Species list
Next species
Additional Photos



young, 4.5 mm


Bulla peasiana
Pilsbry, 1893
Bulla peasiana
Maximum size:  39 mm (extrapolated from shell length).

Identification:  This species has a brown shell densely spotted with cream. Areas of smaller and larger cream spots may form broad axial bands in some cases. The animal is cream frosted with brown and flecked with white. It may be distinguished from Bulla vernicosa by its slenderer, more lightly calcified shell as well as by the broad, translucent areas around its eye spots. (Note 1)

Natural history:  Bulla peasiana is a moderately common species found in mixed habitats at moderately exposed to highly exposed sites. Mature animals occur in depths of 5-15 m (16-52 ft). However, dead shells in sand samples suggest that it is more common in Halimeda kanaloana beds at greater depths. Dredged shells from the Bishop Museum extend the depth range to at least 73 m (239 ft). It is nocturnal and buries itself in sand during the day.

Distribution:  Big Island, Maui, Oahu, Kauai, French Frigate Shoals, Pearl & Hermes Reef and Midway.

Taxonomic notes:  Kay, 1979 listed this species as a synonym of Bulla vernicosa but it is now considered distinct (Malaquias & Reid, 2008). The photo in Kay, 1979 labeled Bulla vernicosa is actually of this species (as, probably, is the photo in Kay & Schoenberg-Dole, 1991). It's also illustrated as Bulla vernicosa in Johnson, 1982. If was first reported from Hawaii in Pease, 1860 (as Bulla marmorea) and is listed as Bullaria peasiana in Pilsbry, 1921 and Edmondson, 1946. It's listed as Bulla peaseana in Tinker, 1958

Photo:  CP: 13 mm: Airport Beach, Maui; April 2, 2003.

Observations and comments:

Note 1:  Shells of this species show strong red fluorescence under ultraviolet light (395 nM).
Species list
Family Next species Top