m the clockwise from top left

Erronea onyx Linnaeus, 1758
trawled in deep water
fishing fleet
Zhanjiang, China

Erronea adusta Lamarck, 1810
under rocks on exposed reef
Nacala Bay, Mozambique

Erronea onyx Linnaeus, 1758
by diver 3-5meter on reef
Masbate, Philippines

Erronea succincta Linnaeus, 1758
By locals at extreme low tides
mud flats
Tamilnadu, India

The Onyx Cowry (Erronea onyx Linnaeus, 1758) is stunning with its rich dark color and pastel blue and white window and mantle line on the dorsum. It is one of the most attractive of all Cypraea. The close relatives, the Dark Onyx (Erronea adusta Lamarck, 1810) and the Tanned Cowry (Erronea succincta Linnaeus, 1758) are also quite attractive, especially extremely dark solid mahogany colored specimens that are found in Zanzibar. There are several named varieties including a rare near albino one called Cypraea onyx nymphae Jay, 1850. All of these are variable making them fun to collect. Dwarfs and giants are exciting to locate.
Over the course of time there has been much debate over the nomenclature and validity of each name and the relationship of one to the other. It appears that Erronea succincta Linnaeus, 1758 is now unaccepted though collectors and dealers will continue to use the name.
Besides the differences in color and pattern, each has a distinct locality. Onyx is from the Pacific Ocean though some are found in deep water in the South China Sea. Succincta is found from Thailand across the Indian Ocean to the Middle East. Adusta comes from the coast of Africa and Madagascar.
Erronea onyx is the most readily available to collectors with the vast majority coming from the Philippines. The large heavy deep water specimen in this lot is from China and is rarely seen on the market, making it a great score for the winner of the auction.
Donated from the collection of Richard Kent