Chicoreus brunneus, Link 1807 by diver at 10m in coral rubble, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines 2010
The Muricidae is one of the largest, varied and most confusing of all families of mollusks. Within Muricidae, Chicoreus is the most popular and widely collected. Worldwide in tropical waters, we have many here in Florida and the Caribbean. The Philippines have the greatest number of varieties and of those Chicoreus bruneus is one of the more popular and readily available. Its popularity comes from its deep brown, almost black color that overlays a white shell. All black and albino specimens are only moderately scare. Orange specimens are rare and quite likely another Chicoreus mislabeled. A common color variety seen mainly in larger specimens is a predominately white shell with black fronds, quite striking!
Another factor that makes Chicoreus so interesting are the the fronds on each varicy. Sometimes short, sometime long, and sometimes fanned out. Chicoreus brunneus varies too in adult size from under two inches to giant and now scarce specimens of four inches.
Murex are predators and can be found in any waters where there is an abundance of food.
These three beautiful specimens were obtained from a Philippine dealer. At first glance they may appear identical but further examination will reveal differences. Sizewise they are on the smaller range, about two and a quarter inches, which seems to be what is most often seen nowadays. Donated by Richard Kent
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