Homalocantha pele (Pilsbry, 1921)

Homalocantha pele is uncommonly found in the Marshalls, but is likely a lot more common than it appears to be. The specimens photographed below are relatively clean and easy to spot, but many specimens are so encrusted that they look like part of the reef. They tend to sit out in the open, depending on their effective camouflage to protect them from predators. A fair percentage of the shells we have seen were found using the "braille" technique: putting your hand down on what appears to be algae-encrusted rock to steady yourself and have one of these shells come off in your hand. At Kwajalein, they live on the seaward reef from about 2 to 20m.

While most Marshall Islands shells are white, a few are colored. The one below is mostly red.

The shells are usually difficult to see against their normal backgrounds.

Created 1 October 2010

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