Are spectacular little shells, that live in sand and prey on worms. Most are superbly sculptured and vibrantly colored, alas small: mostly around 1" Then again, there are a few exceptions. The largest members of the family (pictured here) are also supremely attractive, and fortunately, quite available to shell enthusiasts. I n particular, Mitra mitra is for me one of the most beautiful species of all shells, it can also reach an appreciable 7+"!

Mitra belcheri

Hinds, 1844

131.3mm. Guaymas, Mexico.

An extremely hadsomely-sculptured, large shell. This is solid off-cream, with deep spiral grooves, and thick, velvety black perio.


Mitra mitra

Linnaeus, 1758

57.8mm. Nuku Hiva Is. Marquesas.

The prettiest, most stunning member of the family; this common, widespread shell, is also the largest. Pictured is a local dwarf form.


Mitra papalis

Linnaeus, 1758

145.5mm. Hawaii.

The other giant of the family, this is also very widespread, but less common than M. mitra. The pattern is thinner and darker.


Pleioptygma helenae

Radwin & Bibbey, 1972

115.4mm. Catarasca Cays. Honduras.

A rare species, consideared a living fossil; and capable of reaching 5" This is specially hard to find dark and perfect.


Dibaphimitra florida

Gould, A.A., 1856

64mm. Is. Pequeña de Maiz. Nicaragua.

Pictured here is the dark honduran form: D. janetae Petuch, E.J., 1987. This uncommon species is one of my favorite miters.

Scabricola variegata

Gmelin, 1791

46mm. Olango Is. Philippines.

An extremely beautiful miter; that used to be quite uncommon and is now readily available. It is apectacularly patterned species.

Vexillum citrinum filiareginae

Cate, 1961

2"-3"Bantayan. Philippines

Large, with spiral bands of orange, black and white; arguably one of the prettiest of all shells. This is locally common in Bantayan.

Vexillum granosum

Gmelin, 1791

47.8mm. Queensland, Australia.

A slender, gray, fusiform, shell, with a shinny surface that is entirely decorated with smooth "beads" separated by a dark reticle.

Vexillum s. castaneosticta

Dautzenberg, Ph. & J.L. Bouge, 1923

49.3mm. Palawan Is. Philippines.

A variety of V. sanguisugum. This is cream with well defined blood-red ribbons of interrupted dots. The depicted shell is a giant.

Vexillum transpositum

Dautzenberg, Ph. & J.L. Bouge, 1923

38.4mm. Guadalcanal. Solomon Is.

A rare, localized species. Pictured here is a real giant, showing thin, shinny red and orange ribs, and underlying purple spirals.

Vexillum vulpecula

Linnaeus, 1758

45.6mm. Malaita. Solomon Is.

A common and widespread species, it seems to develop local forms. Here is arguably the prettiest one, with "bumble-bee" pattern.

Domiporta praestantissima

Röding, P.F., 1798

49.3mm. Palawan Is. Philippines.

Out of many similar species, this is probably the most impressive: solid white, with thin black spiral ridges; most importantly: large.