Mauritia eglantina (Duclos, 1833)
Eglantine cowry, 34-80mm

Mauritia eglantina prefers lagoon reef habitats at depths about 1.5 to 14m. They are most common under rocks in shallow water along the lagoon side of the east reef, in relatively quiet waters protected from typical wind chop by reefs or islands. The shell can be very difficult to distinguish from Mauritia arabica. Mauritia eglantina tends to be more cylindrical, while M. arabica is still cylindrical, but a bit more oval in outline. The edge between the sides and the base tend to be sharper and more angular in M. arabica. These characteristics, however, are variable and there are specimens that are very difficult to place. One characteristic often relied upon is the presence of a dark blotch on the spire end of the shell in Mauritia eglantina that is not present in M. arabica. One of the best ways to differentiate them is by where they are found. While Mauritia eglantina prefers quiet lagoon habitats, M. arabica is usually found intertidally or on shallow windward reefs where there is some water movement. Mauritia eglantina is a Pacific species, ranging from eastern Polynesia and Micronesia westward to Southeast Asia and Indonesia and including northern Australia.

Several Mauritia eglantina hide in a hole on the underside of an overturned rock.

The pink egg mass below appears to be recently deposited.

As the eggs age, they darken. The ones below are probably ready to hatch out.

Juvenile specimens of all the Mauritia species have the pattern shown below. Juveniles are often difficult to tell apart. Sometimes the only way is to guess which species one is by where is was found.

The animal below is younger.

Created 1 April 2008
Updated 14 October 2012

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