The family Cassidae contains medium to large size shells which occur in tropical and temperate seas. There is about 60 species, most of which occur from the intertidal down to about 100 m in depth. Most helmet shells live buried in the sand by day, coming out at night to feed on echinoderms, especially sea urchins, which they can locate by smell from at least 30 centimetre away. In the Cassidae the columellar callus extends onto the ventral surface and is referred to as the columellar shield. The margin of the columellar shield, which is the edge away from the aperture, may adhere to the ventral surface of the whorl or be free standing, and may be straight, indented, or convex. The shield itself may be smooth or sculptured.
Genus: Phalium Link, 1807
Species: Phalium glaucum Linnaeus, 1758
Shell length 110.1 mm, early whorl roundly shouldered with fine, spiral and axial cords; last three angular and crenulate; usually one or more varices. Expanded, rotund, smooth or maleate body whorl. Narrow ridge below suture; shoulder crenulations becoming weak nodules. Thickened lip, backed by deep channel, with 3 or 4, strong, sharp spikes anteriorly; inside lip are up to 25 teeth. Columella has wide shield at interior end and is weakly spirally wrinkled. Narrow, deep umbilicious; siphonal canal turned up vertically. Gray; lip orange; the columella and shield creamy pink to white; interior rich dark purple-brown; umbilical area white.
Buccinum glaucum Linnaeus, 1758; Bezoardica vulgaris Schumacher, 1817; Cassis bezoar Gray, 1839; Cassidea strigata Shirley, 1911.
Phalium glaucum Linnaeus, 1758- [Hinton (1972): 17; Hinton (1978): 23; Hinton (1979): 17; Abbott and Dance (1982): 111; Eisenberg (1986): 81; Springsteen et al. (1986): 103; Dharma (1988): 69; Oliver (1989): 130; Abbott (1991): 50; Kubo and Kurozumi (1995): 69; Kreipl (1997): 37-38; Swennen et al. (2001): 382; Thach (2005): 99; Robin (2008): 141].
Eastern Africa, South of Japan & Melanesia
This taxon has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List.