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TRITONS

A very interesting group of snails that live at shallow to intermediate depths and feed aggresively on starfish. The living animals´ shell is covered by a thick, hairy periostracum. The shells are extremely variable in shape and size. But in general, tritons are oddly shaped, and contorted. The surfaces are smooth or beaded and look like elegant objects carved out of fine wood; some with beautiful patterns or vibrant colors.

Septa bibbeyi Beu, 1987

42.3mm. Pandanon Island, Philippines.

A very nice, bright ruby-red species of triton. Members of the genus Septa, are all similar looking, even with the same color scheme.

Septa flaveolum Röding, P.F., 1798

52mm. Olango Island, Philippines.

One of the larger members of the genus, this is banded in brown and bright yellow. Very attractive and less common than other Septa.

Septa hepaticum Röding, 1798

48.2mm. Samar Is. Philippines.

A truly spectacular little shell: This triton is burnt orange with very well defined, black and brown spiral ribbons; really outstanding!

Septa rubeculum Linnaeus, 1758

46.5mm. Olango Island, Philippines.

Another bright red little triton. This is one of the most frequently seen members of the genus. This beautiful shell rarely exceeds 2".

Cymatium ranzanii Bianconi,1850

152.3mm. Karin, Somalia.

This most admired triton is confined to the North Western Indian Ocean. There is a sober sort of beauty to the shell: It is large and heavy, almost woody in appearance, colored like a caramel ice-cream and interrupted at intervals with contrasting dark brown. The design is clean and elegant. Large, quality examples are still very hard to get and expeensive. 

Cymatium femorale Linnaeus, 1758

118.7mm. Florida Keys, USA.

An all-time favorite classic of the triton family. This is an uncommon shell that inhabits grassy shallows in the Caribbean basin. Allthough capable of reaching over 8", most shells are under 6". The shape is what really makes this species stand aside: it has a tripodal body whorl, with flaring wings that are evenly adorned with rounded knobs: just beautiful!

Biplex perca Perry, G., 1811

74.5mm. East China Seas.

The maple-leaf triton. This species lives in rather deep water for a triton, on muddy substrate. It can be argued that the falttened shell, along with the extending wings keep the shell from sinking into the mud, as well as making it really hard for predators to swallow. In any case the result is a truly bautiful shape, reminescent off course to fine leaves.