Divers studying marine plants have spotted a sea snail not seen in Manx waters for almost two centuries.
The grooved top shell snail, Jujubinus striatus, was “inadvertently caught on camera” by scientists looking at eelgrass in the Langness Marine Nature Reserve at Fort Island Gully in December. It was spotted in diver Tony Glen’s photos by marine environment officer Peter Duncan, who asked the divers to go back to collect samples for confirmation.
The miniature mollusc was last found by marine biologist Edward Forbes in 1838. Measuring in at about 10mm tall, it is so small that three of the snails can fit on a 5p coin!
As it is typically only found in the Mediterranean, and only as far north as Anglesey and Dublin Bay, this discovery now confirms the most-northerly distribution of the living snail in the British Isles.
The species will now be added to the NBN Atlas Isle of Man