This is a very interesting and reduced family. It is separted in 3 main groups: Austroharpa, Harpa and Morum. The last two are represented here by some of my most prized treasures. Harpas are large, globose and vibrantly colored with ground and warm colors; their ribbs make them extremely attractive. Morums are awesome little shells, with a thick shield or parietal wall. Some species are so rare they cannot be obtained even today.
Harpa goodwini Rehder, 1993
65mm. Oahu Island, Hawaii.
A very rare and magnificent species, that is endemic to Hawaii and Midway. This is usually found dead and worn. The pictured specimen is an exception. It shows the delicate, globose shell decorated in vibrant pastel tones of cream, yellow, orange, red and pink flush. The ribs are marked with spiral purple-black lines. A truly beautiful shell!
Harpa doris Röding, 1798
This is my favorite harp! The shell´s surface is matte, but the ribs are shiny, and crested. The ground is brownish, but it comes decorated with a magnificent combination of carmine red and pink -rarely in the abundance pictured here-. A spiral pattern of dark brown and white adds to the ornamentation. This uncommon species is medium sized and lightweight.
Harpa costata Linnaeus, 1758
88.5mm. Bay of Mahebourg, Mauritius.
An all time classic, of elegant sculpture and delicate beauty, which is now protected in Mauritius, where it is more common. The shell is characterized by its abundant, closely-spaced ribs, that set it apart from all other Harpa. When fresh, it has a bright yellow aperture. It is capable of growing over 4"; but the size depicted here is already very rare today.
Harpa harpa Linnaeus, 1758
63.6mm. Zamboanga, Philippines.
The "True Harp" is a widespread and beautiful species. Shells come in a wide array of shades of gray, creamy orange, purple, blue, brown and red. Shells with large proportions of red, such as the depicted specimen, are usually refered to as "nobilis" This species rarely exceeds 3" in lenght, with most shells around 5-6 cms.
Harpa kajiyamai Rehder, 1973
64.3mm. Sulu Sea, Philippines.
A rather uncommon, deep water species. Most shells are confined to the 4-5 cms. range. Despite the rather small and fragile nature of these shells, the color tends to make up, with vibrant hues of yellow and orange flushing most specimens. The depicted specimen can be considered very large, and combined with color and quality; exceptional.
Harpa m. conoidalis Lamarck, 1843
69mm. Haleiwa, Oahu, Hawaii.
A colorful variety of the common Indo-Pacific major harp. This Hawaiian counterpart is rather scarce and found mainly in deep water crayfish pots, where shells are usually found dead and crabbed. A live, perfect shell being fairly rare, and because of the deep pink or yellow flush, these shells are particularly attractive and coveted.