Smaragdia viridis

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Smaragdia viridis
Smaragdia viridis.jpg
Two views of two shells of Smaragdia viridis and a close-up of part of the outer surface of the shell of each one
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Neritimorpha
clade Cycloneritimorpha
Superfamily: Neritoidea
Family: Neritidae
Subfamily: Smaragdiinae
Genus: Smaragdia
Species: S. viridis
Binomial name
Smaragdia viridis
(Linnaeus, 1758)[1]

Nerita viridis Linnaeus, 1758

Smaragdia viridis. common name the "emerald nerite" is a species of small, green sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Neritidae, the nerites.[2]


The distribution of Smaragdia viridis is disjunct, consisting of the Mediterranean Sea and the Caribbean Sea.[3]


The shell is oval, depressed, light green with a yellowish hue, smooth and shiny. The shell often has interrupted fine bands or lines in white and/or purple. The columellar region of the shell is greenish white, broad, convex, margin curved and with fine teeth. The maximum length of the shell is 7.5 mm.[3] The maximum recorded shell length is 8 mm.[4]

The visible soft parts of the animal are the same shade of green as the shell.


Smaragdia viridis is a marine littoral species.[3] Minimum recorded depth is 0 m.[4] Maximum recorded depth is 20 m.[4] It is documented to feed directly on seagrasses, rather than on their algae epiphytes, as is the case with many other seagrass-associated snails. The species it feeds on are different in the two different areas of its distribution. In the Mediterranean the species has been recorded feeding on Posidonia oceanica, Zostera marina and Cymodocea nodosa[5][6] whereas in the Caribbean it consumes Thalassia testudinum, Halodule wrightii and Syringodium filiforme.[7]


This article incorporates public domain text from the reference[3]

  1. ^ Linnaeus C. (1758). Systema naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. pp. [1-4], 1-824. Holmiae. (Salvius). page 778.
  2. ^ Smaragdia viridis (Linnaeus, 1758).  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 5 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d "Species summary for Smaragdia viridis". Animalbase, last modified 23 March 2011, accessed 14 April 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Welch J. J. (2010). "The “Island Rule” and Deep-Sea Gastropods: Re-Examining the Evidence". PLoS ONE 5(1): e8776. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008776.
  5. ^ Jose L. Rueda & Carmen Salas (2007). "Trophic dependence of the emerald neritid Smaragdia viridis (Linnaeus, 1758) on two seagrasses from European coasts". Journal of Molluscan Studies. 73 (2): 211–214. doi:10.1093/mollus/eym011. 
  6. ^ Rueda J.L. et al. (2009) 'Herbivory on Zostera marina by the gastropod Smaragdia viridis ', Aquatic Botany, 90:253-260
  7. ^ Holzer K.K. et al. (2011) 'Caribbean seagrass as a food source for the emerald neritid Smaragdia viridis ', American Malacological Bulletin, 29:63-67

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