Oliva porphyria (Linnaeus, 1758) Diver at night on sand at 80-90 feet near Loreto, Baja Sur, Mexico, 2005
Oliva porphyria Linne, 1758 is the king of the olive family. It grows to the largest size and is stately in shape and pattern. Although not rare it is dif cult to obtain as it lives in deeper water far away from the shore line. Beach specimens are rare to nd. Most specimens come from off the coast of Mexico though its range goes south beyond Panama. The common name is the Tent Olive. When looking at the pattern one can see whole cities of tents or maybe the tents might appear to be mountain tops. The shell is two tone cream and chestnut brown although freshly collected specimens have a purple tinge to the base. The Tent Olive is incredibly consistent in color with virtually no variation. The tented pattern does vary but not to any great extent. It grows up to 5.5″ in size but 3.5-4″ is the common size. The price skyrockets for the larger shells from $80 to over $200 or more for a 5″ specimen. Our specimen is slightly over 3.5″ and is close to gem. At that size it would fetch at least $40 retail making it a valuable addition to any collection. Donated by Richard Kent.