Animal Species:Sydney Rock Whelk

The Sydney Rock Whelk is usually found at low-tide level on or near its favourite food, the Cunjevoi.

Sydney Rock Whelk with eggs

Dr Isobel Bennett © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Sydney Rock Whelk

Alternative Name/s

Orange Triton

Identification

The Sydney Rock Whelk has distinguishing red-brown lines, often in pairs between the grooves of the shell.

Size range

15 cm

Distribution

The Sydney Rock Whelk is found in Southern Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Habitat

The Sydney Rock Whelk is found on intertidal rock platforms.

Feeding and Diet

The Sydney Rock Whelk selectively feeds on the Cunjevoi's gonads (reproductive organs) and reaches them by inserting its long mouthparts down one of the siphons or feeding tubes of the Cunjevoi.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Aboriginal people most likely ate these snails in the past, as the shells have been found in Aboriginal midden sites around Sydney.

Classification

Species:
spengleri
Genus:
Cabestana
Family:
Ranellidae
Order:
Sorbeoconcha
Class:
Gastropoda
Phylum:
Mollusca
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags whelks, molluscs, gastropods, shellfish, food, edible, indigenous, wildlife of sydney, identification, invertebrates,