Taxon profile


Perisserosa guttata (Gmelin, 1791)

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Gastropoda - gastropods »  order Littorinimorpha »  family Cypraeidae - Cowries »  genus Perisserosa

Scientific synonyms

Perisserosa guttata guttata Gmelin, 1791
Cypraea guttata J. F. Gmelin, 1791


Perisserosa guttata

Author: Jan Delsing

Perisserosa guttata

Author: Jan Delsing

Perisserosa guttata

Author: Avon, C.

Perisserosa guttata

Author: Avon, C.

Taxon in country check-lists*

* List of countries might not be complete


The « Great Spotted Cowrie » is a lovely classic rarity among cypraeids characterised by circular bright spots on the dorsum and long tooth on the base extending to the dorsum as marginal lines. One of S. Peter Dance's fifty « Rare Shells » (1969), only sixteen were known by 1963 according to a list of known specimens published then by Woodward and it was exceedingly rare until the late 1900s. Today it is known to be a widely distributed species ranging from Maldives to Japan to Philippines to Queensland, Australia; it is very variable and several forms / subspecies names are currently being used. The nomimal subspecies occurs from Philippines to Queensland and is uncomm.on, best known from moderate depths around -25-100m in the Philippines where specimens with clear large spots are taken by diving or tangle netting. The form azumai (Schilder, 1960) is a northern form of guttata with smaller indistinct spotting and often lacking the labral blotch known from Japan and East China Sea; in recent years the Chinese trawlers are producing a huge quantity of this form from the East China Sea making it very comm.on and inexpensive, but most specimens are quite poor. The form bicallosa (Raybaudi, 1985) refers to an angular form with well-developed white callous on both sides best known from Philippines. It is extremely rare in Queensland, its southern limit, and the specimens from here (usually deeper water around -150~300m) may represent a real subspecies; although not formally named these are often referred to as « queenslandica » on the market. The only widely accepted subspecies except the nominal guttata guttata is the uncomm.on Indian Ocean subspecies guttata surinensis (Raybaudi, 1978) from deeper waters (-100~300m) of Maldives to Thailand; characterised by an depressed oval shape, fine spots, darker alnd larger basal blotches, and much longer marginal lines. It is an omnivorous gastropod often inhabiting crevices of rocky walls, emerging at night to feed on a mixture of sessile invertebrates (such as bryozoans and sponges) and algae. Extremely variable in size, the typical shell length is around 55mm. but specimens smaller than 35mm. and larger than 85mm. are known to exist; specimens less than 45mm. or over 70mm. are rather rare. It is still one of the most sought-after cowries today, giant dark specimens with large well-defined spots are perhaps the most coveted although an ideal specimen is still very difficult to obtain.
Avon C. 2016 . Gastropoda Pacifica.


Location: Tinina, Balut Island, Mindanao, Philippines
Avon C. 2016 . Gastropoda Pacifica.
Author: Jan Delsing

Included taxa

Number of records: 2

subspecies Perisserosa guttata azumai Schilder, 1960

Perisserosa guttata azumai

subspecies Perisserosa guttata surinensis (Raybaudi, 1978)

Links and literature

EN Galli C.: WMSDB - Wolrdwide Mollusc Species Data Base July 10, 2013 [] [as Perisserosa guttata Gmelin, 1791]
Data retrieved on: 23 November 2013
CZ Pfleger V. (1999): České názvy živočichů III. Měkkýši (Mollusca), Národní muzeum, (zoologické odd.), Praha, 108 pp. [as Cypraea guttata GMELIN, 1791]
Data retrieved on: 11 November 2013

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