The Giant Triton
The Giant Triton, Monoplex parthenopeus (Salis Marschlins, 1793), may be occasionally found on the local beaches. It is a large gastropod that may reach 6 inches in size. The Giant Triton, which has an extremely bristly, “hairy” periostracum (the outer shell layer of mollusks), should not be confused with the Hairy Triton, which is a smaller species that does not occur on the barrier islands of SW Florida. The Giant Triton has very broad distribution in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This large distribution is facilitated by the presence of a long-lasting, drifting larval stage in the species: Giant Triton larvae may be transported across large oceanic expanses by currents, in a process that enables the colonization of distant shores by the species.
The Giant Triton, Monoplex parthenopeus (Salis Marschlins, 1793).