species: Drupella cornus in ALA: Lizard Island (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Drupella cornus

©Anne Hoggett: Underside of Drupella cornus at Cod Hole near Lizard Island. About 30 mm long.

©Anne Hoggett: Drupella cornus as found at Cod Hole on an acroporid coral that it has eaten.

©Lexie Gersbeck and Gabi Howarth: Drupella cornus from Casuarina Beach, Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Gastropoda
Order Neogastropoda
Family Muricidae
Genus Drupella
Species Drupella cornus



Distinguishing features

Small whelk with prominent conical nodules in four spiral rows around shell. Always covered in pink calcareous algae and found on hard coral on which it feeds. Most easily found by the scars they leave on their coral prey. Numerous individuals may be found on a single coral.

Three species of Drupella occur at Lizard Island (Johnson and Cumming, 1995). They are very variable and difficult to distinguish by morphology alone. 


  • Size data has not been obtained.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


  • Cumming, R.L. (1996). The corallivorous gastropods Drupella cornus, D. fragum and D. rugosa: ecology and impact on coral communities at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University, Townsville. LIRS catalog number 473.
  • Cumming, R.L. (1999). Predation on reef-building corals: multiscale variation in the density of three corallivorous gastropods, Drupella sp(p). Coral Reefs, 18: 147-157. LIRS catalog number 638.
  • Cumming, R.L. (2000). Do large aggregations of Drupella lead to population outbreaks? Reef Encounter, 27: 13-15. LIRS catalog number 614.
  • View all references