Nucleolaria nucleus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Nucleus cowry, 13-27mm

Nucleolaria nucleus is found in a variety of atoll habitats, including under rocks on the intertidal reef such as that between Kwajalein and Little Bustard. It can be found under rocks on shallow subtidal lagoon reefs and under large boulders on flat-topped lagoon pinnacles such as those near Kwadak Island. It is also often seen at night in surge channel caves on the seaward leeward reef, especially those shallower ledges near the tops of the channels. Specimens are also not rare on the windward seaward reef under boulders on the hard reef flat to depths of about 13m. This species has the most prominently granulose surface of the cowries in the Marshalls. This species is widely distributed across the Indo-Pacific.

The long mantle papillae effectively camouflage the shell beneath.

Three shots of a juvenile shell with long papillae.

Created 1 April 2008
Updated 8 October 2016

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