Below at the top is the Spotted tun, Tonna dolium, also know as Tonna tessellata. It is found in the Indo-Pacific in deep water where it feeds on fish, sea urchins and crustaceans. It is 8 - 12 cm long.
Below is the Textile nerite, Nerita textilis. It is found in the Indian Ocean and Red Sea among rocks in the intertidal zone. It grows up to 5 cm long.
Distorsio anus, the Distorted anus, left and below has a rather unfortunate common name. It is found in the Indo-Western Pacific in shallow waters under coral where it eats echinoderms.
Muricidae, Murex (rock snails) overview
The Murex family are large to medium sized predators found in the tropics, they are often called rock snails. They are usually found in the shallows or intertidal zone on rocks and corals. The shells are often elongate and highly sculptured with spines and fronds, and brightly coloured insides.
Endive murex, Chicoreus chicoreum, also known as Hexaplex cichoreum, right. Found in the S. W. Pacific, and can reach 15 in height when fully grown.
The Radish murex or Black murex, Muricathus radix or Hexaplex radix is on the left. It is found in the western Pacific among intertidal rocks from the Gulf of California to Peru.
Giant eastern murex, Muricanthus fulvescens, on the right is found off the S. E. U. S. A. it can be found washed up on beaches from North Carolina all the way round to Texas. Adults can be up to 18.5 cm.
Below is the Toothed murex, Haustellum dentifer, also from the Indo-Pacific.
Below is the Snipe's bill murex, Haustellum haustellum also known as Murex haustellum. It is found in the Indo-Pacific.
On the left is Zambo's murex, Homalocantha zamboi, found in the Red Sea.
On the right is the Giant hairy melongena, Pugilina morio, also known as Murex morio and Semifusus morio. It is found in the Atlantic around Brazil, Angola, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Gabon, Mauritania, in the Caribbean Sea, and around the Lesser Antilles. It is found down to 30 m deep in mud and other soft surfaces in mangrove swamps and river estuaries. It feeds mainly on carrion.
Adult size ranges from 7.5 - 27.0 cm. In traditional Brazilian medicine it is used in the treatment of sexual impotence.
Below is the Alabaster murex, Siratus alabaster, found in the western Indo-Pacific region.
Below is Murex brandaris, also known as Bolinus brandaris, the Purple dye murex, or the Spiny dye murex, which can be found in the central and western Mediterranean. It is predatory on bivalves, cannibalistic and edible. The shell colour ranges from brown through gold to beige. It was used to produce a purple dye called Tyrian purple originally around Tyre. The dye is secreted as a milky mucous which changes to purple. It was captive bred for dye making as early as the Minoan period, and written refernces go back as far as 1600 BC. Dye production decreased with the fall of the Roman Empire, and ceased altogether with the fall of Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453.
To make purple dye the shells are broken, and along with the snail body and salt were placed in vats hollowed out of rock. After a few days the liquid turned purple. This liquid was then concentrated to make the finished dye by simmering over a fire.