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You are here:   animal list > Cypraea annulus




Cypraea annulus Linnaeus, 1758

Gold Ring Cowry

Lauren Hughes (2011)


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Evolution & Systematics

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External Morphology

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Names & Taxonomy

Synonyms & Names

External Morphology

The adult gold ring cowry has a smooth rounded dorsal surface. On the base, large teeth extend about one-third of the way across and line the thin aperture. The base and sides are cream and the dorsal surface is bluish white with an encircling gold band. Canals are found at both the anterior and posterior end with a spire found at the posterior. The morphology of the adult shell is somewhat variable. Juveniles more closely resemble a typical gastropod with obvious coiling and a larger aperture.

Differences in shell shape and colouration in gold ring cowry adults.
(Wikimedia commons user:Bin im Garten)

When the fleshy body of the gold ring cowry has emerged from within the shell, the mantle flaps extend and encase the shell - a colour and texture change. This mantle is mottled brown and cream and has marginal tentacles and papillae. Under the mantle is a large muscular foot with a white underside. Protruding from the front is branchia which extends and and two eye spots, each situated on sensory stalks. The branchia is a siphon which is curved and also has sensilla surrounding the end.