Doesn’t Monetaria look a lot like the word money? There is a reason for that! In some areas of the Indo-Pacific region their shells were once used as a form of currency. It is named for the golden coloured ring that runs around its otherwise white shell. This snail has a smooth white shell adorned with its namesake ring. Due to the structure of its shell, they are less likely to be attacked by a hermit crab than other species of snail.
The Gold Ring Cowrie is found in the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific. It generally lives on the live rock of coral reefs or in the reef rubble surrounding the reefs. In the wild it is generally nocturnal, but this behaviour tends to be less pronounced once it is comfortable in a home aquarium. In a home tank they need ample live rock for grazing and will scavenge on the substrate for algae if one is available.
It is easy to see why the Gold Ring Cowrie’s shell was once used as a form of currency and in jewelry making, it is definitely stunning. In addition to being an eye-catching and unique addition to a tank, the Gold Ring Cowrie also holds its own as a consumer of various species of algae. Like most snails in the hobby, they spend much of their time scouring the live rock for various types of green algae. They are not, however, known to consume diatoms or cyanobacteria. If necessary, their diet can be supplemented with seaweed. One of the other main advantages of the Gold Ring Cowrie is that they are far less likely to fall victim to hermit crabs than other snail types.
For anyone wanting a unique snail with an interesting history the Gold Ring Cowrie makes a great addition to your clean up crew.