Home > Invertebrates > Shells > Cowries > Cypraea (Monetaria) moneta

Updated 3/19/2014

Family Cypraeidae


Cypraea (Monetaria) moneta

Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, 2 feet, 28mm


Kaiona, Oahu, 1 foot, 19mm


Money Cowry, Sandy Beach

Waimanalo, Oahu, 1 foot



Makapu'u tidepool, Oahu


Kahalu'u tidepool, Hawaii

Kahalu'u tidepool, Hawaii


Moku o Loe, Kaneohe Bay, Oahu


Kaloko, Oahu

Kaloko, Oahu

Juvenile, Halepalaoa, Lana'i, 4 feet


Rare except on Maui and Hawaii, it is abundant everywhere else in the Indo-West Pacific.  Used as currency in many countries until the 1800's.  Found exposed during the day on weed-covered rocks on silty sand or wave benches in shallow water.  Has an attractive zebra-striped mantle.  Attains 1.5 inch.