Cypraea spadicea
Chestnut Cowry
Cypraea spadicea

Ranging from Monterey to Baja California, this is the only cowry found off the Western U.S.  They are fairly easy to find during night dives, as their highly polished shells reflect brightly.

This one is extending its beautiful mantle up around its shell.  The mantle, which can be withdrawn inside the shell for protection, is responsible for secreting the shell, and encloses the mantle cavity,
which contains the Ctenidia (gills), anus and excretory pores.

Chestnut cowries are carnivorous, feeding on sponges, tunicates, anemones, and snail eggs.

Lens: 60 mm Micro
Film: Fuji Velvia
Depth: 40 feet
Location: San Clemente Island, CA
©1999 Garry McCarthy