Callidinus Murex Shell, Muricanthus callidinus: The Callidinus Murex Shell is an extraordinarily beautiful medium-large solid shell with a black coloration on its spinous varices and brown stripes of variable width on the otherwise white shell.
They are found on shallow water reefs and the intertidal zone up to 75 feet in the water column and reach a maximum of 4 inches. The body cavity is relatively large and massive.
This Murex is fairly similar to Muricanthus ambiguus (elaborately frilled varices).
The range of this species is believed to be limited to Guatemala south to Peru along the west coast of Central America. However, this collection and a nice shell listed for sale on the internet which was collected off the coast of Oaxaca, indicate that the species has migrated northward into tropical Mexican waters. The shells are sold commercially by shell collectors commanding high prices due to their beauty and rarity.
The Callidinus Murex Shell is a member of the Muricidae Family, a very large family, found worldwide, with approximately 100 genera and more than 700 species. The shells vary in size from one-fourth inch to ten inches high. The shell may be elongated and broadly ovate to almost round. Some have long spines, others strong axial ribs, and some species are smooth. All have a stout, horny, oval operculum.
Murexes live on rocks or reefs and are carnivores, feeding on other gastropods as well as bivalves, barnacles, worms, coral, and other invertebrates. They attack their prey by boring holes utilizing the radula and a gland in the foot that secretes various fluids to help in the boring action. The sexes are separate. The female lays the fertilized eggs in horny capsules, fastening them to rocks or hard objects singly or in clusters.