Cypraea tautirana Curtiss, 1938,

Low, Martyn E. Y. & Tan, Siong Kiat, 2014, On the identities of the molluscan names described in A Short Zoology of Ta h i t i in the Society Islands by Anthony Curtiss in 1938 (Mollusca: Cephalopoda, Gastropoda), Zootaxa 3764 (3), pp. 394-400: 397

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Cypraea tautirana Curtiss, 1938


Cypraea tautirana Curtiss, 1938  , a synonym of Monetaria obvelata (Lamarck, 1810) 

Original description (p. 190). “The Tahiti cowry, called poreho by the Indians, has a smooth shell, five-eighths of an inch long. Its spiral is enameled over, and does not appear outwardly. The shell is smooth and white, with a large bluish-gray spot on its highest part, elevated, but still smooth. The opening is long and slit-like, toothed on each side, and with a canal at each end. The animal is snail-like. This is found in the sea, below tide-mark. ( Cypraea tautirana  . (In the sea, near Tautira.))”.

Identity. Although the description provided by Curtiss is rather short, distinctive characteristics were mentioned. In particular, the mention of the “large bluish-gray spot on its highest part, elevated, but still smooth” strongly suggest that it is a cowrie with a distinct elevated hump in the dorsum. This agrees very well with what is now known as Monetaria obvelata (Lamarck, 1810)  . Curtiss’s Cypraea tautirana  is probably identical to the plain form nubilis Sullioti, 1924, since no mention was made of a dorsal orange ring or patterns.