Cassis cornuta

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Cassis cornuta
Cassis cornuta shell.jpg
A shell of Cassis cornuta
Cassis cornuta 01.jpg
Five views of a shell of Cassis cornuta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Tonnoidea
Family: Cassidae
Subfamily: Cassinae
Genus: Cassis
Subgenus: Cassis
Species: C. cornuta
Binomial name
Cassis cornuta
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms
  • Buccinum cornutum Linnaeus, 1758 (basionym)
  • Cassis amboinensis Petivier in Tryon, G.W., 1885
  • Cassis brevirostrum Petivier in Tryon, G.W., 1885
  • Cassis caputequinum Röding, P.F., 1798
  • Cassis hamata Röding, P.F., 1798
  • Cassis labiata Dillwyn, L.W., 1817

Cassis cornuta, common name the horned helmet, is a species of extremely large sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Cassidae, the helmet shells and their allies.[1]

Description[edit]

The length of the shell varies between 50 mm and 410 mm. It is the largest of all helmet shells. It has a very solid, heavy, rotund shell with large, horn-like knobs and a wide, flat base. The shell has a dorsally pale orange colour, its base vivid orange, faintly marked with white and brown.[1]

Habitat[edit]

This large sea snail is found on sand and coral rubble, often around reefs.

Distribution[edit]

This species occurs in the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, off the southern African coast from northern KwaZulu-Natal and from Mozambique,[2] as well as in the Pacific Ocean.

Relevance to humans[edit]

The shell of Cassis cornuta is a very popular collector's item. In some places the snail is hunted for meat and is traditionally roasted in the shell over fire. Because of both of these factors, humans are a major enemy, and the species is now at risk in many places. However, worldwide it is not listed in the Red List. Because this snail hunts the crown-of-thorns starfish, which feed on corals, Cassis cornuta has been put under strict protection in Queensland.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rosenberg, G. (2012). Cassis cornuta (Linnaeus, 1758). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=208963 on 2012-11-25
  2. ^ Steyn, D.G. & Lussi, M. 2005. Offshore Shells of Southern Africa ISBN 0-620-33607-2
  • Rippingale, O.H. & McMichael, D.F., 1961. Queensland and Great Barrier Reef Shells. Jacaranda Press, Brisbane. 210 pp.
  • Abbott, R.T., 1968 [31/Dec/1968]. The helmet shells of the world (Cassidae). Part 1. Indo-Pacific Mollusca, 2(9):7-198.
  • Wilson, B. R. & Gillet, K., 1971. Australian Shells. A. H. & A. W. Reed, Sydney
  • Salvat, B. & Rives, C., 1975. Coquillages de Polynésie. les editions du pacifique, Papeete - Tahiti. 1-391.
  • Kay, E.A., 1979. Hawaiian marine shells. [Reef and shore fauna of Hawaii, Section 4: Mollusca. Bernice P. Bishop Museum Special Publication 64(4)]. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu. xvii + 653 pp.
  • Wilson, B., 1993. Australian Marine Shells. Prosobranch Gastropods. Odyssey Publishing, Kallaroo, WA.
  • Kreipl, K., 1997. Recent Cassidae. Verlag Christa Hemman, Weisbaden. 1-151, pls 1-24.

External links[edit]