Distorsio anus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Anal triton, 78mm

Distorsio anus is uncommon, usually found on seaward and lagoon reefs and pinnacles under rocks. Occasional specimens are in lagoon Halimeda patches. English speakers might conclude that the author of this species, Carlos Linnaeus, must have had a strange sense of humor. However, "anus" in Latin could mean "ring" or "old woman." Further, Linnaeus named this shell Murex anus in 1758; forty years later, Peter Friedrich Röding in Germany came along and moved the species to the new genus Distorsio. So the name really might not mean what you think.

The individual below has just spread its egg capsules over the underside of a rock.

A young specimen.

A couple more specimens.

Created 5 August 2010
Updated 26 March 2017

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