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Cuvierina columnella Rang, 1827

Tags: Cuvierina columnella | mollusk | Pteropod


Photo by Lee-Kun-Hsuan


Cuvierina columnnella, or Cigar Pteropod, is also known as the "Turtle Head Pteropod" because the rounded end of its cylindrical cell resembles the head of a turtle. It also looks similar to medical capsules. The shell is open at the front and when alive, it is transparent or semi-transparent with a purplish-brown color. After death, the shell becomes an opaque grayish-white. The cylindrical shell is quite sturdy, so complete specimens are relatively easy to collect.

The Cigar Pteropod is found throughout the temperate and tropical seas of the world. NMNS records show that it has been collected from the waters of Pengjia Island in northeast Taiwan, off the coast of Hualien, around Lanyu in Taitung, the waters off Lyudao, off the coast of Manjhou in Pingtung, off the coast of Hengchun in the southwest and in the South China Sea near the Dongsha Islands.

National Museum of Natural Science (The Digital Museum of Nature & Culture)