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TOPS & TURBANS

A diverse group of herbivorous snails, that develop mostly conical hat-shaped and operculate shells. The variety is as rich as the color palettes; in fact it is hard to put together a group of 12 species up for display, and I feel I left out some of the most popular taxa, perhaps I´ll complete my work later when I have good representatives to exhibit.

Astele ciliaris

Menke, K.T., 1843

35.7mm. Esperance, West Australia.

An uncommon, large Calliostoma, that can be solid dark flesh or delicately patterned like the beautiful example shown here.

 

Calliostoma militaris

Von Ihering, 1907

40.2mm. Rio de Janeiro E. Brazil.

A large, and finely sculptured south brazilian species, that is uncommonly found by divers. This shell is specially big.

 

Calliostoma annulatum

Lightfoot, 1786

32.8mm. Santa Cruz, California. 

Perhaps the prettiest, most stunning member of the genus. When fresh it is iridescent dark gold with contrasting intense violet rings.

Calliostoma scotti

Kilburn, 1973

41mm. Somalia.

A really gorgeeous species when it is free of scars, which is seldom. The pure gold colored shell is large, with beaded spiral ribbons. 

 

Calliostoma formosense

Smith, E.A., 1907

60.6mm. East China Seas.

A handsome, trawled species, that is among the largest within its family. These are usually pearlized and sold as decoration.

Calliostoma zizyphinum

Linne, 1758

28.8mm. Mediterranean Morocco.

A common Mediterranean Sea species. The candy cane pattern seen in this deep water specimen is exceptional. 

Calliostoma javanicum

Gmelin, 1791

30.2mm. SE Florida.

A rare coral reef dweller that is poorly known and among the prettiest of all tops. The depicted specimen is rather lightly colored.

Maurea tigris

Gmelin, 1791

64.4mm. Northland. New Zealand.

A large top shell, from a genus that is endemic to New Zealand. This pretty specimen is very big and very dark.

 

Clanculus puniceus

Philippi, R.A., 1846

21.8mm. SE. Zanzibar.

A small, common shell, used in abundantly in crafts; yet probably among the most beautiful of all shells. 

Gaza superba

Dall, W.H., 1881

39.1mm. Louisiana. USA.

A special beauty among shells: Smooth and globose, with a naturally opalescent, nacreous glow, under its matte surface. 

Ginebis argenteonites

Lischke, 1872

60.1mm. Taiwan.

Another naturally pearlescent, deep water shell. This is also quite lightweight and large for the family 

Norrisia norrisi

Sowerby, 1838

38.4mm. California. USA.

A rather plain looking shell that is commonly found beached. The bright apple green columellar callus is unique among shells.