Charonia tritonis, common name the Triton’s trumpet or the giant triton, is a species of very large sea scnail, a marine gastropod mollusc in the family Charoniidae, Gastropoda class. The tritons reaching up to 60 cm in shell length this is one of the biggest mollusks in the coral reef. il tritone del mediterraneo
Its spiral shape with a wide opening allows it to be used as a recall tool and is therefore also known as a sea trumpet. It is a very voracious carnivore that lives in a rocky environment where it can easily find food. In fact, it feeds on benthic invertebrates, especially sea cucumbers and starfish, which it completely swallows and digests the calcified protective structures of the victims by secretion from specific salivary glands of sulfuric acid and aspartate.
During a dive in the waters of the Tuscan Archipelago I met this wonderful shell. It is a difficult animal to meet because it is rare throughout the Mediterranean, especially in the northern part. It is a protected species and its fishing has been banned for a long time. In the past its shell was used by sailors as a horn to communicate, with its particular sound, with other ships or to have help in case of need.
Known since ancient Greece it was considered the son of the god of the sea Neptune (Posidon) and depicted as a human being in the upper part and the lower part in the form of a fish with a forked tail. He was given the power to unleash and calm storms by blowing with his giant shell. Charonia tritonis is one of the few animals that feeds on starfish Acanthaster planci considered a destructive species of the Great barrier Reef of Australia and the western Pacific reefs. The Triton has been described as tearing the starfish to pieces with its anatomical structure called radula.
While this species is be protected in Australia and other countries (such as India), in other countries it can be legally traded and is found for sale in many shell shops around the world and on the Internet. il tritone del mediterraneo