Hoping someone can help me identify this shell that has been in my family for as long as I can remember. I know it was brought over to South Africa from Ireland a few hundred years ago. I am hoping to bring it back to the UK with me from SA, but due to restrictions on bringing in certain natural items I am trying to collect as much information as possible to prevent it being confiscated at customs.
Look forward to some help :-)
My initial thought was conch, in the family Strombidae
But from the particular shape, I actually favour Cassidae, and probably Cassis.
From the size, perhaps Cassis rufa (red cameo shell)
That's just a suggestion; need another opinion (or two)...
I too favour Cassis Rufus; I know it as the Bullmouth helmet shell. A number of years ago I was planning on living abroad for ten months and wrote to the Department of the environment and Customs and Excise to enquire about importing any shells that I may find. The answer was that there was no restriction. However, I know of countries (eg. egypt) which have a complete ban on exporting any shells, this is to protect their huge tourist industry in SCUBA diving.
Thanks for the contribution; pleased to hear you think the same.
The only problem is, it is an Indo-Pacific species, AFAIK.
I guess, however, that just because it came from Ireland, it doesn't mean it originated there.
What do you think, Misscase?
Hi Mike and John
Thank you for your suggestions - it is really helpful! I would agree with you Mike -even though it was brought over from Ireland, it doesn't necessarily mean it is from there originally.
The Cassis rufa looks spot on.
Thank you for sending this over - how lovely to know it is possible that our shell potentially originated from Southern Africa - got taken to Ireland, made its way back to SA and I am now hoping to bring it back to the UK.
It has certainly travelled!
Thanks to you, Mike and John, I am hopefully a few steps closer to sorting this out.