Tiger Cowry (added 23 Jan '99) [96K]

This large Tiger Cowry is shown feeding at night on a large reef wall. As with most cowries, they are not commonly seen during the day, instead hiding under large coral heads or debris. This particular species of cowry is one of the largest, with a shell length of about four inches. Its fleshy mantle has a characteristic pattern of lines, much like fingerprints.

Though it is common to see this cowry's shell in just about any store in the U.S. that sells shells, the Tiger Cowry is not found in the ocean near the continental United States. In fact, they are an Indo-Pacific species, found only as far east as Hawaii.

Identification: Cypraea tigris

back to Gallery IV