Contradusta pulchella

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Contradusta pulchella
Cypraeidae - Contradusta pulchella.JPG
A shell of Contradusta pulchella, anterior end towards the right
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Littorinimorpha
Superfamily: Cypraeoidea
Family: Cypraeidae
Genus: Contradusta
Species: C. pulchella
Binomial name
Contradusta pulchella
W. A. Swainson, 1823
  • Cypraea pulchella W. A. Swainson, 1823

Contradusta pulchella, common name the pretty cowry or beautiful (little) cowry, is a species of sea snail, a cowry, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries.


The shells of these quite uncommon cowries reach on average 35–38 millimetres (1.4–1.5 in) of length, with a minimum size of 23 millimetres (0.91 in) and a maximum size of 48 millimetres (1.9 in). The surface of the pear-shaped shells is smooth and shiny, their basic color is usually whitish or yellowish, with many small beige spots, two longitudinal irregular dark brown stain-like patches and one or two light brown transversal bands, but their pattern is very variable. The base and the margins are whitish with brown spots, while the teeth are dark brown. In the living cowries the mantle is clear, with long sensorial papillae. Mantle and foot are well developed, with external antennae. The lateral flaps of the mantle may completely hide the shell surface and can be quickly retracted into the shell opening. Contradusta pulchella is quite similar to Erronea pyriformis.

A shell of Contradusta pulchella, lateral view, anterior end towards the right
A shell of Contradusta pulchella, dorsal view, anterior end towards the right


This species occurs in the sea on the coasts of Japan, East China, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines and New Guinea. The supspecies Contradusta pulchella var. pericalles occurs in the Gulf of Oman.


These cowries live in tropical waters usually up to 50–120 metres (160–390 ft) of depth.


  • Contradusta pulchella pulchella (Swainson, W.A., 1823)
  • Contradusta pulchella aliguayensis a (Van Heesvelde & Deprez, 2002)
  • Contradusta pulchella pericalles (Melvill & Standen, 1904
  • Contradusta pulchella novaebritanniae Schilder & Schilder 1937


  • Lorenz F. & Hubert A. (2000) A guide to worldwide cowries. Edition 2. Hackenheim: Conchbooks. 584 pp

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