Cassis cornuta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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
C. cornuta
Binomial name
Cassis cornuta
  • Buccinum cornutum Linnaeus, 1758 (basionym)
  • Cassis amboinensis Petivier in Tryon, G.W., 1885
  • Cassis brevirostrum Petivier in Tryon, G.W., 1885
  • Cassis caputequinum Röding, 1798
  • Cassis hamata Röding, 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]


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]


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


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.


  1. ^ a b Rosenberg, G. (2012). Cassis cornuta (Linnaeus, 1758). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at 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]