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But Apollodorus the Athenian, in his Commentaries on Sophron, having first quoted the saying, “More greedy than a purple-fish,” says that it is a proverb, and that some say that it applies to the dye of purple; for that whatever that dye touches it attracts to itself, and that it imbues everything which is placed near it with the brilliancy of its colour: but others say that it applies to the animal. “And they are caught,” says Aristotle, "in the spring; but they are not caught during the dog-days, for then they do not feed, but conceal themselves and bury themselves in holes; and they have a mark like a flower on them between the belly and the throat. The fish called the ceryx has a covering of nearly the same sort as all the other animals of the snail kind from its earliest birth; and they feed by putting out what we call their shell from under this covering. And the purple-fish has a tongue of the size of a finger or larger, by which it feeds; and it pierces even shell-fish, and can pierce its own shell. But the purple-fish is very long-lived; and so is the ceryx: they live about six years, and their growth is known by the rings in their shell. But cockles, and cheme-cockles, and solens, and periwinkles, are born in sandy places.
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