West Indian Topshell (Cittarium pica)
This large marine snail can be found on the rocky shoreline along the South Shore and in the east end of Bermuda. The West Indian Topshell is the largest of Bermuda's rocky shore residents, with some shells reaching up to 15 cm (6 inches). The Topshell is triangular shaped with black blotches on a white or grey background.
This large snail was a popular food item among early Bermudians as they could be easily gathered along the shoreline at low tide, so this species became extripated (locally extinct in Bermuda). This had a serious impact on the Land Hermit Crab population, as they rely on empty Topshell shells for shelter.
In 1982 Topshells were re-introduced to Bermuda at Nonsuch Island, and they have spread westward along the South Shore.
This species is legally protected in Bermuda and should never be collected;dead or alive.