Pustularia bistrinotata (Schilder & Schilder, 1937)
Orange Chick Pea cowry, 12-20mm

This is the most common of the four "chick pea" cowries, which are similar to each other in their extremely produced ends. Pustularia bistrinotata is most easily distinguished from P. globulus and P. margarita by its bumpy shell (although sometimes the bumps are small) and from P. cicercula by orange-brown color (instead of cream white). The species is not particularly uncommon and resides in various atoll habitats, including the seaward reef, lagoon pinnacles, and interisland subtidal reefs. Specimens can be found by day buried in dead coral rubble on some lagoon pinnacles. At night they emerge from under the rubble or from deep within ledges and caves. Depths typically range from about 3-20m. The species appears to be a sponge eater and occurs mostly in the Pacific excluding Hawaii. It extends a bit west of Indonesia but seems to not occur through the rest of the Indian Ocean.

Here is a smoother form, although perhaps it is younger and the bumps are not yet well developed.

Created 1 April 2008
Updated 23 March 2016

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