Black Cowry

Zoila thersites

Zoila thersites - Black Cowry
image_search Terms and anatomy

Size: 10 cm

Distribution: SA coast and gulf waters west of Cape Jervis

Habitat: Rocky areas and rocky reef

Depth: Subtidal to 10+ metres

The black cowry is one of the larger cowry species found in South Australian waters, and is a highly-sought after shell for collecting. It is pale, with a cloudy brown pattern, darkening to almost uniform black in some specimens. These black individuals are the most valuable to collectors. For this reason, it is not unheard of for environmentally-aware divers to scratch imperfections into the shells of live animals to prevent poaching. The mantle of this animal is also black.