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Species / Harpago Arthriticus


Original Description of Lambis Arthritica by Röding, 1798, p. 67:

  • "L. Arthritica. Die kleine Teufelsklaue. Gmel. Stromb. chiragra. sp. 3. Mart. 3. t. 87. f. 857. 2 St."

Locus typicus: "Röding's arthritica is based upon a figure of a specimen from Mauritius which we hereby designate as type locality." (Abbott, 1961)

Ungula diaboli Martini, 1777, pl. 87, fig. 857

History and Synonymy

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798: 67) (Lambis arthritica)

  • Syn.: Harpago arthritica [auct., incorrect gender ending]
  • Syn.: Strombus divergens Perry, 1811: pl. 75 [p. 500 in Petit, 2009]
  • Syn.: Strombus nigricans Perry, 1811: caption to pl. 75, unnumbered page [p. 501 in Petit, 2009]


Ungula diaboli Martini, 1777, pl. 87, fig. 856, 857


Abbott, 1961, p. 173 reports about the habitat:

  • "The Natural science Foundation expedition to Zanzibar in 1957 found this subspecies reasonably common just below the low tide mark on flat, offshore reefs which were largely covered with algae and marine grass. Thex found them in company with Lambis crocata (Link), Vasum rhinoceros (Gmelin), Conus, Haliotis and some live coral. A label written by Mr. Kurt Grotsch (ANSP 192618) reports that in Mozambique they are found rarely at all seasons 'just above the low water level on weed-covered, stony reefs where a swift current moves. In 2 to 3 fathoms of water they live among corals and gravel and their shells are eroded.'"


Liverani, 2013, p. 22:

  • "Range: East Africa, Madagascar and central Indian Ocean Islands. Rarely found in Sri Lanka and southern India. Recently reported from the Pacific Ocean (Palawan and other localities in the Philippines). This last locality may be the result of an accidental introduction of veligers by ship Ballast water."
  • "Remarks: Considered a full species for the differences in the aperture (Absence of the white bar near the posterior canal, present in H. chiragra, and the stronger lirations inside the outer lip and on the columellar callus) and for ist presence in Sri Lanka and South India, living sympatrically with H. chiragra chiragra with no intermediates/hybrids reported. It is known whether the two species share the same Habitat. The inclination of the first Digit is similar to the one of H. chiragra rugosa, possibly the reason for the error by Kreil & Poppe (1999), attributing rugosa to arthritica."

Specimens from private collections

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); Mayotte Department, Comoro Archipelago, Mozambique Channel, Indian Ocean; t: 145 mm, b: 148 mm; Coll. Christian Börnke

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); Mahé Island, Seychelles Archipelago, Indian Ocean; t: 158 mm, b: 156 mm; 11/2013; Collected & coll. Christian Börnke

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); Tanzania; from local fishermen, trawled in 20-35 m; 145 mm; 6/2006; Coll. Ulrich Wieneke

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); Sri Lanka Island (formerly Ceylon)(?); 131 mm; Coll. Ulrich Wieneke

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); Palawan Island, Palawan Province, Mimaropa region, Philippines; by diver, 6/2012; 134,7 mm; Coll. Ulrich wieneke

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); Mabul Island, Sabah State, northern Borneo Island, Malaysia; 133 mm; Coll. Aart Dekkers

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); Korido, Biak Island, Papua Province, Indonesia; 158 mm; 9/1959; Ex-coll. Hes Grootens-Boerefijn; Coll. Aart Dekkers no. STR1399

Harpago arthriticus (Röding, 1798); SWT, Phuket Island, Thailand; 136 mm; 2/1973; Coll. Ulrich Wieneke

Harpago arthritica (Röding, 1798); Kodat, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah State, northwest coast of Borneo island, Malaysia; 10-25 m; 2009; Coll. Guido Poppe

  • left column: 142.1 mm; no. 534791
  • middle column: 142.4 mm; no. 534792
  • right column: 115.4 mm; no. 534793

Harpago arthritica (Röding, 1798); Coll. Guido Poppe

  • l: Kenya, Mombasa; 129,9 mm; 1986; no. 240493
  • m: Kenya, Mombasa; 171 mm; from fisherman, ca. 1985; no. 128113
  • r: Mauritius; 155 mm; Ex-coll. Philippe Martin; no. 236548

Harpago arthritica (Röding, 1798); Coll. Guido Poppe

  • left column: Comoros; 141 mm; 7/1976; Ex-coll. Philippe Martin; no. 238110
  • middle column: off Lumbo, Nampula Province, Republic of Mozambique, Indian Ocean; found in shallow water; 152 mm; 12/1980; Ex-coll. D. and M. Meyer; no. 338930
  • right column: Kenya, Malindi; 153 mm; 9/1972; Ex-coll. Philippe Martin; no. 238113

Harpago arthritica (Röding, 1798); Philippines Islands; Coll. Guido Poppe

  • left column: Zamboanga, Mindanao Island, Zamboanga Peninsula Region; collected by local fishermen; 135 mm; 2009; no. 534373
  • middle column: Palawan Island, Palawan Province, Mimaropa region; 10-15 m; collected by local fishermen; 131 mm; 2009; no. 538325
  • right column: Mindoro; 10-15 m; 162 mm; 2009; no. 535846

Harpago arthritica (Röding, 1798); Zululand Region, South Africa; found on reef at 60 feet deep; 2/1987; Ex-coll. D. & M. Meyer; Coll. Guido Poppe

  • left column: 150 mm; no. 333776
  • middle column: 166 mm; no. 333777
  • right column: 173 mm; no. 333778


Abbott, 1961, p. 174.

  • Moçambique City, Nampula Province, Republic of Mozambique, Indian Ocean (K. Grotsch, ANSP)
  • Pemba (formerly Port Amelia), Cabo Delgado Province, Republic of Mozambique, Indian Ocean (MCZ; USNM)
  • Diani Beach, 20 miles south of Mombasa, Kenya (R.T. Abbott, MCZ; USNM)
  • Wasin Island, off Shimoni, Kenya (J.K. Howard, MCZ)
  • Malindi, Kenya (USNM)
  • rock reef, 5 mi. south of Paje, Zanzibar (NSF, 1957)
  • reef off Ras Nungwe, Zanzibar (NSF, 1957)
  • outer reef at Kiwengwa, Zanzibar (NSF, 1957)
  • Nossi-bé, Madagascar (A. Chavane, ANSP)
  • Bird Island, Seychelles (Yale-Peabody Museum, 1957)
  • Frigate Island, Seychelles (Yale-Peabody Museum, 1957)
  • Beau Vallon, Mahé Island, Seychelles (Yale-Peabody Museum, 1957)
  • Anse Boileau, Mahé Island, Seychelles (Wickworth, British Museum)
  • Mauritius (N.Pike, MCZ)
  • Kureduls, Fadiffolu Atoll, Maledives (Yale-Peabody Museum, 1957)
  • Chagos Islands (Melvill, 1909, p. 94, "Investigator")


  • Abbott, 1961
  • V. Liverani (2013). The Superfamily Stromboidea: Addenda and Corrigenda, Supplement I in Poppe, Groh & Renker, A Conchological Iconography, Harxheim, 1-54, pls 131-164.

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