Videocams Ecosystems History First nations Sponsors
Management Home
Fusitriton oregonensis
Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Gastropoda
Order Mesigastropoda
Family Cymatiidae
Genus Fusitriton
Species oregonensis
Common Name: Hairy Oregon Triton
56K version56 k version
In this video, we see an Oregon triton on its egg mass, which has been attached on the side of the aquarium.In the last part of the video, an Oregon triton shell has been occupied by a hermit crab, Elassochirus gilli
General Description: The Hairy Oregon Triton is the largest intertidal snail on the west coast. Measuring from 100 - 150mm in length. Containing 5 -6 whorls the outside of the shell is covered with thick dark brown hairy periostracum. It was first discovered in 1848 by Redfield. The state of Oregon proclaimed the Hairy Oregon Triton its state shell because of its honourable heritage and its attractive shell. Triton eggs

Reproduction: Each triton is one gender. Pairing of tritons occurs from spring to the end of July. After mating the female tritons lay the eggs on vertical surfaces and under rock ledges. The eggs are placed in rectangular capsules in a spiral pattern. Each capsule contains 1600- 2000 eggs. Eggs measure about 150 um (micrometres). Upon hatching, the veligers a form of planktonic larvae, take about 12 weeks before beginning to scavenge for themselves.

Habitat: The Hairy Oregon Triton lives in from the intertidal zone to 90m depth. Living from Alaska to as far south as San Diego, California. Primarily living on rocks, but will also live on sandy areas. The Hairy Oregon Triton lives in both areas of high wave exposure and sheltered areas.

Feeding: This predatory carnivorous snail eats primarily tunicates and ascidians but also chitons and sea urchins, some scientists suspect it maybe a carnivorous scavenger as well. Like many other whelks, this triton drills through the shell of its prey using its radula.

Predators: The main predator of the Hairy triton is the sea star. As it is a well defended snail with a thick shell and its operculum, most predators find it too dificult to kill.

Interesting Associations: The shell of the triton will often be occupied by large hermit crabs particularily the species after their death.

Back to
The Race Rocks Taxonomy
References Cited:

Edward F. Ricketts, Jack Calvin, and Joel W. Hedgpeth, Between Pacific Tides,1985

Eugene N. Kozloff, Marine Inverebrates of the Pacific Northwest, 1996

Megumi F. Strathmann, Reproduction and Development of Marine Invertebrates of the Northern Pacific Coast, 1987

Lester B. Pearson College
This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students of Lester B. Pearson College Dec. 2001 Joshua Vanwyck, PC yr. 28