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The Conus Biodiversity Website


  Conus legatus Lamarck, 1810.

Range: Mozambique, Seychelles, Réunion and W. Thailand to Okinawa, Marshall Is., and French Polynesia; absent from Australia and from Hawaii.

Description: Moderately small to moderately large, usually moderately solid to solid. Last whorl ventricosely conical to conoid-cylindrical; outline convex to nearly straight adapically, slightly concave (left side) and slightly convex to straight (right side) below. Shoulder rounded to nearly angulate. Spire of moderate height, outline straight to slightly convex. Larval shell of 2.5-3.5 whorls, maximum diameter 0.8-0.9 mm. First 1.5-4 postnuclear whorls tuberculate. Teleoconch sutural ramps flat to slightly concave, with 0-1 increasing to 2-3 weak spiral grooves usually replaced by many spiral striae in latest whorls. Last whorl with rather widely spaced, occasionally granulose spiral ribs basally.

Shell Morphometry
  L 32-63 mm
  RW 0.09-0.41 g/mm
     (L 32-60 mm)
  RD 0.50-0.59
  PMD 0.76-0.85
  RSH 0.15-0.22

Ground colour white, tinged with rose. Last whorl with a network of fine brown lines and yellowish brown blotches. Lines forming zones of overlapping tiny to medium-sized ground-colour tents with irregularly scattered white tents; tentmark zones grouped in axial rows and bands as well as in 3 less prominent spiral bands, below shoulder, at centre and at base. Yellowish brown blotches predominantly axially arranged, but also in 2 broad spiral bands, interspersed with blackish brown axial streaks and flecks. Larval whorls brown, sometimes pinkish violet. First 2-3 postnuclear sutural ramps immaculate white or pinkish violet. Following ramps matching last whorl in colour pattern. Aperture white or pinkish violet.

Periostracum very thin, translucent, smooth.

Foot white to brownish cream. Dorsum of foot mottled with connected tan blotches marginally and tan to black markings medially, with a dark brown pre-marginal line; anterior part edged with tan, with 3 black blotches in a clover-leaf arrangement; posterior part sometimes with a black spot beneath the operculum. Rostrum light brown, white distally. Tentacles white, tipped with red-brown. Siphon white, red distally, heavily mottled with brown proximally, and with a broad blackish brown ring centrally (Chaberman, pers. comm., 1981; Estival, unpubl. observ.; Pearson, unpubl. observ.) (Pl. 76, Fig 68).

Habitat and Habits: In 3-50 m; on coral reef from the reef lagoon to the outer reef slope, in sand, coral rubble, caves and on dead coral (Estival, 1981; Chaberman, pers. comm., 1981; Richards, pers. comm., 1989).

Discussion: C. legatus is similar to C. canonicus, C. aureus paulucciae and sometimes also to C. retifer. C. canonicus differs in its more prominent spiral sculpture on the late sutural ramps and its white ground colour that is often tinged with blue. Its colour pattern lacks yellowish brown blotches, overlaid with blackish brown streaks. C. a. paulucciae is generally larger, has a generally narrower last whorl (RD 0.46-0.53), a distinctly more prominent spiral sculpture on the late sutural ramps, and less prominent blackish brown axial markings within the yellowish brown blotches. C. retifer has a generally broader last whorl (RD 0.57-0.70) with a somewhat bulbous subshoulder area, a greater number of tuberculate postnuclear whorls (5-6), and prominent spiral sculpture on its late sutural ramps.

Range Map Image

C. legatus 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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