Whelk
Overview
 
Whelk, also spelled welk or even "wilks", is a common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 used to mean one or more kinds of sea snail
Sea snail
Sea snail is a common name for those snails that normally live in saltwater, marine gastropod molluscs....

. The species, genera and families referred to using this common name vary a great deal from one geographic area to another. Many kinds of whelks have historically been used, or are still used, by humans for food.

Although many whelks are quite large and are in the family Buccinidae
Buccinidae
Buccinidae is a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.True whelks are mostly marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Neogastropoda...

 (the true whelks) the word is also applied to some other marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 gastropod mollusc species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 within several, not very closely related, families of sea snails.

The word originally comes from the Proto-Germanic root "weluka", which may come from the Proto-Indo-European root "wel-" meaning to turn or revolve.
In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, whelk refers to several large edible species in the genera Busycon
Busycon
Busycon is a genus of very large edible sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Buccinidae. These snails are commonly known in the United States as whelks or Busycon whelks....

and Busycotypus
Busycotypus
Busycotypus is a genus of very large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Buccinidae. In the USA, these are commonly known as whelks.-Subgenera and species:Subgenera and species within the genus Busycotypus are as follows:...

, which are now classified in the family Buccinidae
Buccinidae
Buccinidae is a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.True whelks are mostly marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Neogastropoda...

.
Encyclopedia
Whelk, also spelled welk or even "wilks", is a common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

 used to mean one or more kinds of sea snail
Sea snail
Sea snail is a common name for those snails that normally live in saltwater, marine gastropod molluscs....

. The species, genera and families referred to using this common name vary a great deal from one geographic area to another. Many kinds of whelks have historically been used, or are still used, by humans for food.

Although many whelks are quite large and are in the family Buccinidae
Buccinidae
Buccinidae is a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.True whelks are mostly marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Neogastropoda...

 (the true whelks) the word is also applied to some other marine
Marine (ocean)
Marine is an umbrella term. As an adjective it is usually applicable to things relating to the sea or ocean, such as marine biology, marine ecology and marine geology...

 gastropod mollusc species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 within several, not very closely related, families of sea snails.

The word originally comes from the Proto-Germanic root "weluka", which may come from the Proto-Indo-European root "wel-" meaning to turn or revolve.

USA

In the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, whelk refers to several large edible species in the genera Busycon
Busycon
Busycon is a genus of very large edible sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Buccinidae. These snails are commonly known in the United States as whelks or Busycon whelks....

and Busycotypus
Busycotypus
Busycotypus is a genus of very large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Buccinidae. In the USA, these are commonly known as whelks.-Subgenera and species:Subgenera and species within the genus Busycotypus are as follows:...

, which are now classified in the family Buccinidae
Buccinidae
Buccinidae is a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.True whelks are mostly marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Neogastropoda...

. These are sometimes called Busycon
Busycon
Busycon is a genus of very large edible sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Buccinidae. These snails are commonly known in the United States as whelks or Busycon whelks....

 whelks
.

In addition, the unrelated invasive
Invasive species
"Invasive species", or invasive exotics, is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna, and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats, with several definitions....

 murex
Murex
Murex is a genus of medium to large sized predatory tropical sea snails. These are carnivorous marine gastropod molluscs in the family Muricidae, commonly calle "murexes" or "rock snails"...

 Rapana venosa is referred to as the Veined rapa whelk or Asian rapa whelk in the family Muricidae
Muricidae
Muricidae, common name murex snails or rock snails, is a large and varied taxonomic family of small to large predatory sea snails. With approximately 1,600 living species the Muricidae represent almost 10% of the Neogastropoda. Additionally, 1,200 fossil species have been recognised...

.

British Isles, Belgium, Netherlands

In the British Isles
British Isles
The British Isles are a group of islands off the northwest coast of continental Europe that include the islands of Great Britain and Ireland and over six thousand smaller isles. There are two sovereign states located on the islands: the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, the word is used for a number of species in the family Buccinidae
Buccinidae
Buccinidae is a very large and diverse taxonomic family of large sea snails, often known as whelks or true whelks.True whelks are mostly marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Neogastropoda...

, especially Buccinum undatum
Buccinum undatum
Buccinum undatum, known as the common whelk, is a large edible marine gastropod in the family Buccinidae, the "true whelks".-Distribution:...

, an edible Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an and Northern Atlantic species.

In the British Isles, the common name "dog whelk" is used for Nucella lapillus (family Muricidae) and for Nassarius
Nassarius
Nassarius, common name nassa mud snails or dog whelks , is a genus of minute to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Nassariidae. -Etymology:...

species (family Nassariidae
Nassariidae
Nassariidae, common name nassa mud snails , or dog whelks , are a taxonomic family of small to medium-sized sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Neogastropoda.-Shell description:...

).

Scotland

In Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, the word "whelk" is also used to mean the periwinkle
Common Periwinkle
The common periwinkle or winkle, scientific name Littorina littorea, is a species of small edible sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk which has gills and an operculum, and is classified within the family Littorinidae, the periwinkles....

 (Littorina littorea), family Littorinidae
Littorinidae
Littorinidae is a taxonomic family of over 200 species of sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Littorinimorpha, commonly known as periwinkles and found world-wide.-Names:...

.

West Indies

In the English-speaking islands of the West Indies, the word whelks or wilks (this word is both singular and plural) is applied to a large edible top shell, Cittarium pica
Cittarium pica
Cittarium pica, common name the West Indian top shell or magpie shell, is a species of large edible sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Turbinidae. This species has a large black and white shell....

, also known as the magpie or West Indian top shell, family Trochidae
Trochidae
The Trochidae, common name top snails, are a taxonomic family of very small to large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Vetigastropoda ....

.

Australia, New Zealand

In Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, species of the genus Cabestana
Cabestana
Cabestana is a genus of medium to large sea snails known as predatory whelks, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Ranellidae, the . This genus is found in warm temperate and tropical waters.-Species:Species within the genus include:...

(family Ranellidae
Ranellidae
Ranellidae, common name the triton shells or tritons, is a taxonomic family of small to very large predatory sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the clade Littorinimorpha.-Subfamilies:...

) are called predatory whelks.

Some common examples

  • Common whelk
  • Speckled whelk
  • Lightning whelk
    Lightning whelk
    The lightning whelk, scientific name Busycon contrarium, is an edible species of very large predatory sea snail or whelk, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Buccinidae, the busycon whelks. This species has a left-handed or sinistral shell...

  • Knobbed whelk
    Knobbed whelk
    The knobbed whelk, Busycon carica, is a species of very large predatory sea snail, or in the USA, a whelk, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Buccinidae, the busycon whelks....

    , the state shell of Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

     and New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

  • Channeled whelk
    Channeled whelk
    The channeled whelk, Busycotypus canaliculatus, previously known as Busycon canaliculatum, is a very large predatory sea snail, a marine prosobranch gastropod, a busycon whelk, belonging to the family Buccinidae. This species is edible....

  • "Wrinkled whelk", a common name for both Neptunea lyrata
    Neptunea lyrata
    Neptunea lyrata, common name ribbed neptune, inflated whelk or lyre neptune, is a species of large sea snail, a fossil marine gastropod mollusk in the family Buccinidae....

    and Nucella lamellosa
    Nucella lamellosa
    Nucella lamellosa is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Muricidae, the murex snails or rock snails....

  • "Triton whelk", an Australian common name for Charonia species

See also

  • Conch
    Conch
    A conch is a common name which is applied to a number of different species of medium-sized to large sea snails or their shells, generally those which are large and have a high spire and a siphonal canal....

    , another common name used for a wide variety of large sea snails or their shells

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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