From left to right : Cypraea edentula; Cypraea
edentula x alfrendesis ; Cypraea alfredensis
Recently, I received the above shells which come from Algoa Bay, South
The middle specimen represents the first known example (to my knowledge) of a hybrid between Cypraea edentula and Cypraea alfredensis.
All the above shells come from the same reef, dived at 15m.
The typical edentula from Algoa Bay is an orange colour (as above). This may have random
spotting, above and below. Typical alfredensis are a greyish-blue colour (as above), but NEVER
orange. C. alfredensis also have typical strong , linear, basal spotting along the side of the base.
The hybrid specimen has elements of both species :
1) It has neither an orange ground colour , not a greyish colour - but a greyish orange - a mixture
between the two.
2) It has the typical basal spotting of the alfredensis
3) It has a more slender shape than alfredensis, i.e. more typical of edentula,
but also has a thickened lip, more typical of alfredensis
So, new and interesting varieties and hybrids keep appearing. That's what makes being
a shell collector so enjoyable !