Red Bubble Shell from Samoa

January 31, 2000
From: Don Barclay

Dr. Rudman,

Greetings from Pago Pago.
This small animal was collected just before midnight on 15 January 2000, crawling on coarse sand near shore, Utulei, west Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa, in about 30cm of water. I haven't been able to locate a photograph of this little bubble on the internet, and it is not figured in any of my conchological references or other books. The shell is about 7mm long, the entire animal about 18mm. At first glance the shell is reminiscent of some species of Bullina, but it is extremely thin. The Conch-L crowd was unable to help me on this one, but perhaps you can put a name on the little fellow.

Thanks for your time,

Don Barclay
Pago Pago,
American Samoa

Barclay, D., 2000 (Jan 31) Red Bubble Shell from Samoa. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Don,
From its size I suspect your animal is a juvenile. The animal has similarities in shape to species of Hydatina and to acteonids such as Maxacteon. In colour it also looks like the pink form of Pupa nitidula, which I have just added to the Forum, but the shell of that species is quite smooth and the shape of both the shell and animal rather different.

The shape of the shell, and the presence of the pitted or beaded sculpture is characteristic of the genus Bullina but I can't be sure of the species. There are a number of species with red or reddish marks on the shell in including the widespread Bullina lineata. The sunken spire on your shell looks quite like that of Bullina nobilis but you could only be sure with a larger animal.

Keep a watch out, with luck you may find a larger animal.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Jan 31). Comment on Red Bubble Shell from Samoa by Don Barclay. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from


Bullina sp. 1.

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