A Dogwinkle’s Aggregation

Renewal in Nucella canaliculata calls for a crowd. Winter and spring aggregations of channeled dogwinkles, that’s their common name, copulate and lay eggs over a several week period. In the finale, females deposit eggs in straw-colored vase-like cases.


I took the photo above on April 19, 2018. If I am interpreting it correctly, the cases, each containing twenty or more fertile eggs, are the collective production of the females over several days.


Marko, P. B., A. L. Moran, N. K. Kolotuchina, N. I. Zaslavskaya. 2014. Phylogenetics of the gastropod genus Nucella (Neogastropoda: Muricidae): species identities, timing of diversification and correlated patterns of life-history evolution. Journal of Molluscan Studies, 80(4): 341–353



  1. Lovely! Our Nucella whelks are copulating now, and egg capsules will be appearing in the next weeks.

    1. That’s something to look forward to. I’ll keep my on N. ostrina. I saw a small group, possibly copulating (how do you tell?), on Thursday. Happy Earth Day Allison!

    1. If you find some egg cases, look around the vicinity, usually some snails will be nearby. Another thing to keep in mind, sometimes clumps of cases get dislodged, and you’ll find them on the beach, in the drift line.

  2. Very cool! I saw something like that last week I thought were baby barnacles because they were next to barnacles. Wish I’d taken a picture! I did shoot some gastropods, though and am looking for online resources to identify them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s