Shell of the Week: The Rader Angular Triton
Cymatium raderi d’Attilio & Myers, 1984, is a large triton snail of the family Cymatiidae. Its shell is characterized by large, wing-like varices, or the shell expansions manufactured by the snail at irregular intervals. The triangular expansions are similar to, but more accentuated than those in the related species Cymatium femorale, also known as the Angular Triton. The species is found in the Gulf of Mexico, the greater Caribbean to Brazil, but also occasionally off the East Coast of Florida and the Florida Keys. The long-lasting pelagic (open-water) larvae in the species allow for long-distance dispersal at the larval stage, one of the reasons for its broad geographical distribution. You can see the larval shell preserved as the protoconch (at the apex) of the shell in the illustration.