Lambis crocata (Link, 1807)
Orange-mouth finger shell

Lambis crocata is the rarest of the finger shells found in the Marshalls. We have seen most specimens on lagoon pinnacles, sometimes with Lambis scorpius, with which they occasionally hybridize. They seem least rare on a few northern Kwajalein Atoll large lagoon pinnacles, although very rarely a specimen can be found on the seaward slope. The aperture is bright orange. The exterior of the shell is orange as well, but that is often completely hidden beneath calcareous deposits in older specimens.

The brown proboscis and mouth is between the two eye stalks in the photo below.

We had never seen Lambis crocata in the Halimeda patches we frequent along the east reef of Kwajalein Atoll, but recently over a span of a couple of weeks, we saw three very small but fully adult individuals sitting out on top of the algae. One of these is shown in the four photos below. We continue to be amazed how things change over time as species come and go.

Created 1 October 2009
Updated 13 September 2011

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