Murex tribulus   Linnaeus,  1758 (Sea Snail)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Gastropoda

Image copyrights: FAO

Size: 10 cm; length: 30.80-41.14 mm; diameter: 12.20-16.15 mm; height of the aperture: 12.05-8.65 mm.

Color: Yellow-brown, bluish tinge between the spiral cords paler, interior brown, brown spots in the outer lip notches. It is highly variable in its color.

Spire moderately high, suture simple, conical protoconch of three whorls, the last keeled, teleoconch of eight whorls, intervarical sculpture of the body whorl consisting of spiral cords, axial sculpture reduced to strong growth lines, surface malleated, varixes with three curved primary spines, three intermediate secondary spines, and short tertiary spinelets, siphonal canal with 6-7 long primary spines and several secondaries, outer lip notched, labral tooth large, columellar lip free-standing anteriorly, adherent in the posterior quarter, operculum brown, with subterminal nucleus and concentric ridges.

Radwin and d'Attilio (1976) described the polymorphism of the species.

Synonym (s)
Murex martinianus Reeve, 1845
Murex ternispina Smith, 1904
Murex trapa Roding, 1798
Murex tribulus var. trapa Gravely, 1942
Murex crassispina Lamarck, 1822
Murex tribulus Linnaeus, 1758
Murex tribulus Radwin and D'Attilio, 1976
Murex tribulus Mallik, 1979
Murex tribulus Ray, 1977
Murex tribulus Melvill and Standen, 1898
Murex ternispina Smith, 1906
Murex tribulus Gravely, 1942
Murex tribulus Subrahmanyam et al., 1952
Murex tribulus Cernohorsky, 1967
Murex tribulus Ponder and Vokes, 1988
Murex tribulus Linnaeus, 1758
(Senior synonym)
Murex crassispina Lamarck, 1822
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Demersal, Coastal


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.61) (Long: 87.53) INDIA
• West Bengal, Digha Coast (Lat: 21.65) (Long: 87.63) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• West Coast INDIA
• Red Sea
• Tamil Nadu, Thondi INDIA (Record: 06/2005-05/2006)
• West Bengal, Old Digha INDIA (Record: 07/2000-06/2001)
• West Bengal, Sankarpur INDIA (Record: 07/2000-06/2001)
• Kerala INDIA
• Gujarat, Madhi INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada Bay INDIA
• Orissa, Chandipur INDIA
• Orissa, Chandrabhaga INDIA (Record: 11/02/1972)
• Orissa, Puri INDIA (Record: 15/11/1962, 1993)
• Orissa, Chhatrapur INDIA (Record: 24/11/1962)
• Gujarat, Okha INDIA
• West Coast, Off Malabar INDIA
• Lakshadweep Sea
• Kerala, Munambam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Parangipettai INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Kakinada INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Orissa, Paradwip INDIA
• Bay of Bengal INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• Persian Gulf
• Tamil Nadu, Vellar Estuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Dhanushkodi INDIA
• East Coast INDIA
• West Bengal, Sandheads INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Thondi INDIA (Record: 07/2005-06/2006)
• Orissa, Dhamra Estuary INDIA

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
  • Apte,D (1998) The book of Indian shells Oxford University Press 115
  • 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
  • Subba Rao, NV and Surya Rao, KV (1993) Contribution to the knowledge of Indian marine molluscs: Pt. 3. Family: Muricidae Occasional paper no 153 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata 133 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Venkatraman, K; Srinivasan, M; Satyanarayana, CH and Prabhakar D (2002) Faunal diversity of Gulf of Mannar biosphere reserve Conservation area series 15 ZSI 77 pp; VIII pla Available at - NCL, Pune
  • (2001) Fauna of Godavari estuary, Andhra Pradesh Estuarine ecosystem series 4 ZSI, Kolkata 1-166 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Goswami, BCB (1992) Marine fauna of Digha coast of West Bengal, India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 34 115-137 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Wilson, B; Wilson, C and Baker, P (1994) Australian marine shells 2 1-370 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Eddie, H Hardy's internet guide to marine gastropods Available at -
  • Surya Rao, KV and Subba Rao, NV (1991) Mollusca State fauna series 2: Fauna of Lakshadweep ZSI, Calcutta 273-362 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Subba Rao, NV; Dey, A and Barua, S (1992) Estuarine and marine molluscs Fauna of West Bengal Part 9 (State fauna series 3) ZSI, Calcutta 129-268 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Serebiah, JS; Stella, C and Kadhar, AA (2008) Assessment of benthos in the subtidal area of Thondi (Palk Bay), southeast Tamilnadu- GIS based explication Proceedings of the national symposium on marine and coastal ecosystems 27-29, August 2007 Seaweed Research and Utilisation Seaweed Research and Utilisation Association, Marine Fisheries- 623 520, Tamilnadu, India 30 279-296 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Khalua, RK; Chakravarty, G and Chakraborty, SK (2003) Annotated list of molluscs from the coastal tract of Midnapore District, West Bengal, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(2) 245-249 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Raut, D; Ganesh, T; Murty, NVSS and Raman, AV (2005) Macrobenthos of Kakinada Bay in the Godavari delta, East coast of India: comparing decadal changes Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science Elsevier 62(4) 609-620 Available at -
  • Rao, NVS; Rao, KVS and Maitra, S (1991) Marine molluscs State fauna series 1: Fauna of Orissa Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta Part 3 1-175 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ramesh, S; Samipillai, SS and Elangomathavan, R (2009) Environmental sciences habitat diversity of hermit crab Clibanarius longitarsus (de haan) in Vellar estuary, south east coast of India Recent Research in Science and Technology 1(4) 161–168 Available at -
  • Samuel, VD; Chacko, D and Edward, JKP (2005) Preliminary study on the molluscan diversity of “the lost world’’– Dhanushkodi, east coast of India Proceedings of the National Seminar on Reef Ecosystem Remediation SDMRI Special Research Publication No.9 54-58 Available at -
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Anbuchezhian, R; Ravichandran, S; Serebiah, JS and Nobi, EP (2010) Geographic information system based assessment of benthic macrofauna in Thondi coastal area, south east coast of India World Journal of Zoology International Digital Organization for Scientific Information 5 (3) 172-182 Available at -
  • Dutta, SK (2007) Biodiversity assessment of Dhamra port site and surrounding areas, Orissa Greenpeace India 4-38 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-04-28

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