Notocypraea comptoni

Brown cowrie | Cypraea comptoni
Notocypraea comptoni
Notocypraea comptoni


Temperate Australasia


Orange mantle with an orange-brown shell that is crossed by two faint bands. A few black spots are generally located on the edges of the shell. A pure white cowry similar to this species and which may or may not be distinct, has been named N. subcarnea; its habitat is very restricted compared with the habitats of others in the group, as it has been found only near low-tide level on exposed shores. Another related species, Notocypraea piperita, resembles N. comptoni, but has a different radula tooth arrangement and generally possesses four broken bands and a splattering of very fine speckles across the shell. The other cowry in the Notocypraea complex, the southwestern WA species Notocypraea pulicaria, has a pale orange shell with brown spots forming four indistinct bands around the shell.


Max Size: 3 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 10.4-20.8°C

Depth: 0-40m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Infrequent (1.6% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Solitary (1 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney