Caribbean Vase: Family Turbinellidae

Caribbean Vase
Vasum muricatum (Born, 1778)
Family Turbinellidae

The Caribbean Vase is a rare shell which is sometimes found on S. Hutchinson Island beaches.

Caribbean Vase (S. Hutchinson Island- October 2020)

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Vasum muricatum
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Mollusca
Class:     Gastropoda
(unranked):     clade Caenogastropoda
clade Hypsogastropoda
clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily:     Muricoidea
Family:     Turbinellidae
Genus:     Vasum
Species:     V. muricatum
Binomial name
Vasum muricatum
(Born, 1778)

Turbinella pugillaris Lamarck, 1822

Vasum muricatum, common name the Caribbean vase, is a species of medium to large sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Turbinellidae.[1]

Vasum muricatum has a large, thick and heavy shell that reaches a length of 50 – 100 mm. The shell is quite elongated, conical or vase-shaped (hence the common name). There are blunt spines at the shoulder and near the base. The shell is off- white with black or dark brown periostracum externally, while the aperture is usually white. The columella has 5 strong folds, the first and third being the largest.[2]

This species is widespread in the Caribbean Sea. In Venezuela this species has been reported from the state of Falcon,[3] Nueva Esparta[4][5][6] and Dependencias Federales.[7]

This species i rather common and is often found in pairs in shallow water. It preys on worms and clams.[8]

    Vasum muricatum from Los Monjes Archipelago, Venezuela.

    Vasum muricatum from Los Monjes Archipelago, Venezuela.

    Vasum muricatum from Isla La Tortuga

    Vasum muricatum from Isla La Tortuga


Morris, A. P. (1973): “A Field Guide to Shells of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and the West Indies”. Hougmon Mifflin Co Boston.
Abbott, R Tucker (1974). American Seashells. D. Van Nostrand Reinhold. Ltd. New York. 663.
Bitter, Ricardo S. y Martínez E. Rafael. 2001: Inventario de los moluscos marinos en las costas del estado Falcón, Venezuela. Acta Biologica Venezuelica, 21(1):21-41.
Macsotay, O. 1982: Intervalos batimetabólicos y batimétricos de algunos moluscos bentónicos marinos de Venezuela. BOL. Soc. Ven. Cien. Nat. 37:103-147
Princz, D. 1973: Moluscos gastrópodos y pelecipodos del Estado Nueva Esparta, Venezuela. Mem. Soc. Cien. Nat. La Salle, 33:169-222
Princz, D y a González de Pacheco. 1981: Los moluscos marinos del Parque Nacional La Restinga, isla de Margarita, Venezuela. Ministerio del ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales Renovables. Serie informes cientifico. Zona 14/IC/1-42
Capelo, J.C. y J. Buitrago. 1998: Distribución d e los moluscos marinos en el oriente de de Venezuela. Mem. Soc. Cien. Nat. La Salle, 150:109-160.

    Warmke, Germaine L. & Abbott, R Tucker. (1961): Caribbean Seashells. Livingston Publishing Company. Narbeth. Pennsylvania.

External links

    Biodiversity Heritage Library
    Smithsonian NMNH

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