species: Naticarius onca in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Naticarius onca

©Anne Hoggett: Naticarius onca at Lizard Island at night.

©Anne Hoggett: Naticarius onca at Lizard Island at night.

©Johanna Werminghausen: Naticarius onca at Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Gastropoda
Order Littorinimorpha
Family Naticidae
Genus Naticarius
Species Naticarius onca



Distinguishing features

Shell white with rows of dark spot; burrows in sand and emerges at night to feed. Two distinct genetic lineages which may represent different species have identical shell characters (Huelsken et al, 2011).


  • Up to 2.5 cm (Shell length)



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Abundant in shallow sandy areas.

Web resources


  • Huelsken, T. (2008). Phylogenetic relationship and species identification within the Natcidae Guilding, 1834 (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda), Ph.D. thesis, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum. LIRS catalog number 1204.
  • Huelsken, T., H. Waegele, B. Peters, A. Mather and M. Hollmann (2011). Molecular analysis of adults and egg masses reveals two independent lineages within the infaunal gastropod Naticarius onca (Roeding, 1798) (Caenogastropoda: Naticidae), Molluscan Research, 31(3): 141-151. LIRS catalog number 1454.
  • Robertson, R. (1981). List of shell-bearing mollusks observed and collected at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia, Tryonia, 4: 1-32. LIRS catalog number 403.