This is a living specimen of the Netted Dog Whelk, Hinia reticulata (Linnaeus), found apparently about to lay eggs on an empty razor shell on the seashore at Studland Bay, Dorset, UK. This is a gastropod mollusc.
The egg capsules of the Netted Dog Whelk are small and vase-shaped. They are usually attached in rows on seaweed, sea-grasses and stones. I didn’t find any capsules on the occasion that I found the living mollusc at Studland (top picture) but in the picture above they are found on an empty otter shell from Three Cliff Bay in Gower, South Wales.
The empty shells were abundant on the driftline at Studland in March this year, especially in the place where many small pieces of charcoal wash up. In just a few moments I picked up the handful of the empty shells shown above. There is a great deal of variation in the colouring and stripes. Some of the older shells have a dull blue-green colouration reminiscent of staining by copper. I have noticed this also on empty limpet shells from Kimmeridge and Ringstead Bays.
You can find more information about Netted Dog Whelks on the marLIN site (Marine Life Information Network).
Revision of a post first published 25 April 2009
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