One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A chiefly tropical mollusk with a somewhat globe-shaped and brightly marked shell, typically found in water.
Superfamily Neritacea, class Gastropoda: several genera and species, including the European freshwater snail Theodoxus fluviatilis
- ‘External colour in tropical nerites is quite variable, and of limited use in identification.’
- ‘Local people eat limpets and the gonads of shingle urchins uncooked but they eat nerites and periwinkles boiled.’
- ‘As with the checkered nerite, some members of a population spend more time in the water than others.’
- ‘To eat the contents, the nerite has to crush the diatom's hard silicate armour on the ground.’
- ‘But you're right that, practically speaking, it's going to be very difficult to culture nerites in your aquarium.’
Early 18th century: from Latin nerita, from Greek nēritēs ‘sea mussel’, from the name of the sea god Nereus.
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