White Cornball Shells

Nassarius arcularia common names cornball, the casket nassa or the little box dog whelk

These belong to the large sea snail group of shells, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Nassariidae, the Nassa mud snails or dog whelks.

Nassarius Arcularis are common and often varies in form. The whorls are more or less elongated, the longitudinal folds and the transverse striae, sometimes completely disappear upon the body whorll, nevertheless, tubercles remain which cover this shell, and the furrows at the base, which are very well marked. The coloring varies equally, some specimens are entirely white. Others are of a uniform reddish or chestnut color. The young of this species have folds and striae much more prominent. In them the lip is thin, smooth, and the callosity does not exist upon the columella.

This species occurs in the Indian Ocean off East Africa, Madagascar and Mozambique and in the Central and Western Pacific Ocean; off East India, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Indonesia, Ryukyu Islands, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Fiji, Tonga Islands and Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland).

The shell size varies between 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches

The white aperture is ovate, and terminates at the summit by an excavated notch at the top of the outer lip, and by a fold of the inner lip. The depth of the cavity is brown or of a violet-color, marked with transverse, whitish bands. The outer lip is thin upon the edge, denticulated in a part of its length, deeply striated internally. The columella is arcuated, covered by the inner lip, which is enlarged upon the body of the shell, and forms a semicircular callosity, often thick and polished. The color of this shell is generally ash, externally. But sometimes it is bluish, ornamented with one or several transverse, white or brown bands. Another brown band extends always between the tubercles of the body whorl. The operculum is oval and rounded, membranous and denticulated upon one of its edges.

Scientific classification

Domain: Eukaryota

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Mollusca

Class: Gastropoda

Subclass: Caenogastropoda

Order: Neogastropoda

Family: Nassariidae

Genus: Nassarius

Species: Nassarius arcularia

Binomial name: Nassarius arcularia

(Linnaeus, 1758)

(REF:Nassarius arcularius (Linnaeus, 1758). Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species) (REF:Kiener (1840). General species and iconography of recent shells : comprising the Massena Museum, the collection of Lamarck, the collection of the Museum of Natural History, and the recent discoveries of travellers; Boston :W.D. Ticknor,1837 (described as Buccinum arcularia) (REF: Wilson, B. 1994. Australian Marine Shells. Prosobranch Gastropods. Kallaroo, WA)


One Nassarius arcularia (Cornball Shell) 1 inch or less..... .05


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