Wednesday 8 April 2015

Pustulate Cowry

Image: Hectonichus
These are surely some of the most beautiful pustules in the world!

They belong to the Pustulate Cowry, an inch-long snail found in the eastern Pacific, from California down to Peru as well as Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands.

Image: Hectonichus
They're members of the false cowry family, Ovulidae, but they look... different from most of their relatives.

False cowries usually have pale, wonderfully smooth shells that can be completely covered by the flesh of their colourful mantles. Not so the Pustulates!

Image: Femorale
Here, the shell is covered in chunky, orange bumps that bulge like one of the more aesthetically pleasing bubonic plagues. The Orange Death, perhaps.

The mantle meanwhile, is far from the bright, multi-colours of so many other cowries. Instead, it's grey. It's attractive in its own way, though. The mantle is covered in long, branching sticky-out bits which are presumably sensitive to their surroundings.

Pustulate Cowries spend the night nibbling on the polyps of various stone corals.

By morning they're hidden away, hopefully getting the medical care they need.


Crunchy said...

Bring out your dead!

TexWisGirl said...

wow! pretty!

Joseph JG said...

Crunchy: Your beautiful, beautiful dead!

TexWisGirl: Definitely!

Lear's Fool said...

I bet you've been saving up! :)

Joseph JG said...