Harpa harpa   Linnaeus,  1758 (Sea Snail)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Gastropoda

Image copyrights: George Sangiouloglou

Size: 42-76 mm

Color: Flesh pink, ribs decorated with dark brown lines; orange brown or reddish brown is generally present about the middle of the body whorl.

Adult shell 1 ¾ to 3 inches in length, rather solid, broadly ovate, with a low conical spire, and a last whorl that is bluntly angulate below the shoulder. Nuclear whorls 3 to 3 ½, rosy pink in color, convex, smooth on top, made angulate by a spiral ridge at shoulder with one or two below the shoulder becomes increasingly covered by the callus that is formed by the successive anterior extensions of the axial ribs that flatten out and cover the adjacent part of the preceding whorl, and finally spread to above the shoulder ridge and over the entire subsutural ramp.

Body whorl with a flattened subsutural ramp, markedly though roundly angulate at the shoulder which is marked by strong spines on the ribs; ribs rather broad, crossed by many fine dark line that are usually present in groups of three or four. Between the ribs the basic color is of various shades of pink and flesh color, marked by whitish pink spiral bands of varying width, the widest just below the shoulder and all with distant chestnut spots; in the middle of the whorl is a band of irregularly squarish blotches of rust color or red brown that occur generally in every other interspace; the interspaces are marked also by wavy axial stripes of reddish brown.

Aperture broadly ovate, rather patulous below, inner lip almost straight, outer lip gently arcuate, thickened within, and subdenticulate along basal half; the interior of outer lip conspicuously marked by dark chestnut at the terminations of the darker spiral bands. The thin glaze covering the ventral side is marked by three distinct reddish brown blotches-anterior, middle, and posterior.

Synonym (s)
Buccinum harpa Linnaeus, 1758
Harpa nobilis Lamarck, 1822

Common Name (s)
• True Harp (English)
Economic Importance and Threats



• Pondicherry INDIA
• Tamil Nadu INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Rehder, HA (1973) The Family Harpidae of the World Indo-Pacific Mollusca Delaware Museum of Natural History Grenville, Delaware, U.S.A 3(16) 237 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sangiouloglou, G George's seashells and underwater world Available at - http://www.george-shells.com/
  • Subba Rao, NV (2003) Indian seashells Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata (Part 1) 416 pp Available at - NCL, Pune

Page last updated on:2012-09-03

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