Articles              (Back to Articles Page)

Comparison of Cypraea castanea latebrosa and Cypraea iutsui iutsui

Click on any one of these photos to see a larger picture !!

The above 3 photos show C. castanea latebrosa (34mm) on the left and Cypraea iutsui iutsui (33mm) on the right.

South Africa has a small number of rare deep-water Cypraea shells. These are :

cruickshanki castanea latebrosa broderipii
iutsui iutsui castanea castanea connelli
iutsui atlantica barclayi lisetae
iutsui levissima fultoni fultoni immelmani

The subject of this short article is a comparison between Cypraea castanea latebrosa and Cypraea iutsui iutsui. These shells were trawled off the area between Algoa Bay and Jeffreys Bay, South Africa at a depth of approximately 100m.

The main differences between these 2 species are : the latebrosa is more compact , heavier and has a different colour pattern to the iutsui. The latebrosa has basal teeth which are more yellow. The iutsui has a lighter shell in general, with more produced terminals, easily seen in the above photos.

There is of course the possibility that these 2 species might inter-breed and form hybrids.

There follows here below a photo of the Cypraea castanea castanea, which is the shallow water form of castanea and is dived at 40m deep off Jeffeys Bay. (click to view bigger picture).

The Cypraea castanea castanea has a much more elongate form than the castanea latebrosa. It is also much lighter in weight.

Here follows a photo of a live-taken Cypraea iutsui iutsui (photo courtesy of Dai Herbert).