Cassis cornuta   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Sea Snail)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Gastropoda

Image copyrights: Eddie Hardy

Size: 175-348 mm.

Color: Yellowish or brownish orange, with two spotted spiral cords and the surface pitting showing through the central region. Dorsally pale orange, base vivid orange, faintly marked with white and brown.

Adult shell large, 7-14 inches in length, rotund, with a row of 5 to 7 larg or small spines on the shoulder, with a large, oblong, heavy parietal shield, and with a heavy outer lip bearing 5 to 7 large whitish teeth on the central inner edge. Nuclear whorls 2-½, minute, bulimoid, opaque-white, smooth, and with a brown suture in the first whorl. Post nuclear whorls with 5 to 7 irregular, poorly beaded spiral threads. The first varix is produced in the 7th or 8th whorl. Adults with 7 or 8 former varical lips in the spire. Body whorl with 3 or 4 spiral, raised ridges, the upper one on the shoulder bearing 5 to 7 long or short, pointed or broad knobs, while the 2 cords below each bear 3 or 4 very small knobs. There may be an additional low, spiral cord near the base. Outer surface of whorls minutely pitted. Parietal shield heavy, broadly or narrowly elongate. Lower half of columella with 8 to 11 poorly developed, whitish, spiral plicae. The largest of all helmet shells, ;up to 35 cm. A very solid, heavy, rotund shell with large, horn-like knobs and a wide, flat base.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• King Shell (English)
• Horned Helmet Shell (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Rocky, Sandy
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Echinoderms


• 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
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Lakshadweep Islands INDIA (Record: 1977-1979)

Literature Source(s)
  • (2002) Lakshadweep Islands biodiversity strategy and action plan (Version: 3)
  • Subba Rao, NV (2003) Indian seashells Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata (Part 1) 416 pp Available at - NCL, 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
  • Tikader, BK and Das, AK (1985) Glimpses of animal life of Andaman and Nicobar Islands ZSI, Kolkata 1-170 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Allen, GR (2005) Reef fishes of northwestern Madagascar RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 31 39-48
  • 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 -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) 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
  • George, KC; Thomas, PA; Appukuttan, KK and Gopakumar, G (1986) Ancillary living marine resources of Lakshadweep Marine Fisheries Information Service CMFRI, Cochin 68 46-50 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-02-10

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