Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Snakehead Cowrie

Monetaria caputserpentis


Dark brown cowrie 3-4 mm long with cream-colored spots on the crown of its shell. The light yellow-green mass below the shell in image 1 may be eggs.


Near shore shallow tropical waters; coral reef ecosystem.


Spotted at low tide on the reef flat south of Mokauea Island, off the south shore of Oahu, on the underside of a piece of coral rubble which had been lifted up to see what was there (image 2). The rubble was restored to its original position after imaging the cowrie. Also known as the serpent-head cowrie, the former scientific name of this species was Cypraea caputserpentis. Two sub-species have been named. This is probably Cypraea caputserpentis caputophidii. A casual internet search quickly returns "hits" on at least four different scientific names for this species, including Cypraea caputophidii and Monetaria caputophidii.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID

No Comments

Allen Hoof
Spotted by
Allen Hoof

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Spotted on Jun 6, 2015
Submitted on Jun 7, 2015

Spotted for Mission

Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team