Haminoea cymbalum

Photo courtesy of Marcus Coltro

Haminoea cymbalum (Quoy and Gaimard, 1835)

Now don't get me wrong. I do like bubble shells. Even put 4 pictures of them in my Hawaiian Nudibranchs book. However, most tend to be drab, camouflage-colored sand burrowers. They are not your typical sea slug beauties.

Yet this week's animal is a really pretty one—shell and all. I was honored recently to receive this photo from Marcus Coltro, a Brazilian (São Paulo) shell dealer. He photographed this 7 mm–long animal underwater in Aitutaki, Cook's Islands.

Its transparent white and green shell only emphasizes its white, yellow-spotted body . Originally named from Tahiti, it ranges widely across the Indo-Pacific basin. Dr. Alison Kay wrote in Hawaiian Marine Shells (1979), “This is a common shallow water species; the animals are abundant in rocky areas shoreward on fringing reefs, in tide pools, and on solution benches from August through December.”

A taxonomic discussion of Haminoea cymbalum can be found on Dr. Bill Rudman's Sea Slug Forum .

Dr. Hans Bertsch
Imperial Beach, Calif
July 2006

Photo of Marcus Coltro
Marcus and his brother Jose own the Shell Shop Femorale . Marcus has been a shell collector since 1976 and shell dealer since 1989. He is past President of Conquiliologistas do Brazil, and has had articles published in several related magazines and websites. An amateur photographer, his images have been published in shell books and magazines and on Brazilian phone cards!

He is a member of Conchologists of America (since 1988), and coordinator of their website.

Send Marcus email at shells@femorale.com

Photo of Hans Bertsch at the "office," Bahia de los Angeles
Photo courtesy of Jim Mastro

Send Hans email at hansmarvida@sbcglobal.net

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