Family Ovulidae - egg cowries

  Order
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  Class
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Gastropoda
  No. of Genera in Ref.
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  No. of Species in Ref.
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  Environment
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Fresh : No | Brackish : No | Marine : Yes
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  Remark
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Shell globular to spindle-shaped, with more or less expanded extremities. Spire concealed under body whorl. Surface often smooth and polished, porcelaneous, sometimes with fine transverse grooves. Periostracum absent. APerture very long and narrow, inrolled on both sides and channeled at both ends. Outer lip thickened and sometimes toothed, inner lip smooth. No operculum. Mantle very large, with 2 lobes expanding in life over the entire shell. Mantle lobes often brightly coloured, smooth or marked with pustules and various outgrowths. Fleshy siphon distinct, with a smooth edge. Living in association with various coelenterates such as true corals, gorgonians or soft corals on which they feed by bitting off the polyps. Mantle of the animals very often mimic hosts, both in colour patterns and shape of the pustules which reflects the form of the polyps. Larger species of egg cowries are locally collected for food and for the shells, which have long been used as ceremonial or ornamental items among tribes in the oceanic islands of the western Pacific. Now mainly collected for shell trade (Ref. 348).
  Etymology
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  Division
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Ref.
[ e.g. 9948]                       
Glossary
                    [ e.g. cephalopods]


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