Hawaii Biological Survey's


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18. Chinese Cowrie / leho

Scientific name: Cypraea chinensis

Classification: Phylum: Mollusca. Class: Gastropoda

Origin: Indigenous

Status: Uncommon

Distribution: Big Island

Sound file: --

Map: --

This native cowry is found throughout the Pacific area, but is rare here in Hawai‘i. It is found only in waters deeper than 40 feet. The Chinese cowry is active at night and hides in cracks and crevices during the day. Cowries were eaten by Hawaiians, used as octopus lures, and the shells used as scrapers.

   Photo © HBS