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Epitonium scalare, common name the precious wentletrap, is a marine gastropod with an operculum, in the family Epitoniidae, the wentletraps. In the 17th and 18th century this was once considered to be a very rare shell and specimens changed hands for large sums of money. Johan de la Faille and Cosimo III de' Medici owned a wentletrap. Wentletraps are such beautiful shells that in the past in China, rice paste copies of the Precious Wentletrap were made and sold as the real thing. The fakes commanded high prices among collectors. The Wentletrap gets its name from the Dutch word for winding staircase. Epitonium Scalare were once rare, but better diving equipment is making them more common today. The Wentletraps are found along the Indo-Pacific water way. This region stretches from East Africa Eastward across Indonesia to the Northern shores of Australia.. Epitonium Scalare are mostly intertidal creatures living on sandy bottoms, among sea anemomes.
This is a print of an illustration of the Precious Wentletrap, Epitonium scalare. The original illustration is a pen and ink drawing on acid-free Strathmore Bristol Board paper. The print is on glossy photo paper. It is an 8 x 11 inch print. The artist has created botanical illustrations for publications that have been published by the New York Botanical Garden and the University Press of Florida.