Showing 7 posts tagged cowrie

Juvenile Common Egg Cowrie (Ovula ovum) by Samantha Craven

The surface of the shell is smooth, shiny and completely snow white, with a dark reddish-purple interior, visible through the wide and long aperture, which bears teeth on one side only. In the living cowries the mantle is black, with a pattern of small white spots in adults, while juveniles resemble some toxic nudibranchs of the genus Phyllidia owing to their orange yellow sensorial papillae. The lateral flaps of the mantle usually hide completely the white surface, but the mantle is quickly retracted into the shell opening when the cowry is disturbed (source)

I've noticed that many cowries have bumps on the part of the mantle that covers the shell. Do these serve a purpose?

Asked by adarose

Well…some have the bumpy bits to help with camouflage if that’s their game, and the increased surface area also helps with respiration. 

More on cowries here!

Took a pic of these spotty things ( flickr. com/photos/rainydaysmiles/6881044355/in/set-72157629330132001/) while diving in Cozumel, any chance you know what they are called? The dive master mentioned the name, but it is completely evading me now.. I think it started with an F..

Asked by rainydaysmile

Flamingo Tongue Cowrie (Cyphoma gibbosum)! 

It’s a member of the Ovulidae Family - also known as allied cowries (i.e. not a true cowrie). More true and allied cowries here:

http://mad-as-a-marine-biologist.tumblr.com/tagged/cowrie

High-res Rosy Spindle Cowrie (Phenacovolva rosea)
© MAAMB
Part of the Family Ovulidae, also known as false cowries, Spindle Cowries eat soft corals and sea fans, which they live on. 
The colour patterns of their mantles closely resemble the prey species leading to remarkable camouflage. This is due to the phenomenon of “alimentary homochromy” (obtaining the same color as the host by feeding on the host).

Rosy Spindle Cowrie (Phenacovolva rosea)

© MAAMB

Part of the Family Ovulidae, also known as false cowries, Spindle Cowries eat soft corals and sea fans, which they live on. 

The colour patterns of their mantles closely resemble the prey species leading to remarkable camouflage. This is due to the phenomenon of “alimentary homochromy” (obtaining the same color as the host by feeding on the host).


Look at it’s eye! I love cowries. I used to wear a lot of cowrie jewellery, but then I found out that the shells are only in perfect condition because the cowrie is buried alive, or left to boil in it’s shell to kill it… Then there is the unforeseen upset to the balance of the ecosystem because of intense shell collection. *Sigh* You just can’t do anything these days.

Look at it’s eye! I love cowries. I used to wear a lot of cowrie jewellery, but then I found out that the shells are only in perfect condition because the cowrie is buried alive, or left to boil in it’s shell to kill it… Then there is the unforeseen upset to the balance of the ecosystem because of intense shell collection. *Sigh* You just can’t do anything these days.

High-res Juvenile Common Egg Cowry (Ovula ovum) covered by it’s mantle.
The surface of the shell is smooth, shiny and completely snow white, with a dark reddish-purple interior, visible through the wide and long aperture, which bears teeth on one side only.
The mantle is black, with a pattern of small white spots in adults, while juveniles resemble some toxic nudibranchs of the genus Phyllidia owing to their orange yellow sensorial papillae. The lateral flaps of the mantle usually hide completely the white surface, but the mantle is quickly retracted into the shell opening when the cowry is disturbed.

Juvenile Common Egg Cowry (Ovula ovum) covered by it’s mantle.

The surface of the shell is smooth, shiny and completely snow white, with a dark reddish-purple interior, visible through the wide and long aperture, which bears teeth on one side only.

The mantle is black, with a pattern of small white spots in adults, while juveniles resemble some toxic nudibranchs of the genus Phyllidia owing to their orange yellow sensorial papillae. The lateral flaps of the mantle usually hide completely the white surface, but the mantle is quickly retracted into the shell opening when the cowry is disturbed.