Atys (gastropod)

Atys is a genus of very small to medium-sized sea snails, marine opisthobranch gastropod mollusks in the family Haminoeidae.[1]

Atys naucum.shell001.jpg
Two views of a shell of Atys naucum
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Heterobranchia
Order: Cephalaspidea
Family: Haminoeidae
Genus: Atys
(Montfort, 1810)

See text

All the species within the genus Atys are herbivores. They occur in tropical and warm oceans and seas. They are cephalaspideans, part of the suborder of headshield slugs and bubble snails.

The genus was named after Atys, a king of Alba Longa, who was mentioned in ancient Greek texts.


These snails have a shell which is very lightweight and translucent, with a sunken spire. The shape of the shell in some species resembles a bubble, and because of this, species in this genus are commonly known as Atys bubble shells or Atys bubble snails. (Several other shelled families within the Cephalaspidea are even more commonly known as "bubble shells" or "bubble snails", for example, the Bullidae.)

The anatomy of the soft parts of most species within this genus has not been studied, but it seems that some of the species in this genus can not reliably be discriminated on the basis of shell characters alone. Unfortunately however, a considerable number of the species were originally named from empty shells, and as a result, their exact identity may be problematic.


Species within the genus Atys include:[1]



  • Redfern, Colin, 2001, Bahamian Seashells, a thousand species from Abaco, Bahamas, published by Inc

External linksEdit

  • Excellent images of living animals of numerous species, along with life information, can be found by searching for "Atys" listings at the Sea Slug Forum: [1]
  • Some info and images: [2]
  • More info: [3]