The book includes an updated list of the cowry species (a group of small to large sea snails) found in New South Wales, Australia, and briefly comments on the abundance and distribution of each. It also contains photographs and notes that may assist in the identification of the various cowries, information on taxonomy, some historical information on cowry collecting, a list showing the largest NSW specimen recorded for each species, and other general information. NSW cowries can be considered in three main groups as follows:
1. The largest group is referred to in Cowries of New South Wales as the 'Tropical' cowries. They are all Indo-Pacific species with ranges that extend into NSW from the warmer waters of the north. They have free swimming veligers (planktonic larvae) that can be carried relatively long distances by ocean currents. Each veliger has a very small basic shell that surrounds the main organs of the animal. Within Cowries of New South Wales, all of the 'Tropical' cowries are included in the genus Cypraea.
- 2. The second group is the Notocypraea. This group is endemic to southern Australia and does not have a free swimming veliger stage. Instead, the juveniles hatch from the egg at the crawling stage.
- 3. The third group is the Umbilia. This group has only one representative living in NSW, namely Umbilia hesitata. This species is found along most of the NSW coast and also in Victoria, Tasmania and eastern South Australia, The Umbilia also hatch from the egg at the crawling stage.
Cowries of New South Wales discusses cowries found on the NSW mainland and the near shore islands. It also briefly discusses cowries found at Lord Howe Island, which is part of NSW and is located some six hundred kilometres east of Port Macquarie. The Lord Howe Island cowries are discussed in a separate section.
By: David Tarrant
Dimensions & Weight: 215x155x13mm, 500g approx