Cymbiola nobilis

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Cymbiola nobilis
Cymbiola nobilis 01.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Muricoidea
Family: Volutidae
Subfamily: Amoriinae
Genus: Cymbiola
Subgenus: Cymbiola
Species: C. nobilis
Binomial name
Cymbiola nobilis
(Lightfoot, 1786)
  • Cymbiola (Cymbiola) nobilis (Lightfoot, 1786)
  • Voluta fasciata Schubert & Wagner, 1829
  • Voluta scapha Gmelin, 1791

Cymbiola nobilis is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Volutidae, the volutes.[1] The snail's shell is commonly collected in the sea shell trade, which has resulted in overharvesting of the snail.


The snail is fairly large, with an average size of six centimeters.[2] Females tend to be larger than the males.[3]

The snail is also well known for the qualities of its shell. The shell itself is large and glossy.[4] It is also known for the patterns on its shell. In the shell, pigment producing cells infect nearby cells so that they also produce pigment. Cells that are infected once become immune to producing pigment again. As a result, the coloring of the snail's shell forms a wave-like pattern.[5]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The snail is a member of the phylum Mollusca, the class Gastropoda, the family Volutidae, and the genus Cymbiola. It was first discovered in 1786.[2]


The snail's habitat is in the Pacific Ocean, and it ranges from Taiwan to Singapore. It lives in a marine environment and can be found on reef flats.[2]

Conservation Status[edit]

The snail is considered vulnerable.[2] The number of Cymbiola nobilis has been greatly reduced by reef destruction and collection as food and for the marine curio and shell trade.[2] The snail was once commonly found in reefs around Singapore, but they have become much scarcer. The government of Singapore has stated that laws are needed to restrict the collection of wildlife fauna such as Cymbiola nobilis.[2]



The snails are to a certain extent hermaphrodites, but separate sexes exist, and the snails reproduce through sexual reproduction.[6] The female is fertilized by the male internally, and the female responds by depositing fertilized eggs.[4] The egg capsules laid by the female contain multiple embryos.[2] It takes about seven days for the eggs to hatch into juvenile larvae. Altogether, the snail goes through seven stages of development before becoming a full-fledged snail.[3]


The nobilis is carnivorous, and preys on small animals such as other mollusks and echinoderms.[4] The snail also consumes bivalves.[2]


The juveniles that hatch from the fertilized eggs are not free-swimming. As a result, populations of Cymbiola nobilis are concentrated to small and isolated distribution ranges. These populations are often close by, but separated by geographic barriers such as water channels. Each separate range has its own shell form and color pattern.[4]


  1. ^ a b Cymbiola nobilis (Lightfoot, 1786).  Retrieved through: World Register of Marine Species on 25 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Cymbiola nobilis". National Parks Board, SIngapore Government. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Noorsakinah. "Development and Growth of Larvae of the Volute, Cymbiola nobilis Lightfoot". EBSCO. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d Beechey, Des. "Family Volutidae". Australian Museum. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  5. ^ Prusinkiewicz, Przemyslaw (2009). The Algorithmic Beauty of Sea Shells. Springer. p. 48. 
  6. ^ Swennen, Cornelis. "Contributions to Zoology". University of Amsterdam. Retrieved 31 May 2014.