Fusitriton oregonensis Article

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Oregon hairy triton
Fusitriton oregonensis 3.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Tonnoidea
Family: Ranellidae
Subfamily: Ranellinae
Genus: Fusitriton
Species: F. oregonensis
Binomial name
Fusitriton oregonensis
Redfield, 1846
Apertural view of Fusitriton oregonensis (Redfield, 1846) with operculum.

Fusitriton oregonensis (Oregon hairy triton) is a species of large predatory sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Ranellidae, the tritons.

The snail was given its specific name oregonensis (meaning "of Oregon") to honor the Oregon Territory by conchologist John Howard Redfield in 1846. [1] [2] [3]

The Oregon hairy triton was declared the state seashell of Oregon in 1989 by the 65th Legislative Assembly. [4]


The Oregon hairy triton is native to the northwestern coast of North America. The shells are found from Alaska to California, as well as in northern Japan. The shells often wash up on the coast during high tides. [1] [2]

Shell description

The shells grow from three to five inches long. [5] The shell is light brown in color and is covered with gray-brown bristly periostracum, hence the name "hairy." The shell is an elongate cone with six whorls (or turns) around a central axis.

Apertural view of a juvenile with operculum and contracted soft parts visible
Abapertural view of the shell.


This species is common subtidally. [6]

Life habits

Scanning electron microscopic image of immature parasperm lancet (infertile sperm morph) of Fusitriton oregonensis showing the tail brush still present, which later develops into part of the body of the parasperm. It is producing when sperm competition occurs.

Little is known of the snail's feeding habits, but they are believed to feed on other mollusks, [5] ascidians ("sea squirts"), [7] and more rarely, sea urchins. [8] The species also holds the record for longest larval development period of any marine invertebrate, able to delay metamorphosis for over 4 years until presented with appropriate habitat. [9] Under laboratory conditions, the larvae showed no signs of senescence at that point. According to some authorities, four years is long enough to drift completely across the Pacific Ocean.


  1. ^ a b State Symbols: Mountains to National Wildlife Refuges, Oregon Blue Book
  2. ^ a b "Fusitriton oregonensis". Gastropods.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  3. ^ "Harvard University Index of Botanists". Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  4. ^ Chapter 186 — State Emblems; State Boundary Archived March 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. 2005 Oregon Revised Statutes
  5. ^ a b "eNature: Oregon Hairy Triton". eNature. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  6. ^ Washington State University Extension, Intertidal Organisms EZ-ID Guides: Fusitriton oregonensis (Oregon triton)
  7. ^ Young, C.M. (January 1985). "Abundance patterns of subtidal solitary ascidians in the San Juan Islands, Washington, as influenced by food preferences of the predatory snail Fusitriton oregonensis". Marine Biology. 84 (3): 309–321. doi: 10.1007/BF00392501. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  8. ^ Duggins, David O. (December 1983). "Starfish Predation and the Creation of Mosaic Patterns in a Kelp-Dominated Community". Ecology. 64 (6): 1610–1619. doi: 10.2307/1937514. JSTOR  1937514.
  9. ^ Strathmann, Megumi F.; Richard R. Strathmann (October 1, 2007). "An Extraordinarily Long Larval Duration of 4.5 Years from Hatching to Metamorphosis for Teleplanic Veligers of Fusitriton oregonensis". The Biological Bulletin. 213 (2): 152–159. doi: 10.2307/25066631. JSTOR  25066631. PMID  17928522. Retrieved 2009-05-04.