Kellet’s Whelk

Kellet’s Whelk (Kelletia kelletii)

Contributed by TPERP Mike Moser (2006)

Kellet's Whelk
R. Earls

Where found: Isla Asuncion, Baja California (south) to Monterey, California (north). They are found on rocky reefs, cobbled sand and in kelp beds. Depths of 2m to 70m and occasionally the tidal zone. Usually found in water temperatures from 9 degrees C to 17 degrees C (48.2 degrees F to 62.6 degrees F).

Interesting facts: Usually light colored – dead shells are alabaster white.

Can reach lengths of 75mm (~6 inches)

Usually covered with algae, bryozoan and other things

Very dense heavy shell

Their range has been observed creeping north (possibly due to warmer water and changing circulation patterns).

We only find dead shells and large adults in the tidepools.

They have an operculum

Food/Diet: They are a predator and feed on many mobile and sessile invertebrates, including small abalone.

Reproduction/Growth: Reproduces annually by laying eggs on hard substrate.

Larvae stay here for 30 to 34 days, then disperse into water.

Juveniles less than 20mm (~1 inch), not found with adults

Classification
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Superfamily: Buccinoidea
Family: Buccinidae
Scientific Name: Kelletia kelletii
Common Name(s): kellet’s whelk

Kellet's Whelk
R. Earls

Last revised 04-May-17