Polished nerite Nerita polita

  • Rocky Shores
  • Mollusc
  • Gastropod


Nerita polita is a gastropod mollusc belonging to the family of Neritidae. It has a glossy, smooth shell with fine axial growth lines. The exterior of its shell is variable in colour and can be white, cream, grey or pink. The spire of the shell is depressed, and the width of the shell is greater than its height. The outer lip has about 20 weak denticles and the inner band of the outer lip can be orange or yellow in colour. The operculum (lid or cover) is calcareous and smooth, and can be pink, grey or black in colour[1]. The average length of this mollusc is 3 cm.


[1] The Seashells of New South Wales, Des Beechey, Senior Fellow, Australian Museum, Release 25. Website at https://seashellsofnsw.org.au/Neritidae/Pages/Nerita_polita.htm


Habitat and ecology

Nerita polita is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific region; including the Red Sea, Kenya, Chagos, East coast of South Africa, Mauritius, Australia, North West Cape, WA, around northern Australia to Sydney, NSW. Its habitat includes wet fine sandy shores. It is usually buried in the sand during the day and comes out at night to graze and feed on microalgae on exposed rock surfaces around mid-tide level[1].


Conservation and management

Nerita polita has not been evaluated by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Did you know?

Nerita polita is a common species that is gathered for food and for its attractive shell.