Polished Map Cowrie (Mauritia Mappa)
Approximate Size: Width 3″, Height 1.5″, Depth 2″
This shell is one of the most popular amongst our customers because of it’s light brown colourings and unique marking. From Children and tourists to seasoned collectors .. the Map Cowrie is definitely one of the favourites.
The maximum shell length of this species is up to 10 cm, but it more commonly grows up to about 8 cm.
The shell of Leporicypraea mappa is globose, with a near elliptical, slightly elongate outline. In affinity to other Cypraeidae, the aperture of the shell is very narrow, and relatively long. Both the inner and outer lips are ornamented with arrays of small teeth, though the teeth of the outer lip are shorter and stronger in comparison to the teeth of the inner lip, which are thinner and more numerous. Its dorsal side is normally inflated, while the ventral side of the shell is slightly concave.
The shell is coloured white or cream, with several longitudinal brown lines, which are sometimes interrupted by circular empty spaces. The cursory dorsal mantle groove line is dissimilar to the shells general colour pattern, completely devoid of lines, thus easily perceivable. Its sinuous appearance, with several branches and notches, makes it a diagnostic character for this species. This exotic colour pattern gives an appearance similar to that of ancient maps, hence the specific and common names. Both the ventral side of the shell and the labral teeth may vary greatly in colour, assuming shades of white or cream, or even purple, brown, orange or pink.