MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Grey top shell (Gibbula cineraria)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A small topshell (up to 1.5 cm high and 1.7 cm across), it is bluntly conical with a oval-shaped umbilicus. The umbilicus appears as a small but deep hole on the underside of the shell. The shell has five or six whorls. It is grey to light yellowish in colour, with broad stripes of reddish-brown to purple. The apex is sometimes eroded and silvery.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common to all British and Irish coasts.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

It is found on the lower levels of rocky shores on weed and under stones to a depth of 130 m sublittorally. It is sometimes found in rock pools higher on the shore.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Small topshell with a bluntly conical shell up to 1.5 cm high and 1.7 cm across.
  • Oval-shaped umbilicus.
  • Shell has 5-6 whorls.
  • Grey to light yellowish in colour with broad reddish-brown to purple stripes.

Additional information

In Latin 'Gibber' means hump ('-ula' is a diminutive suffix), and 'Cineraria' means related to ashes, hence 'ash coloured hump'. In Devon and Cornwall, the umbilicus may be covered by the inner lip.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  2. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  3. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  4. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  5. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  6. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Pizzolla, P.F 2002. Gibbula cineraria Grey top shell. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1479

Last Updated: 11/10/2002