Map Cowrie

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: Leporicypraea Iredale, 1930

Species: Leporicypraea mappa Linnaeus, 1758

Species Description:

Shell length 43.2 mm, thick, rotund shell, convex base, aperture of the shell is very narrow, and relatively long. Both the inner and outer lips are ornamented with arrays of small teeth. The color of shell is light to dark brown, with several longitudinal brown lines. The cursory dorsal mantle groove line is dissimilar to the shells general color pattern, completely devoid of lines, thus easily perceivable. Its sinuous appearance, with several branches and notches, makes it a diagnostic character for this species.


Cypraea mappa Linnaeus, 1758; Mauritia mappa Linnaeus, 1758; Cypraea alga Perry, 1811; Cypraea montosa Roberts, 1870; Cypraea cinereoviridescens Bouge, 1961.

Other Records(References):

Leporicypraea mappa Linnaeus, 1758- [Hinton (1972): 25; Abbott and Dance (1982): 96; Eisenberg (1986): 67; Springsteen et al. (1986): 83; Dharma (1988): 61; Oliver (1989): 110; Lorenz and Hubert (1993): 255; Kubo and Kurozumi (1995): 63; Apte (1999): 21; Poppe (2008): 103].

Global Distribution:

Indo-west Pacific.


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