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Phylum Mollusca > Class Gastropoda > Family Cypraeidea
Ovum cowrie
Erronea ovum
Family Cypraeidae
updated Oct 2016
if you learn only 3 things about them ...
Cowries are often well camouflaged. Look carefully for them.
Their shells are highly prized, thus cowries are threatened by over-collection.
Don't rip off a cowrie from a stone! It might be a mother cowrie protecting her eggs.

Where seen?
This little cowrie is commonly seen on our Northern shores usually under stones, but sometimes crawling about in the open. Sometimes also seen on our Southern shores among coral rubble. It was previously known as Cypraea ovum.

Features: 2-3cm. Shell
pear-shaped, upperside with variable patterns. It does not have spots at the front tip of the shell. Underside with 'teeth' that are tinged yellow or orange.

Sometimes confused with the Wandering cowrie (Cypraea errones) which is similar but is cylindrical in shape. It does not have coloured 'teeth' and has a brown spot or spots at the front end of the shell. Here's more on how to tell apart Wandering and Ovum cowries.

When the shell is completely covered in its mantle, it is sometimes mistaken for a sea slug. Here's more on how to tell apart slugs and animals that look like slugs.

Leave cowries alone: Mother wandering cowries often lay their eggs under stones and then stay over their eggs. So if you see a cowrie under a stone, please don't rip it off. You might inadvertently separate a mother from her eggs!

St. John's Island, Jun 07

With mantle retracted.

With eggs.
Chek Jawa, Oct 03

Underside.

Ovum cowries on Singapore shores

Photos of Ovum cowries for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


East Coast Park, Feb 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Sentosa Serapong, May 16
Photo shared by Ivan Kwan on facebook.


Lazarus Island, Jul 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.
 


Beting Bemban Besar, May 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Raya, May 10
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

Raffles Lighthouse, Nov 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.


Pulau Pawai, Dec 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his flickr.

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Links

References

www.flickr.com
FREE photos from wildsingapore tagged with Cypraeidae. Make your own badge here.
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