Hawai'i Coral Reef Network

Marine Invertebrates of Hawai'i


Class Gastropoda

cone shell

Conus spp. - cone shells

Description: cone-shaped shells in a variety of colors and forms

Size: up to 15 cm length

Habitat: buried in sand and in cracks and crevices; out in the open at night

snakehead cowry

Cypraea caputserpentis - snakehead cowry

Description: small, brown dome-shaped shell with white spots; often covered with a tan mantle studded with tentacles

Size: up to 3 cm length

Habitat: shallow water under rocks and coral rubble

tiger cowry

Cypraea tigris - tiger cowry

Description: large, spotted dome-shaped shell; often covered with a mottled mantle studded with tentacles

Size: up to 10 cm length

Habitat: below 10 m on hard substrates

Spanish dancer

Hexabranchus sanguineus - Spanish dancer

Description: dorso-ventrally flattened slug; mottled red and white with a ring of posterior gills and anterior rhinophores

Size: up to 25 cm length

Habitat: feeds on sponges; occasionally swimming

drupe shells

Morula spp. & Drupa spp. - thaidids

Description: robust shells, often covered with tubercules and short spines; aperture occasionally lined with teeth.

Size: to 3 cm length

Habitat: common in shallow and moderately deep coral reefs in small cracks.

Class Cephalopoda

Octopus Octopus spp. - octopus

Description: 8-arms lined with suckers; mottled-brown and black, often with white spots

Size: up to 1 m length

Habitat: in holes and cracks on the reef; out in the open at night


Last update: 1/25/2005