Posted: Jan 15 2007

Cypraeidae of Florida

Now (10/10/17) Luria cinerea

All but P. surinamensis were quite common in shallow waters on Florida’s SE coast and the Keys. When I first started collecting in the late 1970’s it would not have been unusual to come across dozens of M. cervus in a single dive. I can recall one night dive when another collector and I examined over 40 M. cervus and M. zebra in 45 minutes to select a ½ dozen specimens. My recent experience (last 15 years) is that Cypraeidae have become comparatively uncommon in shallow waters.

All the Florida Cypraeidae are easily distinguished. M. cervus and M. zebra are similar at first glance, but after viewing a few the differences become quite apparent.

M. zebra is more cylindral in shape. It’s spots around the lower perimeter are white with a dark brown center and the spots over the dorsum are white with a light brown center.

      M. zebra Florida Keys. 57                                                         M. cervus Florida Keys. 61 mm