Tectus triserialis, Lamarck, 1822. Caught in 50 meters deep rocky & muddy bottom, Semirara Islands, Samar, Philippines.

Tectus conus, Gmelin, 1791. On rock and rubble, collected by local fishermen by nets near Rapu Rapu Island, Albay Gulf,  Philippines.

Trochus ferreirai, Bozzetti, 1996. Trawled in 50 meters depth, Masbate, Philippines.

Monodonta labio, Linné 1758. Rocky shore in shallow water, Negros Island, Philippines.

The Trochidae are conical shaped gastropods. They are herbivorous and found grazing on seaweed and algae covered rocks. Trochidae are found worldwide in tropical waters and well represented in the Philippines where all of our specimens were collected. These four specimens exhibit the diversity of the family in shape and size, although many come much much smaller and one, Tectus niloticus. grows so large that it dwarfs the largest of these. It is interesting that this family favors reds and greens, two colors not often found in other gastropods. These shells are pearlescent under the outer layer. This inner layer is called “nacre” or mother of pearl in plain English.  “Pearlized” specimens of the larger specie are found in the tourist shops. Trochus ferreirai was discovered less than twenty years ago and until very recently sold for over $20 each. Its red and white swirls make it very attractive Specimens of the upside down ice cream cone shaped Tectus triserialis, while not rare, are difficult to acquire. Tectus conus is the most popular of the lot, rightfully so due its large size, elegant shape and beautiful coloration.

Shells donated by Richard Kent