Chocolate banded cowry

Talparia talpa

''Talparia talpa'', common name the mole cowry or chocolate banded cowry, is a species of sea snail, a cowry, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries.
Chocolate Banded Cowry - Talparia talpa Chocolate Banded Cowry - Talparia talpa with its mantel fully out thereby covering the shell. Cebu,Chocolate Banded Cowry,Cowry,Malapascua,Philippines,Sea Shell,Sea Snail,Talparia talpa

Appearance

The shells of these quite uncommon cowries reach on average 50–70 millimetres of length, with a minimum size of 23 millimetres and a maximum size of 105 millimetres . They are very variable in pattern and colour. The dorsum surface is smooth and shiny, the basic color is brown or yellowish brown, with three or four yellow or light brown transversal bands. The margins, the base and the teeth are completely dark brown or black. Also the teeth are dark brown, but the teeth spacing is clearer or white. In the living cowries the mantle is greyish or black, with long cylindrical papillae. Mantle and foot are well developed, with external antennae. The lateral flaps of the mantle may hide completely the shell surface and may be quickly retracted into the shell.

Naming

* ''Talparia talpa imperialis'' Schilder, F.A. & M. Schilder, 1938
⤷  ''Talparia talpa saturata''

Distribution

This species occurs in the Red Sea and in the Indian Ocean along East Africa , in the western Pacific, in Polynesia and Hawaii.

Habitat

These cowries live on coral reef or in shallow lagoons in tropical intertidal and subtidal waters up to 30 m depth. They can be found under ledges and in small coral caves at night, as they start feeding at dusk.

References:

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionMollusca
ClassGastropoda
OrderLittorinimorpha
FamilyCypraeidae
GenusTalparia
SpeciesT. talpa
Photographed in
Philippines