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Cone shell


Pearled Cone
Woven Cone
Tulip Cone
Court cone

Species

1Conus omaria

2Conus textile

3Conus tulipa

Synonyms

1Pearled cone

2Cloth of gold, Woven cone

3Tulip cone

Description

These attractive univalve molluscs are highly valued by shell collectors. They usually grow to around 10cm in length and have very distinguished colours and patterns on their shells.

Geographer cone

At the narrow end of the shell they have an extendable proboscis. Using this proboscis they can jab a minute harpoon with 1 to 20 radular teeth penetrating skin to inject venom to immobilise their victim.

The toxins vary between different species. The fish-eating cone shells are probably the only ones dangerous to humans.

Scientists have identified more than 60,000 species of univalves.

Habitat

The cone shell inhabits shallow water, reefs, ponds and rubble and as it often burrows under the sand, its siphon that it uses to suck in water for respiration may be the only thing visible.

Around the Australian coastline cone shells are found throughout the tropical regions and on the eastern and western coasts generally south to about latitude 30oS.

Other cone shells of the Indo-Pacific region

References

Cruising the Coral Coast, Alan Lucas
Guide to Beach and Water Safety, Kenneth Bullock
Encyclopaedia Britannica

16 March 2010

Striated cone
Cat cone
Marbled cone