Spotted Slipper Shell (Crepidua macuolsa Conrad, 1846)

Spotted Slipper Shells
Crepidua macuolsa Conrad, 1846

Spotted Slipper Shell:
Known By the Spots It Keeps

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

The name of the Spotted Slipper Shell says it all. This pretty little shell has the normal configuration of a Slipper Shell — it is an oval-shaped “boat” with a “deck” on it; or, another analogy: it is a ladies' bedroom slipper. Yet another writer described it as an “arched, tub-shaped shell.”

The surface of the approximately 1-inch long shell is creamy white checked with small tawny brown spots. There is a circular scar beneath the right edge of the shelf and a small coiled apex at one end of the shell.

The living mollusk attaches itself to hard surfaces using its large foot. It remains in place most of the time. Members of the various species of Slipper Shells often attach themselves to Horseshoe Crabs, oysters, rocks, and other Slipper Shells. They can be harmful to oyster beds in that they may smother the oysters.

The mollusk is hermaphroditic, having both male and female reproductive organs. In general, the younger, more active Slippers are male; the older, sedentary Slippers are female. Slippers do not self-fertilize; their male and female organs operate at different times of the spawning season, and, as mentioned, of their life cycle.

This gastropod lives in shallow water from Florida to Mexico. It can also wash in on Bahamanian beaches. As an adult, the snail is a filter feeder.


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