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Calliostoma ligatum

Shell and operculum of Calliostoma ligatum (Gould, 1849)

Calliostoma ligatum,[1] common name the blue topsnail, is a species of small sea snail with gills and an operculum, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Calliostomatidae, the Calliostoma top snails.[2]


The conical, solid shell has well rounded globose whorls with 6 to 8 smooth spiral cords per whorl and no umbilicus. Its base is flattened. The surface is encircled by numerous spiral smooth riblets, their interstices closely finely obliquely striate. There are usually 7 to 9 riblets on the penultimate whorl, about 9 on the base. The spire is conic. The apex is acute. The sutures are impressed. There are about seven, convex whorls. The body whorl is and rounded (or a trifle angled) around the lower part, slightly convex beneath. The oblique aperture is rounded. The outer lip is fluted within, with a beveled opaque white submargin. The throat is pearly and iridescent;. The simple columella is arcuate.

The base color is chocolate brown to mauve with light tan raised cords, and the aperture is pearly white. The apex is darked and usually purple.

The shell is relatively heavy for its size, and its length and width are roughly equal. Length and width up to 24 mm.[3][4]


Found from Alaska to San Diego, California.[5]


  1. ^ WoRMS (2010). Calliostoma ligatum (Gould, 1849). In: Bouchet, P.; Gofas, S.; Rosenberg, G. (2010) World Marine Mollusca database. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at
  2. ^ "Calliostoma ligatum (Gould, 1849)". ITIS, accessed 21 May 2010.
  3. ^ American Seashells (Second Edition, 1974), R. Tucker Abbott, p. 48, ISBN 0-442-20228-8
  4. ^ Tryon (1889), Manual of Conchology XI, Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia (described as Calliostoma costatum)
  5. ^ American Seashells (Second Edition, 1974), R. Tucker Abbott, p. 48, ISBN 0-442-20228-8


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