Hi, my name is Clarence,

I am a Batillaria minima


I am known by many common names such as Black Horn Shell or False Cerith.

I grow to about a ½ inch in length. I live in shallow waters from Florida to the West Indies.

The color of my species is usually is black and white spiral bands but occasionally we are just pale gray to black. I am banded like most of my species (but now my diet is different, who knows what color I will grow to be).

My first home was in a small bowl.

I now live in a fancy 3 gallon saltwater aquarium

In my natural habitat I live in shallow waters and tide pools where I become easy prey for many fish and birds.

In my new home I don’t have to worry about that. Whew!

Now, You might ask me - just how is it that I am now living in an aquarium in a house in New England when I came from a tide pool in Bermuda?

Well, A young lady named Allison went on a trip to Bermuda. Allison has a friend who collects shells so she decided to pick some shells up on the beach for her.

She scooped me up thinking I was dead. Well... I was stuck into a plastic bottle where I remained for almost a week. I was even on an airplane and in a car.  

WOW - quite a trip for a little snail.

When back from her holiday, Allison gave the plastic bottle containing me and a few other empty shells to her freind - Toni . When Toni opened the jar she found out I was very much ALIVE!

Toni, who loves all animals ,decided that she very much wanted to keep me alive.


Toni knew that releasing me into a strange habitat up in New England would not be good for me or the environment. In the cold waters, I would surly die and releasing a foriegn species into any environment is never a good thing.

Dawn, Toni's daughter got some salt water and sand from the beach across the street from where we live and built a little home for me in a small glass vase. Dawn became responsible for this chore as Toni is handicapped.

This became a lot of work since with no proper water circulation the water and sand had to be changed everyday as my water would get very murky and foul in a matter of hours.

So , Toni and Dawn got a three gallon aquarium just for me with a Bio-Wheel ( a filter and circulator in one). Now now my maintenance is a lot easier for them both.

Even though I am just ½ inch this is quite an undertaking for them and I appreciate their hard work.

I will try to keep my story updated so, I hope to talk to you soon,




Hi Everyone,

We hope you liked meeting our little Friend, Clarence, and we will update his site now and then. We hope we can keep him healthy and alive.

All we know about him is that he eats detritus(algae and sea debris), so we hope enough grows for him in his new home. We put in some live seaweed and some soft shells (so he can get calcium to build his shell).

If anyone has suggestions or ideas please send them to Toni T: clarencesfanmail@cox.net . We don’t recommend doing this with foreign snails because it is hard to know what to put in their tanks to keep them healthy, but if you do it with a local common snail it can be quite fun and educational.

--Toni and Dawn


Web Sites where you can learn more about Batillaria minima

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