The “little rascal” Large Necklace Shell (Euspira catena)
February is the time to find the Large Necklace Shell’s large egg ribbons in the sandy gullies near Little Seymour and Seymour Tower. These large molluscs grow up to 3 cm and look a bit like a garden snail.
They lay their eggs in collar like ribbons consisting of sand, mucus and eggs. (The smaller egg ribbons of the Alder Necklace Shell resemble flat sand spirals.)
Forget all the nice images of marine wildlife.
The first Necklace shell hatchlings feed on the eggs surrounding them. Once fully grown their appetite switches to eating bivalves, e.g. cockles, which they dig up from the seabed.
First they soften the shell chemically and then drill a neat hole near the hinge to get inside. The cockle is paralysed and killed – and will open up, full of fine food … Life on the seabed!