Rare in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the tropical Indo-West Pacific region, from Tanzania and the Red Sea to Fiji and Hawaii. In Australia recorded from the tropical north of the continent, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef of Queensland south to South West Rocks in New South Wales.
Frequents intertidal and subtidal areas of coral and rocky reef to a depth of 20 m.
Spectacular mantle is black with numerous small white spots and large simple papillae scattered over the surface. Dorsum brown with indistinct fawn bands. Base, sides, teeth and extremities dark brown, teeth interstices off-white. Grows to 85 mm.
Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific, Terrence M. Gosliner, David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams, Sea Challengers Publication, Monterey, California. 1996. p.133.
Cowries of New South Wales, David Tarrant, published by David Tarrant, Coffs Harbour, NSW, 2016. p.89.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=cypraea+talpa. Accessed 11/11/2018.