SHELL OF THE MONTH MAY 2011

Murex pecten, Lightfoot, 1786, commonly known at the Venus Comb Murex is our shell of the month. The Venus Comb is not only a collectors favorite but a popular subject for both photographers and still life painters. The shell has over one hundred spines, which provide protection from predation, and prevent the snail from sinking in the soft mud where it is often found feeding on bivalves. Its range is extensive, across the the entire Indo-Pacific region. Perfect specimens are hard to find because of the fragile spines. It is also difficult to acquire specimens with the operculum.  Adult sizes are between 100 and 170mm but real large specimens aren’t found too often recently. Did you know that the flesh of this murex is edible? Our specimen came from Balicasag Island, Bohol, Philippines and was found by tangle net at a depth of 30-50 meters in 2008.

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