The “Alabaster Murex” is a large and elegantly frilled muricid ranging from southern Japan to Philippines. It was first discovered by Hugh Cuming during his famous trip to the Philippines from 1836~1839, but even Cuming could only obtain a single beach-washed specimen which remained unique until 1961.

Its rarity then justified it to be selected as one of S. Peter Dance’s 50 “Rare Shells” (1969), and no fine quality specimens were known then. This is largely because it is a carnivorous gastropod inhabiting deep water around -100~500m, an inaccessible depth.

Nowadays, however, it has become a common shell in the market, even high quality specimens. The availability of this remarkable species among many others in the shell trade today must be attributed to the deep-water tangle nets in the Philippines; without these nets it may be still as scarce as it was in the old days, and quality specimens impossible to obtain.

It is a little-varied and easily recognised species, with colouration ranging from pure white to yellowish white. Typical shell length around 140mm, extremely large specimens are known to exceed 200mm. – Adapted from Chong Chen’s post

Showing all 4 results

Show sidebar