Haminoea cyanomarginata

The Bubble-Snail

For over two hundred years, there were three different types of spelling for this genus – Haminoea, Haminaea and Haminea. Finally, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature ICNZ made a decision that the correct spelling should be Haminoea cyanonarginata.

Family:

The Haminoea cyanomarginate belongs to the Family Haminoeidae, the Genus Haminoea. This species falls under the Phylum; Mollusca and is classed as a Gastropod.

Description:

The Haminoea cyanomarginata has well-developed rounded posterior lobes on the head shield and the parapodial flaps. The parapodial flaps extend along the shell, approximately half the way back. The posterior end of the shell is covered by the infrapallial lobe, which has a posterior extension, masquerading as the posterior end of the foot. The transparent shell is very fragile. It is smooth in texture with no traces of ornamentation. The form of the body is somewhat elongated and is too large to fully retract into its shell. The body and the mantle, which can be seen through the transparent shell, is translucent in colour with large white blotches. The conspicuous blue-purple margin of the animal distinguishes it as a Haminoea cyanomarginata. Other species in this Genus have different coloured spots and blotches.

Habitat:

The Haminoea is quite common in the Red Sea, Sudan, Greece and Turkey. During the last 5 years, sightings and surveys suggest this species is now at home in the Mediterranean Sea. It is possible that this is a lessepsian migrant, entering the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal from the Red Sea. You can locate this snail in 15 – 30 m depth of water, often on rocky surfaces and among plants. Sometimes it is covered in algae. The size varies from 5 to 15 mm, with a shell size up to 10 mm.

Feeding Habits:

At present we have little information about the diet and feeding habits of the Haminoea cyanomarginata. It is assumed, like other species of its genus, it feeds on diatom’s and on filamentous algae.

Photo was taken by Janet Bulmer from Dive Smart Gozo

Divesite: Xatt L’Ahmar