Common American Auger (Terebra dislocata Say, 1822)

Common American Auger
Terebra dislocata Say, 1822

Common American Auger:
Many-Whorled Univalve

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

The Common American Auger may reach a height of 1¾ inches. The approximately 15 whorls of the univalve shell have indistinct sutures (the seams where adjacent whorls meet). Each whorl has about two dozen axial ribs, giving the shell a slightly corrugated appearance. The overall shape of the shell is elongated, narrowing to a point. The surface may be off-white, tan, or gray. The shell has a definite twist at the base of the columella (the “core” or central axis of the shell), and the aperture (opening) is small and somewhat longitudinally elongated.

There is a horny operculum which can cover the aperture. This “door” is closed when the gastropod has retracted into its shell.

Auger snails have a poison gland, and a harpoon-like “tooth” which can be ejected from the proboscis to stab worms and small fish. American Augers, however, do not pose a threat to shell collectors. The Common American Auger lives in shallow water from the Virginia coast to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.


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