Erronea caurica (Linnaeus, 1758)
Caurica cowry, 34-56mm

Erronea caurica is a shallow water cowry that prefers quiet lagoon habitats. At Kwajalein, they are most often seen at depths of 2-10m under rocks along the lagoon side of east reef islands such as North Loi or Gugeegue. They are also common on some shallow pinnacle reefs a short distance from the lagoon side of Kwajalein Island. They are often found paired. Shells are somewhat variable in shape and a number of geographic subspecies have been described. Including the various subspecies, Erronea caurica ranges across most of the Indo-Pacific, but not to Hawaii nor apparently to southeastern Polynesia.

The dark blotches at the anterior and posterior ends of the shell make this specimen a bit unusual.

The animal below was covering a mass of yellow egg capsules. You can see the many individual eggs within the capsules.

Another guarding an egg mass.

The next two shots show Erronea caurica in different stages of development. The first is a small juvenile bulla shell. The second is a larger shell, nearly full size but still in thin bulla form.

They seemed especially prolific with their egg masses in the summer of 2012.

These darker eggs are probably getting a bit older.

Created 1 April 2008
Updated 26 March 2017

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