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Cypraea caputserpentis

Serpent's Head Cowrie

             Shun Y. WONG (2014)






Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links

Life History & Behavior

Growth & Development
Larvae were blue in color. Juvenile has similar color and body structure as adult. The shell grows through the addition new material,organic secreted by the outer edge of the mantle as the soft body grows and applied to the lips of the aperture. The growth of Cypraea has three developing stagesin general. Once hatches, it grows from a plankton to a soft body where it increase its actual size. It then begins to strengthen its juvenile shell through continuing deposit organic mental & minerals from the lips of the aperture (Ruppert 2004), meanwhile intensifying the color & decoration on its shell. Once it reaches enough thickness, development ceases as it become reproductive mature and enter adulthood description of specific details on mechanisms for feeding, reproducing, movement, respiration and other key aspects of the animal’s life using illustrative photos and movies to augment the text. 


Caputserpentis use tentacles to sense and capture food. Mainly algae or coral animals for food, also may include foraminifera, sponge and small crustaceans. The tentacles were distributing all over the mantle surface to achieve the maximum surface area to capture food (Meyer 2003).


move by using the muscular foot tissue. There is two ways for gastropods animal to attach, using the peristaltic muscle and the mucus to glide. The thick muscular foot tissue can produce mucus as lubricant when moving and reduce desiccation (Denny 1980).

Like most of the gastropods, Cypraea has asiphon to aid respiration. The siphon is a part of the mantle skirt and when needed it curls to form a tubular extension at the anterior. This allows water current to feed in oxygen towards its gills in the mantle cavity (Burgess 1986).

Sensory Systems & Behavior

The mantle extends and covers the whole shell. The tentacles are structured on the mantle tissue. There is two sensory tentacles in front end. The whole body alsocan retract back into the shell. The main function of shell is to support the animal body structure and protect the animal from predator, also can avoid from over drying to death (Meyer 2003).Shell is formed by the secreted calcium carbonate from the mantle margin cells.The mantle cells concentrate the calcium carbonate and create the product of shell structure as calcite (Arakawa 1965). 

Dioecious, spawning season between March and July, the egg is generally spawned in coral caves, empty shells or any dark place. Female gastropods do not leave the eggs after spawning for protecting the egg from predator until eggs hatching (Murayama 1968).