Variegated Amphissa

Amphissa columbiana

The Amphissa colombiana is a part of the Columbellidae family in which one can observe small folds on the columella in addition to the outer lip of the aperature.  These two attributes are key features that promote identification of the snail’s family: Columbellidae.  The shell of the variegate amphissa can grow up to 3.0 cm in length in addition to the shell having patterns of alternating dark and light markings (1).  Other physical attributes of the shell include the 5 rounded sections or whorls in addition to the shell color variation that can be pink, orange, mauve, yellow, or molted with brown.  The actual body of the organism is white with some darker spots (2).  While the general habitat ranges from rocky to muddy beaches within subtidal zones, the geographic distribution ranges from Alaska to San Pedro, California.  In addition, the variegates amphissa are commonly found within the Puget Sound area and the outer Northwest coast.  The depth range is approximately 29 m.  In respect to food sources, the Amphissa colombiana feeds on dead flesh and dead algae in which the organism uses its long siphon to scavenge (1). 

(1) “Amphissa Columbiana Dall, 1916.” Invertswallawalla,  https://inverts.wallawalla.edu/Mollusca/Gastropoda/Prosobranchia/Order_Neogastropoda/Suborder_Rachiglossa/Family_Columbellidae/Amphissa_columbiana.html.

(2) “Amphissa Columbiana.” University of Alaska, http://www.uas.alaska.edu/arts_sciences/naturalsciences/biology/tamone/catalog/mollusca/amphissa_columbiana/index.html.