Chicoreus brunneus (Link, 1807)

Chicoreus brunneus is abundant in the Marshalls, primarily on lagoon reefs and pinnacles. They are only rarely seen on the seaward reef. Young specimens coated with red sponge are common under rocks at depths of less than 1 to over 30m. Old shells so heavily encrusted with growth are commonly seen exposed on rocky substrates, and appear to be eating boring bivalves in the hard bottom. Often clusters of 20 or more large shells can be found depositing large egg masses under large rocks.

Rarely this species has an orange color form.

A medium sized specimen with a few egg capsules.

A very young juvenile. This shell is only several millimeters long.

A cluster of several large old specimens depositing their egg masses all over the underside of a rock.

Many murexes bore through the shells of bivalve mollusks to feast on the animal within. This C. brunneus is firmly attached to the clam Lioconcha.

Created 1 October 2010
Updated 20 May 2012

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