Species Images
Pacific Deer Cowrie collected by scuba diving off northern New Zealand. 31mm
Far North, in beach drift. 46mm
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Key to Geographical Ranges
The symbols K.A.C.F.M.An. are used to indicate the geographical range of the species. They have been adopted to give an approxomation of the range of each species within New Zealand.
Kermadec Islands
Aupourian - Kaipara Harbour, north around North Cape, encompassing the Three Kings Islands and south to East Cape
Cookian - Lower North Island and the northern part of the South Island
Forsterian - Otago, Fiordland and Stewart Island
Moriorian - Chatham Islands, Pitt Island
Antipodean - Subantarctic Islands of New Zealand
FW =
L =
N =
North Island
S =
South Island
E =
I =

Lyncina vitellus Linnaeus, 1758

Classification:Mollusca (Phylum) > Gastropoda (Class) > Caenogastropoda (Subclass) > Littorinimorpha (Order) > Cypraeoidea (Superfamily) > Cypraeidae (Family) > Luriinae (Subfamily) > Lyncina (Genus)
Size/Grows to:Length 55mm, Width 35mm
Distribution:Indo-Pacific, from Red Sea to Hawaiian Islands, Polynesia and Northland to Poor Knights Islands, down to about 25 metres
Geographical Range:KA
References and Publications:
  • Powell, A.W.B. 1979: New Zealand Mollusca: Marine, Land and Freshwater Shells, Collins, Auckland (p.152)
  • Powell, A.W.B. 1976: On the considerable influx of warm water molluscs that have invaded northern New Zealand waters within recent years, Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum, 13 (p.144)
  • Penniket, J.R. Sep/1973: Notes of Interest: Cypraea vitellus, Poirieria, 7(2) (p.30)
  • Grange, K.R. Aug/1973: Cypraea vitellus in New Zealand, Poirieria, 7(1) (p.3)
  • Willan, R.C. Mar/1972: Notes of Interest: Cypraea vitellus, Poirieria, 6(3) (p.58)
  • Schilder, F.A. 1967: Cypraeidae from New Zealand, Records of the Auckland Institute and Museum, 6(3) (p.201)

Note: Localities are approximate, and represent only some of the known localities for the species.