Cypraecassis rufa   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Sea Snail)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Gastropoda

Image copyrights: Eddie Hardy

Size: 64-185 mm.

Color: Reddish or orange brown with white or grayish pink maculations. Outer lip thin or very thick, glossy, and colored cream and with 7 to 9 broad or paired bars of darker orange-brown. Parietal wall heavily glazed, rounded, with 5 diffused, broad bands of darker orange-brown. Shell Dorsally reddish with 3 or 4 broad spiral bands bearing rounded nodules. Thick outer lip light orange with strong, lighter teeth, and columella orange with white ridges.

A conspicuous, solid, thick, heavy shell, up to 17 cm, with a narrow aperture. Adult shell 2½ - 7½ inches in length, ovate, solid, usually heavy, with 3 or 4 rows of rounded knods on the dorsum, and with a glossy, orange and brownish red parietal area. Nuclear whorls 5, bulimoid, smoothish, set at an angle of about 20 degrees off the axis of the adult shell; with the first 3 whorls colored whitish tan and the last two reddish brown. The last nuclear whorl has a minute varix. First 3 or 4 post-nuclear whorls with numerous, crowded, fine, irregular spiral threads and cords which become larger and coarser in the last whorl. No former varices in the spire. Body whorl with 3 spiral rows of 6 to 9 fairly large round low, smoothish knods. Below these is one row of 8 to 12 smaller, axially elongated plicae, and, at the base of the whorl, are 2 rows of 10 to 14 long narrow, white, raised bars. Between the spiral rows of knobs there are 2 to 3 spiral cords bearing very small, wart-like, numerous beads.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Bull Mouth Helmet (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Sandy, Coastal


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Nicobar Islands (Lat: 7) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA (Record: 01/1987-03/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA (Record: 01/1987-03/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA (Record: 01/1987-03/1987)

Literature Source(s)
  • Subba Rao, NV (2003) Indian seashells Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata (Part 1) 416 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Tikadar, BK; Daniel, A and Subbarao, NV (1986) Sea shore animals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands The Director, ZSI, Kolkatta 188 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Subba Rao, NV and Dey, A (2000) Catalogue of marine molluscs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Occasional paper no 187 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 1-323 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Abbott, RT (1968) The Helmet shells of the world (Cassidae) Indo-Pacific Mollusca The department of Mollusks, Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 19th and the Parkway Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2(9) 15-202 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Eddie, H Hardy's internet guide to marine gastropods Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Appukuttan, KK; Chellam, A; Ramadoss, K; Victor, ACC and Meiyappan, MM (1989) Molluscan resources Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 43 77-92 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-21

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