Stramonita haemastoma

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Stramonita haemastoma
Stramonita haemastoma 01.JPG
Stramonita haemastoma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Muricoidea
Family: Muricidae
Subfamily: Rapaninae
Genus: Stramonita
Species: S. haemastoma
Binomial name
Stramonita haemastoma
(Linnaeus, 1767)
  • Buccinum cingulatum Lamarck, 1816
  • Buccinum haemastoma Linnaeus, 1767 (basionym)
  • Haustrum striatum Perry, 1811
  • Murex consul Gmelin, 1791
  • Purpura barcinonensis Hidalgo, 1867
  • Purpura fasciata Dunker, 1857
  • Purpura forbesi Dunker, 1853
  • Purpura gigantea Calcara, 1840
  • Purpura gigantea Reeve, 1846
  • Purpura haemastoma (Linnaeus, 1767)
  • Purpura haemastoma acuminata Settepassi, 1977
  • Purpura haemastoma bulbosa Settepassi, 1977
  • Purpura haemastoma elongata Settepassi, 1977
  • Purpura haemastoma var. calva Weinkauff, 1873
  • Purpura haemastoma var. cornuta Philippi, 1844
  • Purpura haemastoma var. costellata Pallary, 1900
  • Purpura haemastoma var. gracilior Kobelt, 1887
  • Purpura haemastoma var. minima Pallary, 1900
  • Purpura haemastoma var. minor Bucquoy, Dautzenberg & Dollfuss, 1882
  • Purpura haemastoma var. nodulosa Bucquoy, Dautzenberg & Dollfuss, 1882
  • Purpura haemastoma var. striata Pallary, 1900
  • Purpura laevis Monterosato, 1878
  • Purpura lineata Kiener, 1835
  • Purpura macrostoma Küster, 1860
  • Purpura nebulosa Conrad, 1867
  • Purpura nuttalli Conrad, 1837
  • Purpura oceanica Locard, 1886
  • Purpura unifascialis Lamarck, 1816
  • Purpura viduata Küster, 1859
  • Thais grisea Röding, 1798
  • Thais haemastoma Linnaeus
  • Thais metallica Röding, 1798
  • Thais stellata Röding, 1798

Stramonita haemastoma, common name the red-mouthed rock shell or the Florida dog winkle, is a species of predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Muricidae, the rock snails.[1]


The adult shell size for this species varies between 22 mm and 120 mm.

Distribution and Biology[edit]

The red-mouthed rock shell occurs widely in tropical and warm water areas of the Western Atlantic Ocean. Regions where it can be found include the Caribbean Sea, North Carolina and Florida, Bermuda and the entire Brazilian coast, including the islands of Abrolhos and Fernando de Noronha. It is also found in the Eastern Atlantic: tropical Western Africa and Southwestern Africa, including Cape Verde and Angola, and in European waters, including Macaronesian Islands, the Mediterranean Sea and the southwest coast of Apulia.[1][2][3] Canary Islands. Its once abundant population in the Eastern Mediterranean collapsed early in the 21st century and had entirely disappeared by 2016.[4][5] Stramonita haemastoma is a widespread gastropod that consumes bivalves, barnacles and limpets.In the Mediterranean Sea the whelk is an important predator of M. minimus, but where the invasive Lessepsian migrant Brachidontes pharaonis is found, the whelk prefers to prey on that species over the native bivalves and barnacles.[6] Through feeding behaviors such as attacking the margin or lip of shells where defenses are weakest, Stramonita haemastoma insert its proboscid between the valves injecting proteolytic enzymes and a toxin that causes bivalves to gape.[7][8]


Stramonita haemastoma contains the following subspecies:[1][8]

  • Stramonita haemastoma canaliculata (Gray, 1839)
  • Stramonita haemastoma floridana (Conrad, 1837)
  • Stramonita haemastoma haemastoma (Linnaeus, 1767)

In human culture[edit]

The shell was one of two principal sources of Tyrian purple, a highly prized dye used in classical times for the clothing of royalty, as recorded by Aristotle and Pliny the Elder.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Houart, R.; Gofas, S. (2010). Stramonita haemastoma (Linnaeus, 1767). In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. (2010) World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2011-01-10
  2. ^ Leal, J. H. (2002). "Gastropods". In Carpenter, K. E. The living marine resources of the Western Central Atlantic (PDF). FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes and American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication No. 5. 1: Introduction, molluscs, crustaceans, hagfishes, sharks, batoid fishes, and chimaeras. Rome: FAO. pp. 128–132. ISBN 92-5-104825-8. 
  3. ^ "Conquiliologistas do Brasil". Thais haemastoma (Linnaeus, 1767). 2001–2010. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Beaumont, Peter (5 December 2016). "Ancient shellfish used for purple dye vanishes from eastern Med". BBC. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  5. ^ Rilov, Gil (17 November 2016). "Multi-species collapses at the warm edge of a warming sea". Scientific Reports. 6: 36897. doi:10.1038/srep36897. 
  6. ^ Giacoletti, A., Rinaldi, A., Mercurio, M., Mirto, S. and Sarà, G. 2016. "Local consumers are the first line to control biological invasions: a case of study with the whelk Stramonita haemastoma (Gastropoda: Muricidae)". Hydrobiologia. 772:117–129.
  7. ^ McGraw, K.A., Gunter, G. 1972. Observations on killing of the Virginia oyster by the gulf oyster borer, Thais haemastoma, with evidence for a paralytic secretion. Proc Nat Shellfish Assoc 62:95–97.
  8. ^ a b Watanabe, J.T. & Young, C.M. 2006. Feeding habits and phenotypic changes in proboscis length in the southern oyster drill, Stramonita haemastoma (Gastropoda: Muricidae), on Florida sabellariid worm reefs. Marine biology, 148:1021-1029.
  • Bernard, P.A. (Ed.) (1984). Coquillages du Gabon [Shells of Gabon]. Pierre A. Bernard: Libreville, Gabon. 140, 75 plates
  • Gofas, S.; Afonso, J.P.; Brandào, M. (Ed.). (S.a.). Conchas e Moluscos de Angola = Coquillages et Mollusques d'Angola. [Shells and molluscs of Angola]. Universidade Agostinho / Elf Aquitaine Angola: Angola. 140 pp
  • Gofas, S.; Le Renard, J.; Bouchet, P. (2001). Mollusca, in: Costello, M.J. et al. (Ed.) (2001). European register of marine species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Collection Patrimoines Naturels, 50: pp. 180–213
  • Rolán E., 2005. Malacological Fauna From The Cape Verde Archipelago. Part 1, Polyplacophora and Gastropoda
  • Rosenberg, G., F. Moretzsohn, and E. F. García. 2009. Gastropoda (Mollusca) of the Gulf of Mexico, Pp. 579–699 in Felder, D.L. and D.K. Camp (eds.), Gulf of Mexico–Origins, Waters, and Biota. Biodiversity. Texas A&M Press, College Station, Texas.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ramírez R., Tuya F. & Haroun R. J. (2009) "Spatial patterns in the population structure of the whelk Stramonita haemastoma (Linnaeus, 1766) (Gastropoda: Muricidae) in the Canarian Archipelago (eastern Atlantic)". Scientia Marina 73(3) doi:10.3989/scimar.2009.73n3431

External links[edit]