Almost all turbans are found in tropical water, with a range from North Carolina to Brazil.
The chestnut turban (Turbo castanea) belongs to the Turbinidae family. The very solid, heavy, rough, dome shape is represented well by its name. It is actually shaped like an inverted top and has a thin periostracum. The aperture (opening) is round and almost vertical with an outer lip that faces downward. The calcareous (composed of calcium carbonate) operculum is round, white, smooth, and externally convex. The well known cat’s eye is the operculum of a South Pacific species used in jewelry.
At 1 1/4 inches high, a chestnut turban is a little less than twice as wide as it is high. The umbilicus is absent. The umbilicus is the hole around which the inner surface of the shell is coiled, when that space is not filled by a columella. The columella is a central anatomical element of a gastropod. It is often only clearly visible as a structure when the shell is broken, or sliced in half vertically.
The chestnut turban is an herbivore known for its voracious appetite for algae. It is found in grassy areas close to the shore line. There is great variation in the color of the shell with everything from orange to brown, grey, tan, and rust with white or dark brown spots of varying sizes. The surface of the shell is sculptured with spiral rows of beads with fine lines in the interspaces. The spire (all of the whorls of a gastropod except the body whorl) consists of five or six rounded whorls. The sutures (where two whorls connect) are separated by channels.
The sexes are separate. Eggs are shed into sea and the larvae are free swimming.
Chestnut Turban (Turbo castanea)