Taxon profile


Bolinus cornutus (Linnaeus, 1758)

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Gastropoda - gastropods »  order Neogastropoda »  family Muricidae - Muricids »  genus Bolinus

Scientific synonyms

Aranea conspicua Perry, 1811


Bolinus cornutus

Author: Jiří Novák

Bolinus cornutus

Author: Kaicher

Bolinus cornutus

Author: Jan Delsing

Bolinus cornutus

Author: Jan Delsing

Bolinus cornutus

Author: Avon, C.


The shell is large (maximum length 200 mm) and club-shaped. Its spire is low, with two nuclear whorls and five shouldered postnuclear whorls. The suture is deeply impressed. The body whorl is very large and broader than high. The aperture is ovate, twice as high as broad, with a broad anal sulcus extending posteriorly onto the shoulder. The outer apertural lip is moderately thickened; its leading edge is crenulate, weakly above and more strongly below. The columellar lip forms a broad, polished parietal callus that extends posteriorly, crossing the shoulder to reach the suture; anteriorly, the columellar lip becomes detached from the body whorl, taking the form of a broad, thin, undulate inductura, this strongly concave over the columella. The siphonal canal is long, straight, and narrowly open; to the side of the canal is a ridge composed of the vestiges of former canals.
The body whorl bears seven oblique varices, these proceeding across the shoulder as low ridges. The varical margin is sharply raised. The varices are low, spineless ridges on the spire. On the body whorl the varical margin is crenulate, and the varix is composed of three crescentlike segments, the first proceeding from the suture to the edge of the shoulder, the second between the shoulder-edge and the middle of the body whorl, and the third extending to the base of the body whorl. Spiral sculpture consists of six or seven primary cords and secondary cords on the shoulder and on the posterior part of the body whorl. Where the top two primary cords cross the varices, on the shoulder-edge and medially on the body whorl, long, recurved, closed spines are developed. The entire shell surface is also decussated by fine axial and spiral scratches. Extensions of the varices form spinose axial ridges extending the full length of the canal. Two or three oblique rows of long, sharp spines encircle the canal starting immediately below the inductura. The upper row terminates above the midpoint of the canal, and the lower row ends below the midpoint; the third row, when present, terminates near the anterior end of the canal.
Shell color is tan or buff, with three darker, evenly spaced, brown spiral bands on the body whorl. The aperture is porcelaneous white, suffused with apricot orange on the lip-edge, parietal callus, and inductura.
Radwin, G.E. & D'Attilio, A., 1976. Murex Shells of the World. An Illustrated Guide to the Muricidae.
Dakar, Senegal, 132.0mm., F/F+.
The « African Horned Murex » is a large club-shaped muricid native to western Africa, ranging from Mauritania to Angola (including Cape Verde). Each whorl bears seven spinous varices, each usually bearing two strong spines near the shoulder and many weaker ones towards the siphonal canal. Individuals vary greatly in spine length and curvedness; irregularity in spine growth is not uncomm.on. The colouration is also very variable and can vary from off-white to almost black. The club-shaped shell and long varices make it closely resemble members of the genus Tudivasum in Turbinellidae, although the protoconch of Tudivasum is bulbous and very different. Like its only congener B. brandaris (Linnaeus, 1758) which was used to produce the ancient Tyrian purple dye, the mucus of B. cornutus also turns purple upon contact with air and may be used to produce purple dye. A carnivorous and predatory gastropod, it inhabits mostly sandy to muddy bottoms of moderately shallow waters around -5~80m deep and is not uncommon throughout its range. Typical shell length around 150mm., extremely large examples may exceed 200mm.
Avon C. 2016 . Gastropoda Pacifica.


Western coast of Africa, from Mauritania to Angola.
Radwin, G.E. & D'Attilio, A., 1976. Murex Shells of the World. An Illustrated Guide to the Muricidae.
Author: Jan Delsing

Included taxa

Number of records: 1

subspecies Bolinus cornutus tumulosus (Sowerby, 1841)

Bolinus cornutus tumulosus

Links and literature

EN Galli C.: WMSDB - Wolrdwide Mollusc Species Data Base July 10, 2013 [] [as Bolinus cornutus Linnaeus, 1758]
Data retrieved on: 23 November 2013
CZ Pfleger V. (1999): České názvy živočichů III. Měkkýši (Mollusca), Národní muzeum, (zoologické odd.), Praha, 108 pp. [as Bolinus cornutus (LINNÉ, 1758)]
Data retrieved on: 11 November 2013
IT Repetto G., Orlando F. & Arduino G. (2005): Conchiglie del Mediterraneo, Amici del Museo "Federico Eusebio", Alba, Italy [as Bolinus cornutus (Linné, 1758)]

Contributions to BioLib

Help us to expand this encyclopedia! If you are logged in, you can add new subtaxa, vernacular and scientific names, texts, images or intertaxon relationships for this taxon.