washed up on some Florida east coast beaches after a pair of hurricanes passed through the Atlantic Ocean. The masses of clear shells resembed shredded fiberglass in the wrack line.
When alive, a pair of winglike appendages extend from the wide end of the conical shells, allowing limited up and down mobility in the water. They extend a web of mucus suspended in the water above them that catches very small phytoplankton. When full, the web and food particles are pulled into the organism and digested.
The Creseis acicula shells are nearly straight and reach a maximum length of about 33 mm. These photos include a coquina shell for scale.
Creseis acicula is a member of the Cavoliniidae - Shelled Pteropods family.
Date record last modified: Sep 03, 2020