Ovula ovum Lamark 1810
egg cowrie
Ovula ovum, egg cowrie with eggs

family Ovulidae - egg cowries and spindle cowries

• top left - an egg cowry, Ovula ovum, with its black and velvety mantle which is covered with small white or yellow spots which is partly retracted to reveal its shell
• top right - egg cowry laying eggs. There are separate males and females, which are often found together .Female egg cowries are sometimes seen guarding their brood.
• bottom left - Egg cowries, feed on soft corals and sponges. These egg cases each contain many eggs and are on a Scarcophyton soft coral. This coral is toxic to fish but the egg cowrie is able to neutralise toxin and feed on the coral.
• bottom right - The shell is porcelain white on the upper surface. The undersurface is white, the interior is orange brown, teeth are only present on outer lip.

Distribution =   Indo-west Pacific,northern Australia, central WA to northern NSW.
Max size =   12cm