You’re probably used to spending a maximum of $3 on a snail, perhaps a little more if you are really unlucky. But if all marine snails looked as good as the coldwater Jewel Top Snail (Calliostoma annulatum) would you be willing to fork out $20? Cold Water Marine Aquatics just acquired a couple of these’ jewels’ and is asking a whole Jackson a pop. Worth it for something as simple as a snail? Or just right for an organism this stunning and iconic of West Coast reefs?
Diet-wise they are well suited for the average cold water marine aquarium, considering they are fairly omnivorous feeding on kelp, bryozoans, and detritus. Although nobody is entirely sure of it’s hardiness, as they haven’t really been widely kept in captivity before. In case the snail does die it would always make for a great looking hermit crab retreat so no matter what, you’ll always have a splash of beautiful gold and magenta in your display. As most coldwater reefs are usually green, maroon, brown and silver, having a coldwater reef organism with this amount of pop is awesome.
Again whether you think all these considerations are worth the price, in the the end pricing is determined by market demand and these snail truly are hot, not to mention this the first time these are available anywhere. Another factor to keep in mind is there is someone selling just the shells for $45 a pop on Etsy. If you are interested in acquiring one of these stunning snails, check out the product page at Cold Water Marine Aquatics, though be aware there are only two left at the time we wrote this post.