Similan Diving - Wentletraps
wicked's Public Gallery
The word wentletrap originated in German-Dutch, and it means spiral staircase. These snails are sometimes also called "staircase shells", and "ladder shells".
Wentletraps inhabit all seas and oceans worldwide, from the tropical zones to the arctic and antarctic zones.
Wentletraps are notable for their intricately geometric shell architecture. The turret-shaped shell consists of tightly-wound whorls which create a high, conical spiral. The shells have a round aperture and a round operculum which fits the aperture tightly.
In the genus Epitonium the shell has high, sharply ribbed sculpture, known as "costae".
Most species of wentletrap are white, and have a porcelain-like appearance, measuring no more than two inches in length, and exude a pink or purplish dye.
Many wentletraps reveal a hint of purple body color, suggestive of carnivorous feeding (Keen, 1958). Keen also cited direct observation of a wentletrap feeding by insertion of its proboscis into a sea anemone.