Atlantic Deer Cowrie - Macrocypraea cervus - Large

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SKU: 249727
Manufacturer: That Fish Place
MPN: 0513-snail1

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The Atlantic Deer Cowrie (Macrocypraea cervus, formerly Cypraea cervus) is one of the largest cowries. It is very variable in its coloration. The shell is usually reddish-brown with pale spots like a young fawn. Some also have a faintly streaked appearance with light bands and lack the pale spots. Their is a pale band down the length of all color forms where the two mantle edges meet. The mantle itself is darker grey-brown in color and is covered with a short, fine fringe.

Cowrie Snails are well known to shell collectors for their attractive shells and are popular among aquarists for algae control. They look like oval-shaped domes in appearance, much like the top half of a football (the American kind). Their shells are usually very shiny and have a "polished" appearance, due in large part to the fact that the shell is usually covered and protected by the animal's mantle. This mantle may be similar to the coloration of the shell or may be very different from it, depending on the species. The mantle and animal extend from a slit-like opening on the underside of the shell instead of a round opening like other snails.

Cowries are algae eaters and grazers. They need plenty of algae to graze on, both tiny microalgae and larger macroalgaes, including "nuisance algae" like the filamented hair algae that plague some aquariums. None of the true cowries (those from the genus Cypraea) prey on corals or other animals, but there are some very closely related snails that do prey on gorgonians and other soft corals (those from the genuses Cyphoma and Ovula are most common in the aquarium trade).

While cowries are safe for reef aquariums in that they will not eat corals, polyps or other similar invertebrates, some do get rather large. With this size comes a certain amount of clumsiness and they may topple corals or rockwork as they move, causing some physical damage on their way.


That Fish Place
Common NameAtlantic Deer Cowrie - Large
Scientific NameMacrocypraea cervus
Originwestern Atlantic, Caribbean
Reef SafeYes, with caution
Invert SafeYes
Community SafeYes
Max Size (in inches)6
Min Tank Size (in gallons)100
Specific Gravity Range1.022-1.026
pH Range8.0-8.4
Temperature Range75-82
Internal Id

State Restrictions
Armed Forces Americas
Armed Forces Europe
Armed Forces Pacific
Puerto Rico


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