Family Muricidae

This page links to some members of the family Muricidae. Most of the muricids are primarily hard reef dwellers. In many species the shells quickly become coated with calcareous encrustations. This often helps them blend in very well with their normal surroundings, so that some species are often or even usually found exposed on the reef by day. The Chicoreus and Chicomurex, however, typically have a sponge-like red covering that appears to inhibit external encrustation, at least until the coat wears off. The presence of this red coat on most Chicoreus, especially the younger and cleaner specimens, had me thinking that it might be a kind of periostracum produced by the mollusk. Even very tiny individuals of Chicoreus brunneus, for example, bear a thick red coat. The red tends to wear away as the shells get older, allowing corals and other encrusting organism to attach to the shell, much like a periostracum wears off with age. However, we have seen channels in the red coats on some murexes that look a lot like those of sponges. If it really is a sponge, it must have a pretty tight symbiotic relationship with some of these murexes. Most of the Kwajalein murexes are fairly easily recognized, except for the Favartia. With the references we have, they are not easy to identify, so most of our IDs within that genus are tentative. There are a number of other species, particularly in the Morula, Drupa and related genera, for which we do not have living animal photographs. At some point, we hope to add these in, even if only as photos of empty shells.

Aspella ponderi

Aspella producta

Attiliosa caledonica

Chicomurex laciniatus

Chicomurex venustulus

Chicoreus aculeatus

Chicoreus brunneus

Chicoreus ingridmariae

Chicoreus laqueatus

Chicoreus ramosus

Chicoreus saulii

Chicoreus torrefactus

Cytharomorula lefevreiana

Cytharomorula paucimaculata

Cytharomorula sp. 1

Cytharomorula? sp. 2

Drupa arachnoides

Drupa ricinus

Drupa rubusidaeus

Drupella cornus

Drupella fragum

Drupella margariticola

Drupella rugosa

Drupina grossularia

Favartia brevicula

Favartia crouchi

Favartia cyclostoma

Favartia guamensis

Favartia leonae

Favartia tetragona

Homalocantha pele

Maculotriton serriale

Mancinella armigera

Menathais tuberosa

Morula aglaos

Morula albanigra

Morula ambrosia

Morula cf aspersa

Morula biconica

Morula echinata

Morula uva

Morula sp. 1

Muricid sp. 1

Muricid sp. 2

Muricodrupa fiscella

Naquetia cumingii

Naquetia triqueter

Nassa serta

Pascula muricata

Pascula cf muricata

Pascula ozenneana

Phrygiomurex sculptilis

Phyllocoma convoluta

Pterynotus bouteti

Pterynotus elongatus

Pterynotus martinetanus

Pterynotus tripterus

Spinidrupa euracantha

Tenguella granulata

Vexilla vexillum

Coralliophila and Rapa

These shells were formerly considered a separate family, but are now included in the Muricidae. All species in this group prey upon live coral. We have seen empty shells of what appear to be several different species, but they are not yet included here.

Coralliophila amirantium

Coralliophila erosa

Coralliophila cf erosa

Coralliophila monodonta

Coralliophila radula

Coralliophila violacea

Rapa rapa



Kwajalein Underwater home

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