Clanculus puniceus (Philippi, 1846) – “The Strawberry Shell” – set of 6. Collected in Madagascar.
The Strawberry Top is one of the most “collectible” of the top shells, mainly for its wonderful, rich red coloring. Not many shells have a color like this! As a matter of fact, this shell was featured in our newspaper article show publicity a few years ago….and by the first day all of the dealers who had the shell in stock were sold out! The Clanculus are part of the Top-Shell Family, Trochidae. It is a very large worldwide family with numerous genera and hundreds of species. Most are top shaped (hence the name), but many are also “button” shaped and some even resemble Abalones. They have an iridescent interior and a round, many-whorled horny operculum. They occur from tidal rock pools to the deepest portions of the oceans. Most feed on seaweeds but many eat bryozoans and sponges.