Full Version: Shell from Canoa, Ecuador
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i stepped on one of these and had a piece of it in my foot for a month and a half.  just wondering what it was? thanks for any help!
Ha ha, as soon as I read your statement and noted the locality mentioned in your title, I knew what you must be referring to, even before I looked at the picture. This is Pitar lupanaria (Lesson, 1830). Yes, when these get washed ashore and partially buried in sand they are a real hazard to barefoot beachgoers.  In the western Pacific area small Murex pecten and other spiny murexes create a similar hazard.

This is in the family Veneridae, commonly known as "Venus Clams". This species is referred to as the "Prostitute Venus", because that's what its scientific name - "lupanaria" - means. Why this is so I have no idea. A similar species from the Atlantic side of Central America has the more elegant common name "Royal Comb Venus".  <span class="petit">--Last edited by Paul Monfils on 2007-07-20 04:44:58 --</span>
thank you!