Marine Animal Encyclopedia
Top Shell Trochus niloticus
Easily distinguished from most other gastropods by the conical shape of its spiral shell, the top shell moves slowly over reef flats and coral rubble, feeding on algae. Demand for its flesh and pretty shell has led to declining numbers, especially in the Philippines, due to unregulated harvesting. It has, however, been successfully introduced elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific, such as French Polynesia and the Cook Islands, from where some original sites are being restocked.