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Fusitriton oregonensis (Redfield, 1846)
Oregon Triton
Family: Rannelidae


© Aaron Baldwin     (Photo ID #7533)


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Distribution of Fusitriton oregonensis in British Columbia in British Columbia


Oregon hairy tritons, Fusitriton oregonensis (Family Ranellidae), are related to whelks, mud snails, and olive shells. The species is distributed from Alaska to southern California and occupies intertidal to deep subtidal regions. Females deposit a hundred or so capsules during a single laying, each capsule containing hundreds or perhaps thousands of eggs. The eggs hatch to free-swimming veliger larvae that, in laboratory culture, may live for several years before metamorphosing. A characteristic feature of the species is its heavy periostracum, wound in narrow concentric strips and extended into stiff hairs. It appears to function in preventing organisms from settling on the shell. If it is removed or lost, barnacles and other organisms will quickly colonise. Little is known of feeding, diets, or other aspects of Fusitriton's behaviour. Although known as the "Oregon Triton" since its description in the mid-1800s, the species has had the distinction of being the actual "state seashell" of Oregon only since 1989. For information on its reproduction go to A SNAIL'S ODYSSEY and scroll down to "...Fusitriton".

Note Author: Tom Carefoot, Department of Zoology, University of British Columbia

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)

BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Argobuccinum oregonensis (Linnaeus)

Additional Range and Status Information Links

General References