CLASSIFICATION OF CYPRAEA
PHYLUM :- MOLLUSCA (Unsegmented bilaterally symmetrical and provided with visceral mass, foot and mantle. )
CLASS :- GASTROPODA (Visceral hump twisted.)
SUB-CLASS :- PROSOBRANCHIATA (Gills in front of heart.)
ORDER :- PECTINIBRANCHIATA (Ctenidium comb-like or monopectinate.)
GENUS :- Cypraea
Tropical and subtropical form. Mostly found in the Indian and Pacific oceans, Africa and U.S.A. (Florida, California).
HABIT AND HABITAT
Cypraea lives on rocky ground, in shallow marine water.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF CYPRAEA
- Commonly called as cowry.
- Dorsal side is convex and the ventral side is flat with a narrow longitudinal opening extending along ventral length of the shell in the form of toothed channel or shell aperture.
- Solid shell is very smooth, polished and often highly coloured. Spine often concealed by the last whorl.
- Mantle and the foot are more beautiful.
- Lateral folds of mantle are reflected over the shell and may completely cover it.
- In entire expanded animal a pair of eyes, tentacles, pallial tentacles, foot mantle and siphon are easily seen.
The cowry shells are much used as ornaments, curious and mantle-piece decorations. The Cypraea moneta is used as money in the Pacific Islands and Africa. Cypraea tigris is beautifully engraved with Lord’s prayer and sold as curio or used as mantle piece ornament.
The animal has ventral shell contains toothed shell aperture and all above features, hence it is Cypraea.