A gastropod (Cerithiopsis tubercularis)

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



A slender shell to 7 mm long with up to 14 flat-sided whorls. Aperture oval, with thin, crenulate outer lip and a short, broad siphonal canal. Shell chestnut-brown, tapering to a point only in the region of the first 2 whorls. Tubercles pale brown. Head bears a pair of long, linear tentacles, covered around the distal half with bristle-like cilia.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

On south-west coasts of Britain and occasionally recorded off the west coast of Scotland.

Global distribution

From Norway to the Mediterranean and the Azores but absent from the southern North Sea.


Found in pools, on sponges such as Halichondria (Halichondria) panicea and Hymeniacidon perleve, particularly where associated with coralline algae. Also found on the sheltered sponge-covered slopes and crevices of rocks and under boulders. From the lower shore to 100 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Each whorl with 3 spiral rows of close set, rounded elevations (tubercles).
  • Base of last whorl also with 2-3 spiral ridges.
  • Tubercles near outer lip elongated axially.
  • Small aperture with basal siphonal notch.

Additional information

Occurrence in Britain may be increased by seawater warming.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Fretter, V., 1951. Observations on the life history and functional morphology of Cerithiopsis tubercularis (Montagu) and Triphora perversa (L.). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 29, 567-586.

  2. Graham, A., 1971. British Prosobranchs. London: Academic Press.[Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 2.]

  3. Graham, A., 1988. Molluscs: prosobranchs and pyramellid gastropods (2nd ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill/Dr W. Backhuys. [Synopses of the British Fauna No. 2]

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

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

  6. Hiscock, K., Southward, A., Tittley, I., Jory, A. & Hawkins, S., 2001. The impact of climate change on subtidal and intertidal benthic species in Scotland. Scottish National Heritage Research, Survey and Monitoring Report , no. 182., Edinburgh: Scottish National Heritage

  7. 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.]

  8. McMillan, N.F., 1968. British Shells. London: Frederick Warne & Co Ltd.


  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) data for Great Britain and Ireland - restricted access. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/4bsawx accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) records for Great Britain and Ireland. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/aurwcz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  5. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  6. NBN (National Biodiversity Network) Atlas. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  7. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-05-18

  8. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Molluscs (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jos5ga accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.


This review can be cited as:

Skewes, M. 2007. Cerithiopsis tubercularis A gastropod. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 18-05-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1646

Last Updated: 08/06/2007