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The Conus Biodiversity Website

CATALOGUE OF RECENT AND FOSSIL CONUS

  Conus quercinus [Lightfoot], 1786.

Range: Entire Indo-Pacific.

Description: Moderately large to large, moderately heavy to heavy. Last whorl conical to broadly conical, sometimes ventricosely conical to broadly and ventricosely conical; outline convex adapically, becoming straight below. Shoulder angulate to rounded. Spire of low to moderate height, outline concave. Teleoconch sutural ramps flat, with 2 increasing to 7-12 spiral grooves; spiral sculpture obsolete in some specimens. Last whorl with variably spaced spiral ribs on basal third.

Shell Morphometry
  L 60-140 mm
  RW 0.70-2.00 g/mm
     (L 60-107 mm)
  RD 0.62-0.76
  PMD 0.82-0.91
  RSH 0.06-0.15

Ground colour varies from white (in forms akabensis and albus) to various shades of yellowish brown in most shells. Last whorl usually with pale to pronounced, fine brown spiral lines, either numerous and closely set or sparse and more widely spaced; lines often obsolete in large specimens, sometimes absent from all post-larval stages. Larval and adjacent postnuclear spire whorls brown. Aperture white.

Periostracum dark brown or greenish brown, thick and opaque, with interlaced axial ridges.

Dorsum of foot almost white anteriorly, grading to yellowish or brownish grey posteriorly, broadly edged with darker grey; median zone bordered by a narrow black band and transversely shaded with dark grey, with transverse rows of black longitudinal dashes on anterior two- thirds and with scattered black dashes, white dots and a light brown pre-opercular spot on posterior third. Sole of foot yellowish grey, mottled with brown. Rostrum and tentacles cream, dotted with black. Siphon white to brownish grey, mottled and ringed with dark grey and black (Pl. 75, Fig. 27); tip dark red in some specimens (Kohn, 1959a; Chaberman, pers. comm., 1981).

Habitat and Habits: Subtidal, to more than 70 m, rarely and probably only seasonally entering the lower intertidal zone. A sand-dweller throughout its entire range, living in bays on vast flats of sand, often found among vegetation but avoiding habitats with rocks and coral or limestone outcrops. A highly gregarious species, active both night and day, tolerates muddy, somewhat brackish waters (Kohn, 1959a & b, 1963; Cernohorsky, 1964, 1978; Bosch & Bosch, 1982; Grosch, pers. comm., 1989; Tirard, pers. comm., 1989). C. quercinus preys on enteropneusts and polychaetes in Hawaii (Kohn, 1959b). In Hawaii, animals migrate to shallower water during the spawning season, ovipositing on sand banks in 0.6-2 m. Egg capsules arranged in rows and affixed to algae and sponges by confluent basal plates. Capsules 17-26x17-22 mm contain about 10,000 eggs 185-200 fm in diameter in Hawaii and about 180 fm in the Philippines, suggesting a minimum pelagic period of 25 (estimated) to 30 (observed in Hawaii) days (Perron, 1981a, b & c; Perron & Kohn, 1985; Kohn, 1959b, 1961).

Discussion: C. quercinus resembles C. fergusoni from the Panamic Province. C. fergusoni has a white shell, with two broad, orange spiral bands in smaller specimens, tuberculate early teleoconch whorls, weaker spiral sculpture on its sutural ramps, and a red animal. Based on the absence of spiral grooves on its sutural ramps and its golden brown periostracum, Coomans et al. (1979) regard C. albonerosa as a separate species. However, C. quercinus shells may have obsolete spiral sculpture on the sutural ramps (India), a golden brown periostracum (Indian Ocean) and an immaculate white colouration (forms akabensis and albus). These observations suggest the synonymy of C. albonerosa and C. quercinus.

Range Map Image

C. quercinus range map

This section contains verbatim reproductions of the accounts of 316 species of Conus from the Indo-Pacific region, from Manual of the Living Conidae, by Röckel, Korn and Kohn (1995). They are reproduced with the kind permission of the present publisher, Conchbooks.

All plates and figures referred to in the text are also in Röckel, Korn & Kohn, 1995. Manual of the Living Conidae Vol. 1: Indo-Pacific Region.

The range maps have been modified so that each species account has it own map, rather than one map that showed the ranges of several species in the original work. This was necessary because each species account is on a separate page on the website and not confined to the order of accounts in the book.

 

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