Rhinoclavis kochi
(Philippi, 1848)

Relevant Synonyms
Cerithium kochi Philippi, 1848
Cerithium subulatum Lamarck, 1822
Cerithium recurvum Sowerby, 1855


 photo: S. Gofas / Coll. G. Spada    

Shell very slender, high-spired, about 4.5 times as long as wide, of 13-17 whorls (not counting the protoconch whorls usually eroded in the adult). Sculpture on early spire whorls of two spiral cords at some distance from the suture, on later spire whorls rising to 6-7 spiral cords running quite close to each other and alternating one stronger and one weaker, the subsutural cord stronger and with more conspicuous knobs. Weak axial folds determine knobs at their intersection with the spirals, and there are also a few varixes along the spire. Body whorl very slightly expanded. Aperture with a somewhat thickened outer lip, smooth inside, and a moderately long, quite open siphonal canal.

color : pale buff background with irregular brownish areas, the interspaces between spiral cords usually darker.

common size : commonly 20-30 mm high, up to 40 mm in Mediterranean specimens and 50 mm in the Indo-Pacific.

This species is distinguished from any other cerithid in the area by its extremely slender shape. Young specimens will be distinguished from look-alike species of Bittium or Clathrofenella by the much more developed, protruding siphonal canal, surrounded by a rather concave area of the body whorl.

Egg masses are gelatinous strings attached to the bottom, from which the larvae hatch as planktotrophic veligers.

habitat : in its original range, the habitat is on muddy to sandy bottom from shallow water to ca. 60 m, mostly between 20-60 m. The Mediterranean habitat seems to be quite the same, on the continental shelf.

1st Mediterranean record
Haifa Bay, Israel, 1973 [1963].

Worldwide: Red Sea: Indian Ocean, south to Natal and to NW Australia; Western Pacific, south to northern Australia and New Caledonia. Mediterranean: recorded first in 1963 from Israel (Barash and Danin, 1973); successively from Cyprus (Demetropoulos and Hadjichristophorou, 1976); Lebanon (Bogi and Khairalla, 1987); Turkey, from Gulf of Iskenderun to Alanya (Enzenross et al., 1990).

Invasive where established; "one of the most abundant gastropod species in the Mediterranean waters" (Barash and Danin, 1977a).

speculated reasons for success :

Possibly via the Suez Canal although it is not recorded from the canal itself.



  • Barash A. and Danin Z., 1973. The Indo-Pacific species of mollusca in the Mediterranean and notes on a collection from the Suez canal. Israel Journal of Zoology, 21(3-4): 301-374 [Cerithium kochi pp. 308-309, Fig. 5].
  • Barash A. and Danin Z., 1977a. Additions to the knowledge of Indo-Pacific Mollusca in the Mediterranean. Conchiglie, 13(5-6): 85-116.
  • Demetropoulos A. and Hadjichristophorou M., 1976. Some additions to the knowledge of the malacofauna of Cyprus. Departement of Fisheries, Nicosia: 75-83.


  • Enzenross L., Enzenross R. and Niederhöfer H.J., 1990. Wissenschaflich interssante Funde aus der Sammlung Enzenross (marine Invertebraten). Jahreshefte der Gesellschaftten fuer Naturkunde in Wuerttemberg, 145: 283-294.
  • Houbrick R.S., 1978a. The family Cerithiidae in the Indo-Pacific. Part 1: the genera Rhinoclavis, Pseudovertagus and Clavocerithium. Monographs of Marine Mollusca, 1: 1-130 [R. kochi pp. 73-79].


Last update : January 2005

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