Taxon profile


Austrasiatica hirasei (Roberts, 1913)

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

Scientific synonyms

Cypraea hirasei Roberts, 1913


Austrasiatica hirasei

Author: Poppe, G.

Austrasiatica hirasei

Author: Avon, C.

Taxon in country check-lists*

* List of countries might not be complete


The « Hirase's Cowrie » is an exceedingly elegant cypraeid ranging from Kii Peninsula, Japan to Philippines to Queensland, Australia. One of the 'three famed cowries' of Japan along with congener A. langfordi (Kuroda, 1938) and Nesiocypraea teramachii (Kuroda, 1938), it is a much coveted rarity and collector's item. Although in the recent years many specimens have surfaced from the East China Sea and those have been traded with relatively low prices, high quality specimens are still costly. Truly Australian specimens, especially, are extremely scarce. An omnivorous nocturnal gastropod, it inhabits relatively deep water around -100~200m. Typical shell length around 50mm., extremely large specimens may exceed 65mm. It is named in honour of the eminent pioneering Japanese collector Yoichiro Hirase. The first specimen is said to have been discovered from the hands of a young girl in the fishing village of Kii-Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, Japan; hence its wamei (Japanese vernacular name) is « Otome-dakara », meaning « Maiden Cowrie ».
Avon C. 2016 . Gastropoda Pacifica.
Author: Jan Delsing

Links and literature

EN Galli C.: WMSDB - Wolrdwide Mollusc Species Data Base July 10, 2013 [] [as Austrasiatica hirasei Roberts, 1913]
Data retrieved on: 23 November 2013

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