Arestorides argus

Argus means Fire, but this cowrie resembles to me more the soap bubbles we made when we were children. It is a delicious common species of the Indopacific area. It is of average size, but can passes the 100 mm, expecially with specimens coming from Vietnam. I show here 2 large specimens from Nha Thrang, 106.5 and 103.8 mm, in very good quality conditions, wide and heavy with a superb pattern. I got them from Dr. Thach, a pioneer conchologist in Vietnam, who sold to me his largest specimens to pay the US university fee to his son. Also, featured below, there is a beautiful specimen of argus rariocellata, of remarkable size and rare perfection. It is from Felix Lorenz, provenience Tulear - Madagascar, a truly wonderful  piece of art.

Talparia talpa

The famous Mole Cowrie is a must for every shells' lover! Its brown and yellow large stripes, alternating on a shiny and round dorsum are a masterpiece of nature, captivating the eyes both of experts and beginners. Talpa has to be dark, I do not like the pale specimen (I have got rid of a 106.5 mm talpa just because it was of light colour). The specimens shown here are all dark gems from the Philippines, with the following size: 100 mm (from Jean Pierre Barbier); 98 mm, wide and inflated (from Alistair Moncur); last but not least, a 72 mm specimen with an interesting pattern variation (from Vincent Crayssac).

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