Miliaris Cowries

Class: Gastropoda

Family: Cypraeidae

Family Description:

The dorsal surface, or dorsum, is the upper surface; the ventral surface or base is the lower surface bearing the aperture. Juvenile cowries appear quite different to adults; in juveniles, the shell is the typical gastropod shape with spire exposed and the outer lip thin. As the shell matures, the outer lip thickens and folds in, creating the narrow aperture of the adult shell, covering the spire in the process. In mature shells the top of the spire may not be evident, may protrude slightly, or be present within a pit at the posterior end. Most juvenile cowries are marked quite differently to the adult with a pattern of wide transverse bands, the adult colour pattern developing as the shell matures.

Genus: Erosaria Troschel, 1863

Species: Erosaria miliaris Gmelin, 1791

Species Description:

Shell length 46.8 mm, the dorsal surface is smooth and shiny with pale brown and yellowish color and with white spots. The base is white or pink, with several fine teeth. In the living cowries the mantle is pale brown and greyish, with long tree-shaped sensorial papillae. This species is almost similar with Erosaria lamarckii, but in Erosaria miliaris the edges of the shell are white, without any spots.


Cypraea inocellata Gray; Cypraea miliaris Gmelin, 1791; Zonaria inocellata Gray, 1825; Cypraea miliaris magistra (var.) Melvill, 1888; Cypraea diversa Kenyon, 1902; Cypraea brookei Rous, 1905; Cypraea brevis Smith, 1913; Cypraea intermedia Smith, 1913; Cypraea gabrieli Gatliff, 1916; Erosaria differens Schilder, 1927; Cypraea gabrielana Gatliff, 1929; Erosaria metavona Iredale, 1935; Erosaria effosa Schilder, 1937.

Other Records(References):

Erosaria miliaris Gmelin, 1791- [Hinton (1972): 12; Abbott and Dance (1982): 86; Eisenberg (1986): 67; Springsteen et al. (1986): 89; Dharma (1988): 57; Oliver (1989): 100; Lorenz and Hubert (1993): 389; Swennen et al. (2001): 355; Thach (2005): 81].

Global Distribution:

Western pacific; Northern Australia


Common. This taxon has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List.