American Oyster Drill, Urosalpinx cinerea


Short description of Urosalpinx cinerea, American Oyster Drill

A tall, conical shell, up to four cm high and two cm broad, with a sharply pointed spire and up to eight rounded whorls bearing pronounced ridges and ribs.   Yellowish, orange or grey in colour, sometimes with irregular brown marks.  The aperture is oval with an open canal at the base.   

Description of Urosalpinx cinerea, American Oyster Drill status in GB

The American oyster drill is found on the Essex and Kent coasts, especially in estuaries and associated with oysters. 

Habitat summary: Urosalpinx cinerea, American Oyster Drill

The American oyster drill inhabits the lower shore and shallow subtidal waters to depths of around 12-15 metres.  It prefers the muddy bottoms of estuaries and is often found feeding on oyster beds. 

Overview table

Environment: Marine and Freshwater
Species status: Non-Native
Native range: Northern America
Functional type: Predator
Status in England: Non-Native
Status in Scotland: Non-Native
Status in Wales: Non-Native
Location of first record: Essex Oyster Ground
Date of first record: 1927

Distribution map

GB Distribution from NBN Atlas

Author's name:

Natalie Sweet

Last updated:

September 27th 2016

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