This member of the Volute family of shellfish was crawling across a shallow sandy area at night, near Anilao on the southern tip of Luzon Island, Philippines. The patterns on the long proboscis and broad mantle help disguise the mollusk's form as it slowly glides across the sandy bottom. The sharp, spiny nodules and short spire (top of the blunt end starting at the spines) are what suggest it is a member of family Volutidae, possibly of genus Cymbiola. Some of the estimated 200 known species of volutes may exceed 4 inches (10 cm) in length; this one is about half as long. I tried to compare this photo to some shell book references, and to some online sources, but was unable to find a match. Could this be a variation of a well-known species?
Identification: family Volutidae, genus/species?
same volute-- front view
|Conchologists of America|
|Worldwideconchology.com "A Diversity of Shell Images for the Enthusiast, Artist and Scientist"|
|Specimenshells.net (online shell vendor)|
|The Gladys Archerd Shell Collection (good explanation of mollusc classifications, with pictures and database)|
|Hardy's Internet Guide to Gastropods|
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