It’s time to look at another shell from Delphi. The club has glass jars displaying small shells in the Great Room. Larger shells like the ones below are displayed on shelves. The King Helmet is the largest of the helmet shells of the family Cassidae. They are found in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina through the Caribbean and the gulf of Mexico down to Brazil. They tend to bury themselves during the day, becoming active and feeding at night. In humans this behaviour is found mainly in students and in those involved in the music business and similar louche occupations.

King Helmet Shell 1 King Helmet Shell 2

King Helmets prey mainly on sea urchins and other echinoderms, using their foot to grip their meal. The dining arrangements are somewhat protracted. The snail makes a hole in the urchin through the combined action of a glandular secretion which is rich in sulphuric acid, while using its RADULA to rasp and dig through the shell to get at the trapped occupant, which it gradually consumes… That’s enough about that.
King Helmet Shell 3
King Helmet Shell 4

9 thoughts on “KING HELMET SHELLS (Cassis tuberosa) MORE DELPHI CLUB SHELLS

  1. Pingback: Stemona Tuberosa | Find Me A Cure

  2. Both Cassis madagascariensis (Emperor helmet, 350mm, 13.7 in, Central Western Atlantic/Caribbean) and Cassis cornata (Horned helmet, 350 mm, ., Indo-Pacific) are larger members of the family Cassidae. At 6 inches the C. tuberosa specimen pictured is not particularly large as it is possible find C. tuberosa at over 225 mm, 8.85 inches, in shell length. These animals are important meso-predators in shallow marine systems and may be quite rare in some areas so collection of new shells is discouraged.


  3. “King Helmet” is often referred to on Green Turtle as “tiger helmet”. Unfortunately for the snail, I do collect the ones that I find that are flawless, but only a couple. Last year will be my last year taking them since their numbers have dropped some and I have seen what has happened to the unrelenting harvesting of the conch. Always wanted to find a “Queen Helmet”!


    • It’s strange how rather revolting and cruel the feeding habits of gastropods can be. Pin-down. Acid. Filing away protective shell. And that’s before they get to the occupant… No doubt they feel much the same about humans and, say, ‘factory’ farming. Let’s stick to those yummy cakes of yours!



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