Mauritia grayana

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Mauritia grayana
Cypraeidae - Mauritia grayana-1.JPG
Mauritia grayana, 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: Mauritia
Species: M. grayana
Binomial name
Mauritia grayana
Schilder, 1930

Cypraea grayana (Schilder, 1930)

Mauritia grayana, the 'Gray's Arabica Cowry', is a species of sea snail, a cowry, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries.[1]


These quite common shells reach on average 44–52 millimetres (1.7–2.0 in) of length, with a maximum size of 80 millimetres (3.1 in) and a minimum size of 17 millimetres (0.67 in). Mauritia grayana has an oval, smooth and shiny shell. The dorsum surface is light gray-brown, with several gray spots and many thin longitudinal lines. In the middle of dorsum there is a wide longitudinal stripe. Close to the edges there is a grayish wide frame with several dark brown spots. The base is pale brown, with a wide aperture and fine dark brown teeth on outer and inner lips. In the living cowries the mantle is well developed, quite grayish and almost transparent, with short papillae and external antennae.

Mauritia grayana, side view, anterior end towards the right
Mauritia grayana, dorsal view, anterior end towards the right


This Arabian endemic species is distributed in the Red Sea and in the Western Indian Ocean along Eritrea, Somalia and Pakistan.


These mollusks live in tropical shallow waters, mainly at about 2–5 metres (6 ft 7 in–16 ft 5 in) of depth, often in the low intertidal zone. During the day the living cowries are usually hidden in coral caves or beneath the reef block, as they fear the light. They start feeding at dawn or dusk on sponges or coral polyps.


  1. ^ a b Mauritia grayana . WoRMS (2009). Mauritia grayana. Accessed through the World Register of Marine Species at on16 October 2010.
  • Fishelson, L., 1971. Ecology and distribution of the benthic fauna in the shallow waters of the Red Sea. Mar. Biol., Berl. 10 2: 113-133
  • Felix Lorenz and Alex Hubert : A Guide to Worldwide Cowries, second revised edition - Conch Books, 2002
  • Fishelson, L., 1971 - Ecology and distribution of the benthic fauna in the shallow waters of the Red Sea - Mar. Biol., Berl. 10 2: 113-133
  • Burgess, C.M. (1970) - The Living Cowries - AS Barnes and Co, Ltd. Cranbury, New Jersey

External links[edit]