Image of Erosaria acicularis (Gmelin 1791)

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Several empty shells of the Atlantic Yellow Cowry, Erosaria acicularis Gmelin, 1791, were found at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, off the Texas coast. The species is common locally, and is often eaten by octopi. Some of the shells found were drilled by octopi. A few live specimens were also observed. Note that collection is restricted in sanctuary waters and only allowed with a research permit, as it was the case here. Shell length was about 20 to 25 mm. The dorsal color varied from mostly white, to orange, suffused with paler spots, and a row of brown marginal spots on both sides. The base is white. The species has a wide distribution in the warm western Atlantic, ranging from North Carolina to Bermuda, Gulf of mexico, and south to Brazil. In most of its distribution this species is found in shallow waters, but in Texas, it is only found offshore, in depths between 18 to 49 m. Read more about this species in Tunnell et al. (2010) Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells, p. 172. See more about the taxonomy of this species at the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) at: http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=419721

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Fabio Moretzsohn
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