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Cowries may be algal grazers or sponge grazers, or both. Females lay a cluster of small egg capsules and will sit upon the mass until they hatch. If you find a cowry clinging tightly to an egg mass do not disturb it otherwise it may not return to that position. Veliger larvae hatch and spend some time in the plankton before settlement. Juveniles look like paper-thin olive shells, coiling as they grow until maturity, when the outer lip curves inward, forms teeth, and the shell thickens with a new adult color pattern. The height of an adult cowry does not change once this takes place but rather the shell thickens and the interior is dissolved to create more space inside. Young cowries stop coiling at random regardless of height, resulting in a broad size range in adults.

Hawaii has several endemic cowries, some of them quite rare, such as live-collected Ostergaard's cowries worth $2000 or more. Widespread species often attain record size in Hawaiian waters and many of these are rare.

Images 1-12 of 31
Banded Marble ConeKeoki Stender's Banded Marble ConeDebbie Hauter's Mexican Turbo SnailDebbie Hauter's Astrea SnailDebbie Hauter's Mexican Turbo Snail
Bill Holland's Jenner's CowrieBill Holland's Jenner's/Pustulate Cowry (Jenneria pustulata)Alison's Cowry (Cypraea alisonae)Keoki Stender's Gaskoin's Cowry (Cypraea gaskoini)Keoki Stender's Chick-Pea Cowry (Cypraea cicercula)
Keoki Stender's Maui's Cowry (Cypraea mauiensis)Keoki Stender's Honey Cowry (Cypraea helvola)Keoki Stender's Porous Cowry (Cypraea poraria)Keoki Stender's Ostergaard's Cowry (Cypraea ostergaardi)
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