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The Conus Biodiversity Website


  Conus fragilissimus Petuch, 1979.

Range: Central and S. Red Sea.

Description: Moderately small to medium-sized, light to moderately light. Last whorl ovate, outline convex; left side slightly concave at basal third. Aperture wider at base than near shoulder. Shoulder angulate, tuberculate. Spire of low to moderate height, outline concave. Larval shell of about 1.75 whorls, maximum diameter about 0.9-1 mm. Postnuclear whorls tuberculate, tubercles weak in early whorls. Teleoconch sutural ramps flat to slightly concave, with 0-1 increasing to 4-6 weak or pronounced spiral grooves. Last whorl with a few weak, widely spaced spiral ribs at base.

Shell Morphometry
  L 26-47 mm
  RW 0.02-0.09 g/mm
  RD 0.50-0.55
  PMD 0.64-0.74
  RSH 0.08-0.14

Ground colour white to grey. Last whorl with a fine, incomplete, light brown to dark reddish brown reticulate pattern fusing in variously sized and shaped blotches that leave an interrupted spiral ground-colour band at centre. Spiral rows of brown dots and dashes, often alternating with white dots and dashes, extend from base to shoulder but may be weak. Larval whorls and adjacent 2 postnuclear sutural ramps dark brown. Following sutural ramps with dark brown radial streaks and blotches. Aperture translucent, shaded with violet.

Habitat and Habits: In about 2-5 m, in mud or coral rubble on coral reefs. C. fragilissimus feeds on small benthic fishes (Petuch, 1979).

Discussion: C. fragilissimus may only be confused with subadult C. geographus. Similarly sized specimens of the latter species differ in their red multispiral larval shells, narrower and cylindrical rather than ovate last whorls (RD 0.45-0.51), and in the straighter outline of their spires. Spiral rows of alternating brown and white markings on the last whorl are usually prominent in C. fragilissimus but absent in C. geographus. C. eldredi can be distinguished from C. fragilissimus by its pink ground colour, white apex, generally narrower last whorl (RD 0.47-0.52), and its straight to slightly convex spire outline. C. eldredi lacks spiral rows of alternating brown and white markings, while C. fragilissimus has no punctate spiral grooves on the last whorl.

Range Map Image

C. fragilissimus 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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