Neritina natalensis

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Neritina natalensis
Naturalis Biodiversity Center - RMNH.MOL.151741 - Vittina natalensis (Reeve, 1855) - Neritidae - Mollusc shell.jpeg
Neritina natalensis shells
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Neritimorpha
clade Cycloneritimorpha
Superfamily: Neritoidea
Family: Neritidae
Subfamily: Neritininae
Tribe: Neritinini
Genus: Neritina
Species: N. natalensis
Binomial name
Neritina natalensis

Vittina natalensis

Neritina natalensis, common name spotted nerite,[2] is a species of small freshwater snail with an operculum, an aquatic gastropod mollusk in the family Neritidae, the nerites. It returns to brackish waters to reproduce.

This is a popular aquarium snail, sold because it looks attractive and eats algae in freshwater tanks, but does not multiply under aquarium conditions. It requires a pH above 7.0 to thrive.[citation needed]


This species is endemic to the coastal plain of East Africa -- Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania.[1] Its specific name natalensis refers to the region of Natal, South Africa.

Human use[edit]

Neritina Natalensis in an aquarium

This species is a common choice of algae-eating snail among freshwater aquarists. In the aquarium trade, the striped shell of this species has caused it to be known as the tiger snail, zebra snail, or zebra nerite. (The name zebra nerite is however misleading, because there are several species of nerite that have that common name, including Puperita pupa, a small marine nerite from the tropical western Atlantic.) The stripes in some individuals may display as zigzags, dashes or spots.[citation needed] In an aquarium, the shell of this species grows to about 2.5 cm (one inch) in diameter. This snail prefers an aquarium temperature of 22 to 26 °C.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b Appleton, C.; Kristensen, T.K.; Lange, C.N.; Stensgaard, A-S. & Van Damme, D. (2010). "Neritina natalensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2010: e.T14628A4451314. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-3.RLTS.T14628A4451314.en. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
  2. ^ Perissinotto, Renzo; Miranda, Nelson; Raw, Jacqueline; Peer, Nasreen (2014-09-15). "Biodiversity census of Lake St Lucia, iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa): Gastropod molluscs". ZooKeys. 440: 1–43. doi:10.3897/zookeys.440.7803. ISSN 1313-2970.

External links[edit]