British Columbia's coast is a cold water
region of the Oregonian faunal province of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Although
the outer coast is generally very rugged and exposed, the many inland waterways,
inlets and islands allow for a great variety of marine habitats: rocky
headlands and fine sandy beaches on the outer coast, muddy bays and river
estuaries in more protected areas. Salinity also varies considerably from
place to place, especially in the region surrounding Vancouver, due to
the outflow of the Fraser River.
This Web site is devoted to the many species of shelled
molluscs found on our coast. This site will eventually include most of
the species one is likely to find on the British Columbia coast, some of
which have ranges that extend beyond our borders as far as Oregon and California
to the south or Alaska and Russia to the north. All species accounts include
images scanned from shells in my own collection, so the nature of this
list of shells is dictated by what I have available in my personal collection.
Most of the common species will be found in this list; in the event that
a non-pictured species may be confused with one I've shown, I will endeavor
to describe the differences.