Family Cerithiidae - ceriths

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Gastropoda
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Fresh : No | Brackish : No | Marine : Yes
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Superfamily Cerithioidea Order Sorbeoconcha (Ref. 3116). Shell elongate, thick and solid, sharply conical with a high, many-wjorled spire and small aperture. Sculpture variable, usually spiral or nodulose, and with axial ribs or varices. Umbilicus generally absent. Periostracum obsolete. Sperture with a distinct, anterior siphonal canal which may be drawn out, upturned and often laterally twisted. Outer lip somewhat expanded, usually notched posteriorly. Inner lip smooth or twisted. Operculum ovate, corneous, with a few spiral coils and an eccentric nucleus. Head with a large snout and long, cylindrical tentacles bearing eyes on swellings of their outer bases. Foot broad and short, angular anteriorly. Fleshy siphon weakly developed. Mainly tropical to warm temperate, shallow water animals living on sandy to muddy bottoms of marine and estuarine environments, though small species may abound under rocks or on marine vegetation. Gregarious herbivores, grazing on small algae, bacteria and organic debris. Species are often specialized to different sizes of food particles, and may be locally extremely abundant, where the habitat is favourable. Sexes separate, fertilization internal; sperm transferred during mating in spermatophores which disintegrate at the entrance to the mantle cavity of the female. Eggs released on substrate in gelatinous masses, hatching as planktonic larvae or directly as crawling juveniles, depending on the species. As ceriths are often abundant and easily accessible in coastal areas, they are commonly collected locally, both for food and for shellcraft. Species living in mangroves frequently appear in the local markets mixed with Potamididae (Ref. 349).
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Ref.
[ e.g. 9948]                       
Glossary
                    [ e.g. cephalopods]


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