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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

March 2023:  We now have six Cypraeidae in Florida waters.

Oleinik, Leal, DuPont and Uthairat.  March 2023.  A prediction held true: first record of the non-indigenous Thrush Cowrie Naria turdus (Lamarck, 1810) (Gastropoda: Cypraeidae) in South Florida.  The Nautilus. 137(1):31-34.

"The non-indigenous thrush cowrie Naria turdus (Lamarck, 1810), with its natural range in the eastern Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, apparently appeared in the greater Caribbean region in 2020.  First records seemingly come from the island of Aruba where Mr. Leo Ros of the Aruba Shell Club photographed a living specimen of N. turdus in July of 2020 (Dekkers and Ros, 2022)."  "... we can expect Naria turdus to appear in Florida’s coastal waters in the near future. That “near future” had arrived on December 24, 2022, when live N. turdus ... was  photographed underwater by Nuch Uthairat in Lake Worth Lagoon ..."  Adjacent photos with permission of Ms. Uthairat via Anne Dupont.

Dekkers and Ros.  August 2022.  On the Invasion of Naria turdus (Gastropoda, Cypraeidae) in the Dutch Caribbean, with taxonomic notes on the species.  The Festivus. Vol. 54(3).

"... the species was first discovered in July 2020 on Aruba by the second author. (Figure 1)"

Naria turdis  Nuch 2 30%.jpg
Naria turdis  Nuch 1 30%.jpg
Naria turdus Aruba.jpg
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