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Turbo marmoratus, known as the green turban, the marbled turban or great green turban, is a large species of marine gastropod with a thick calcareous operculum in the family Turbinidae, the turban snails.[1]

Turbo marmoratus
Turbo marmoratus light 2.jpg
Two views of a shell of Turbo marmoratus.
Scientific classification
T. marmoratus
Binomial name
Turbo marmoratus
Linnaeus, 1758
  • Turbo cochlus Gmelin, 1791
  • Turbo olearius Linnaeus, 1758
  • Turbo regenfussi Deshayes, G.P., 1843
  • Turbo undulata Röding, 1798
  • Turbo (Lunatica) marmoratus Linnaeus, 1758

The shells of these large sea snails have a very thick layer of nacre; this species has been commercially fished as a source of mother of pearl.



These large snails live in tropical reefs in the Indian Ocean (off Tanzania, Madagascar, Aldabra and the Mascarene Basin) and tropical western Pacific oceans; also off Queensland, Australia. They are nocturnal and feed on algae.[1]


The distinctive shell grows to a length of 18 cm. The large, imperforate, solid shell is ventricose, as broad as long. Its color pattern is green, marbled with white and rich brown. The 6-7 whorls are flattened or concave above, rounded and bearing two nodose keels below, and a stronger nodose carina above. It bears blunt tubercles, especially strong on the shoulders Its large, circular aperture has a golden, pearly shine. The base of the shell is produced. The columellar region is more or less excavated.

The subcircular operculum is somewhat concave within. Its outer surface is closely tuberculate and whitish.[2]

Turbo marmoratus is the host of the ectoparasitic copepod Anthessius isamusi Uyeno & Nagasawa, 2012

The shell of marbled turbans is used as a source of nacre. The large opercula of Turbo marmoratus have been sold as paperweights or door stops.[3]


  1. ^ a b WoRMS (2012). Turbo marmoratus Linnaeus, 1758. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2012-10-01
  2. ^ G.W. Tryon (1888), Manual of Conchology X; Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia
  3. ^ Man and mollusc
  • Oostingh, C.H., 1925. Report on a collection of recent shells from Obi and Halmahera, Molluccas. Mededeelingen van de Landbouwhoogeschool Wageningen, 29(1):1-362.
  • Allan, J., 1950. Australian Shells: with related animals living in the sea, in freshwater and on the land. Georgian House, Melbourne. xix 470 pp..
  • Drivas, J. & M. Jay (1988). Coquillages de La Réunion et de l'île Maurice
  • Wilson, B., 1993. Australian Marine Shells. Prosobranch Gastropods. Odyssey Publishing, Kallaroo, WA
  • Alf A. & Kreipl K. (2003). A Conchological Iconography: The Family Turbinidae, Subfamily Turbininae, Genus Turbo. Conchbooks, Hackenheim Germany.

External linksEdit

  • Coastal Fisheries Program info
  • "Turbo (Lunatica) marmoratus". Retrieved 16 January 2019.