Calpurnus verrucosus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Warty egg shell, 33mm

This nearly pure white shell is decorated only with a brown-edged depressed pustule at the anterior and posterior ends, and the very anterior and posterior tips are tinted with light purple. The mantle that usually covers the shell, however, is patterned with grayish brown spots, and the white foot is scattered with jet black spots. This species is found exclusively on the soft coral Sarcophyton. The molllusks are not rare, but are only found on a few colonies of their very common soft coral prey.

Occasionally they sit out on top of their soft coral prey during the day.

But here in the Marshalls they usually spend daylight hours hiding under the flowing and curled edges of the Sarcophyton colonies and are difficult to see. At night they extend their mantles fully and come out onto the top of the soft coral to graze on the polyps.

On the first two below, the soft coral polyps are extended.

Here the soft coral polyps are retracted.

Created 22 September 2008
Updated 24 February 2012

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