Snail – Cypraeidae

cypraeidae-rightThere are a lot of different opinions concerning this snail. For the most part, people feel that unless you have a Money Cowry, it’s a coral eating cowry. I’ve decided to leave it to the opinion of an expert, Don Barclay.

“Actually, most cowries are NOT known for eating corals. Essentially all ovulids feed on one “soft coral” or another, and since they look like cowries, and the people who are considered to be reef experts (they aren’t mollusc experts for sure) call them cowries, this myth gets propogated throughout the hobby over and over. It doesn’t help that at least one of the authors published this as a fact, and then illustrated it by showing a pic of an ovulid, not a cowry, feeding on a leather coral. Dr. Burgess, who published a guide to collecting and identifying cowries called “The Living Cowries,” noted specifically that it was a waste of time to look for cowries among live corals, because they don’t feed on live corals. They are found under dead coral slabs usually with sponge growth and microscopic animals to feed on, along with various sparse algae growth. I’ve found this to be the case also. There are only a few small species of cowries that may be found in association with live corals, and none of them have been observed to be feeding on them, although it’s possible. These include Cypraea , Cypraea fimbriata, Cypraea irrorata, Cypraea minoridens, and Cypraea microdon. None of these has ever shown up on any of the reef tank forums, as far as I’m aware, and none of the suppliers sell them to hobbyists. As I’ve stated several times before, large starving cowries in small tanks may start tasting of things, including potentially corals, which isn’t exactly the same as saying all cowries feed on corals, since none of them are known to do so.”

In my mind, no further thought is required on our part, due to the source of the information.


Tips for Removal Coming Soon!




Links for Further Reading


– Cypraeidae – Wikipedia