Jul 27, 2008

Another first record for Cyrene Reef?

Chee Kong has shared the identity of this cowrie on his flickr. It is Blasicrura teres, a possible new record for Singapore! He also added a link to an article on the taxonomic status of this species on the man and mollusc website. From the site, it appears identifying this cowrie is a really 'complex' issue :-)

The cowrie was found by Chay Hoon during our recent trip to Cyrene Reef. Here's her photo of it on her flickr.Here's photos of the shell, the upper side
Side viewUnderside, with the very handsome animal retracted.Wow! This is exciting!

Update (28 Jul): Thanks to comments from "Collector" on this blog, ChimCK has posted an amendment to this identification on his flickr

"Previously suspected to be Blasicrura teres and hence another possible new record in Singapore.

Further reading of literature and comments from knowledgeable collectors suggest that this specimen is more likely to be Erronea walkeri walkeri.

This species has been recorded in Singapore.

Some species of Erronea have similarly looking soft parts (e.g., mantle, foot and papillae)".
Ah well, I'm just glad there are special animals on Cyrene, even if they are not first records!

Thanks to everyone for contributing to the issue. We sure learn a lot when we discuss with one another!

6 comments:

Collector said...

You got the ID wrong. It's not a new record for Singapore! Empty shells can be found along ECP. It's Cypraea (Errones) walkeri SOWERBY, 1832. Used to be very common before the reclaimation. C. teres does not have the violet base, shell is more cylindrical, and teeth are narrower. Hope this helps.

ria said...

Thanks for the details on the ID!

A local malacologist that was consulted has not seen this animal before.

From this link http://www.poppe-images.com/lab/search_results.php?category=Shells&species=Cypraea%20walkeri
it appears the live Cypraea walkeri has a white foot and mantle. While those of the one found on Cyrene are red.

Well, ID is tricky and especially in complex species. And I often wonder if shells found on the ECP are actually resident snails that died or shells that came with the sand.

In any case, it's always good to have discussion as I always learn from it.

To me, it's good to find something on Cyrene Reef that is not seen on our other shores. It shows that Cyrene Reefs are quite special!

Collector said...

Mantle color is usually a good indicator of species, but in this case it seems that it is misleading.Shape and teeth quite certainly point to the subgenus belonging to Erronea instead of Blasicrura. The philippine shells pictured on Poppe's website, may have a different color, but there have been a few known forms of walkeri. You would find that his philippine shells tend have a pale cream base, and less heavy spotting. Dharma's book illustrates two such forms, and indicates a purple based form that occurs within our region. The shells from ECP are fresh dead with purple base too, although the faded broken ones are more common.

C. walkeri is recorded from Singapore in a number of literature, including those by RMBR.

ria said...

You are right!

Your knowledge really helped sort this out.

I've amended the post accordingly.

Thanks for sharing and I'm glad we had this discussion!

Anonymous said...

That shows that these blogs shout up new records without checking the correct identification. I can only tell that these people are trying to create old news!

ria said...

Those of us who love our shores are always curious and want to learn more.

We explore and discover. And try to learn about our discoveries.

We post our ideas and thoughts, and through constructive discussion, new information and ideas, we all learn together.

ID is tricky. And I for one, learn all the time and am grateful for comments that contribute to a better understanding.

With a better understanding of our living shores and greater awareness, hopefully there will be a more caring attitude towards the shores that we love.

This is the spirit in which the blog is run.

If anyone has constructive views, they are most welcomed to post them.