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

Netted dog whelk (Tritia reticulata)

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

Researched byPaolo Pizzolla Refereed byAdmin
Authority(Linnaeus, 1758)
Other common names- SynonymsNassarius reticulatus (Linnaeus, 1758)



A small creamy-brown whelk (up to 3 cm in height) it has a pointed, straight sided spire. The criss-crossing of longitudinal and spiral ridges gives the whelk its characteristic netted (reticulate) pattern. It has an oval aperture with an outer lip that is thickened and toothed in mature animals. The inner lip extends over the body-whorl and the siphonal canal is deep and at an oblique angle.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland


Global distribution




Depth range


Identifying features

  • Up to 3 cm in height.
  • Pointed, straight sided spire.
  • Shell with netted (reticulated) pattern.
  • Aperture small and oval with a short siphonal canal.
  • Outer lip of aperture bears internal teeth.
  • Creamy brown in colour.

    Additional information

    Tritia reticulata feeds on dead and decaying animal matter.

    Listed by

    - none -

    Further information sources

    Search on:



    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. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from:  Accessed 01 April 2017

    5. 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.,


    This review can be cited as:

    Pizzolla, P.F 2005. Tritia reticulata Netted dog whelk. 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:

    Last Updated: 10/05/2005