The “Rumphius’ Slit Shell” is the largest of all known extant slit shells and a species of legendary fame among collectors. Only three specimens were known until 1969 when a fourth one turned up in Taiwan. Toba Aquarium in Japan purchased that specimen with 10,000USD, which is often cited as the most expensive shell in history. Nowadays it is still rare but is obtainable at a cost, although recently specimens from East China Sea are exchanging hands at relatively low price. It ranges from Honshu, Japan to Taiwan to Philippines inhabiting rather deep water around -50~400m deep. It is a grazer mostly feeding on sponges but also soft corals, and is mostly found on rocks where these grow. The average adult size is around 180mm, with very large specimens exceeding 250mm. The final whorl inflates and exhibit most clearly the “flame patterns” this species is known for. Young specimens tends to have yellow colouration, whereas mature specimens are dominated by red. – From Chong Chen’s post

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