Meet the Hairy Triton
The Hairy Triton, Monoplex pilearis (Linnaeus, 1758) is a relatively common tropical western Atlantic species that is present also in the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, including Polynesia and Hawaii. The long-lasting pelagic (open-water) larvae in this species allow for ocean crossing at the larval stage, one of the reasons for its broad geographical distribution. Museum collaborator and outstanding underwater photographer Anne DuPont captured this image off Pompano Beach in Florida. Her photo shows the lush, hair-like periostracum that is typical of the species, and the cool-looking color pink-dots pattern on its mantle. Learn more about Florida mollusks and their shells at at our Southwest Florida Shell Guide.