Tiger cowrie Cypraea tigris, copyright John Turnbull.

Belongs within: Cypraeinae.

Cypraea is a genus of cowries that has historically been used to encompass most if not all of the species of the family Cypraeidae, though modern authors would restrict it to species related to the type C. tigris.

Characters (from Wilson 1993, as Cypraea subgenus Cypraea): Large, ovate to pyriform, with rounded margins; labial and columellar teeth coarse, short, fossula deeply concave, crossed by columellar teeth; terminal ridge strong, curved.

Cypraea Linnaeus 1758 [incl. Porcellana da Costa 1776 (n. o.) non Lamarck 1801 (nom. prot.)]BR05
|--*C. (Cypraea) tigris Linnaeus 1758BR17 (see below for synonymy)
| |--C. t. tigrisWG71
| |--C. t. lyncichroa Melvill 1888WG71
| `--C. t. pardalis Shaw 1795WG71
`--C. (Luponia)G79
|--C. (L.) annaeG79
|--C. (L.) aurantium Gmelin 1791G79, D77 [incl. C. aurora Lamarck 1810D77]
|--C. (L.) candida Pease 1865G79, K65 [=C. clandestina candidaK65]
|--C. (L.) cruenta [incl. C. variolaria]B79b
|--C. (L.) cumingii Sowerby 1832G79, D77 [incl. C. compta Pease 1860K65, C. (Luponia) comptaG79]
|--C. (L.) esontropia Duclos 1833G79, D77
|--‘Luponia’ fimbriolataC64
|--C. (L.) fuscomaculata Pease 1865G79, K65 [=C. goodalli fuscomaculataK65]
|--C. (L.) gaskoini Reeve 1846D77
|--C. (L.) goodallii Sowerby 1832D77
|--C. (L.) propinqua Garrett 1879G79, D77
|--‘Luponia’ sowerbyiC64
|--C. (L.) spadix Mighels 1845G79, J49
`--C. (L.) spurca Linnaeus 1758G79, D77
|--C. s. spurcaMP65
`--C. s. acicularis Gmelin 1791MP65

Cypraea incertae sedis:
C. achatidea Sowerby 1837D77
C. aequinoctialis Schilder 1933D77
C. albuginosa Gray 1825D77 [=Luponia albuginosaC64; incl. C. darwini Ingram 1948EO65]
C. alfredensis Schilder & Schilder 1929D77
C. algoensis Grey 1825D77
C. amethystea Linnaeus 1758L58
C. amphithales Melvill 1888D77
C. amygdalina de Grateloup 1847F27
C. angelicae Clover 1974D77
C. annettae Dall 1909D77
C. artuffeli Jousseaume 1876D77
C. barclayi Reeve 1857D77
C. bensoni Finlay 1927 [=C. ovata Martin 1879 non Gmelin 1791]F27
C. bernardi Richard 1974D77
C. boivini Kiener 1843D77
C. bregeriana Cross 1868D77
C. broderipii Sowerby 1832D77
C. californiana Gray 1827C64
C. camelopardalis Perry 1811D77
C. caputdraconis Melvill 1888D77
C. cassiaui Burgess 1965D77
C. catholicorum Schilder & Schilder 1938D77
C. cervinetta Kiener 1843D77
C. cervus Linnaeus 1771D77
C. cinerea Gmelin 1791D77
C. citrina Gray 1825D77
C. coffeaC90
C. coheni Burgess 1965D77
C. coloba Melvill 1888D77
C. cribellum Gaskoin 1849D77
C. cruickshanki Kilburn 1972D77
C. edentula Gray 1825D77
C. erythraeensis Sowerby 1837D77
C. exanthemaB02
C. eximiaS09
C. fernandoi Cate 1969D77
C. fischeri Vayssière 1910D77
C. fragilis Linnaeus 1758L58
C. fultoni Sowerby 1903D77
C. fuscodentata Gray 1825D77
C. fuscorubra Shaw 1909D77
C. gangranosa Dillwyn 1817D77
C. gloriosa Shikama 1971D77
C. gondwanalandensis Burgess 1970D77
C. granulata Pease 1862D77
C. grayana Schilder 1936D77
C. haddnightae Trenberth 1973D77
C. insecta Mighels 1845J49
C. isabellamexicana Stearns 1893D77
C. joycae Clover 1970D77
C. jukui Shikama 1974D77
C. katsuae Kuroda 1960D77
C. kingae Rehner & Wilson 1975D77
C. kuroharai Kuroda & Habe 1961D77
C. lamarckii Gray 1825D77
C. lentiginosa Gray 1825D77
C. leucodon Broderip 1828D77
C. leucostoma Gaskoin 1843G43
C. leviathan Schilder & Schilder 1937D77
C. lisetae Kilburn 1975D77
C. lota Linnaeus 1758L58
C. luchuana Kuroda 1966D77
C. macandrewi Sowerby 1870D77
C. marginalis Dillwyn 1827D77
C. maricola Cate 1976D77
C. midwayensis Azuma & Kurohara 1967D77
C. mus Linnaeus 1758D77
C. musumea Kuroda & Habe 1961D77
C. nigropunctata Gray 1828D77
C. nivosa Broderip 1827D77
C. ocellata Linnaeus 1758D77
C. ostergaardi Dall 1921D77
C. ovata Gmelin 1791F27
C. owenii Sowerby 1837D77
C. pallida Gray 1824D77
C. pantherina Solander 1786D77
C. pediculus Linnaeus 1758L58
C. petitiana Crosse 1872D77
C. picta Gray 1824D77
C. platypygaQ72
C. platyrhynchaQ72
C. pulchella Swainson 1823D77
C. pulchra Gray 1824D77
C. pyrum Gmelin 1791D77
C. rabaulensis Schilder 1964D77
C. rashleighana Melvill 1888D77
C. robertsi Hidalgo 1906D77
C. sakurai Habe 1970D77
C. sanguinolenta Gmelin 1791D77
C. schilderorum Iredale 1939D77
C. serrulifera Schilder & Schilder 1938D77
C. sophiae Brazier 1875H09
C. spadicea Swainson 1823D77 [=Luponia spadiceaC64]
C. sphaerula Mighels 1845J49
C. stercoraria Linnaeus 1758D77
C. stercusmuscarumB79a
C. stohleri Cate & Schilder 1968D77
C. subrostrata Gray 1824C64
C. subteres Weinkauff 1881D77
C. succincta Linnaeus 1758L58
C. summersi Schilder 1958D77
C. tabescensG79
C. tatei Cossmann 1903 [=C. amygdalina Tate 1890 non de Grateloup 1847]F27
C. teramachii Kuroda 1938D77
C. teulerei Cazenavette 1845D77
C. unifasciata Mighels 1845J49
C. vredenburgi Schilder 1927D77
C. zebra Linnaeus 1758D77
C. zonaria Gmelin 1791D77

*Cypraea (Cypraea) tigris Linnaeus 1758BR17 [=C. (Luponia) tigrisG79; incl. C. fuscoapicata Coen 1949W93, C. nephelodes Lancaster 1928W93, C. tigris schilderiana Cate 1961BC01]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BR05] Bouchet, P., & J.-P. Rocroi. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia 47 (1–2): 1–397.

[BR17] Bouchet, P., J.-P. Rocroi, B. Hausdorf, A. Kaim, Y. Kano, A. Nützel, P. Parkhaev, M. Schrödl & E. E. Strong. 2017. Revised classification, nomenclator and typification of gastropod and monoplacophoran families. Malacologia 61 (1–2): 1–526.

[BC01] Boyko, C. B., & J. R. Cordeiro. 2001. Catalog of Recent type specimens in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History. V. Mollusca, part 2 (class Gastropoda [exclusive of Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata], with supplements to Gastropoda [Opisthobranchia], and Bivalvia). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 262: 1–170.

[B79a] Brazier, J. 1879a. List of marine shells collected on Fitzroy Island, north coast of Australia; with notes on their geographical range. Journal of Conchology 2: 186–199.

[B79b] Brazier, J. 1879b. List of Cypraea found in Moreton Bay, Queensland. Journal of Conchology 2: 317–322.

[B02] Bruguières, M. 1802. Note sur la formation des coquilles appellées Cypraea ou porcelaine, d’après la theorie de M. Bruguières. Bulletin des Sciences, par la Societé Philomathique de Paris 1 (Bulletin de la Société Philomathique, a ses correspondans): 15’–16′.

[C64] Carpenter, P. P. 1864. Supplementary report on the present state of our knowledge with regard to the Mollusca of the west coast of North America. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science 33: 517–686.

[C90] Cox, J. C. 1890. Descriptions of two new species of Australian Mollusca. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales, series 2, 4 (3): 658–660, pl. 19.

[D77] Donohue, J. 1977. Cypraea: a list of the species. III. Veliger 20 (2): 159–162.

[EO65] Emerson, W. K., & W. E. Old Jr. 1965. New molluscan records for the Galapagos Islands. Nautilus 78 (4): 116–120.

[F27] Finlay, H. J. 1927. New specific names for austral Mollusca. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 488–533.

[G79] Garrett, A. 1879. Annotated catalogue of the species of Cypraeidae collected in the S. Sea islands. Journal of Conchology 2: 105–128.

[G43] Gaskoin, J. S. 1843. On new species of Cypraea. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 11: 23–25.

[H09] Hedley, C. 1909. The Marine Fauna of Queensland: Address by the President of Section D. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science: Brisbane.

[J49] Johnson, R. I. 1949. Jesse Wedgwood Mighels with a bibliography and a catalogue of his species. Occasional Papers on Mollusks 1 (14): 213–231.

[K65] Kay, E. A. 1965. Marine molluscs in the Cuming collection, British Museum (Natural History) described by William Harper Pease. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History): Zoology Supplement 1: 1–96, 14 pls.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[MP65] Merrill, A. S., & R. E. Petit. 1965. Mollusks new to South Carolina. Nautilus 79 (2): 58–66.

[Q72] Quilty, P. G. 1972. The biostratigraphy of the Tasmanian marine Tertiary. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 106: 25–44.

[S09] Stephens, T. 1909. Notes on the geology of the north-west coast of Tasmania from the River Tamar to Circular Head. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 33: 752–767, pls 24–30.

[W93] Wilson, B. 1993. Australian Marine Shells vol. 1. Prosobranch Gastropods. Part One. Odyssey Publishing: Kallaroo (Western Australia).

[WG71] Wilson, B. R., & K. Gillett. 1971. Australian Shells: illustrating and describing 600 species of marine gastropods found in Australian waters. A. H. & A. W. Reed: Sydney.

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