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The Conus Biodiversity Website


  Conus luteus Sowerby i, 1833.

Range: C. l. luteus: French Polynesia to Marshall Is.; C. l. richardsae: Philippines; probably New Caledonia.

Description: Moderately small to medium-sized, light to moderately light. Last whorl narrowly conoid-cylindrical to conoid-cylindrical or narrowly conical to conical, narrower in C. l. richardsae; outline almost straight to slightly convex; left side may be concave basally. Shoulder subangulate to rounded, more angulate in C. l. richardsae. Spire of moderate height; outline convex to domed. In C. l. richardsae, larval shell of 3- 3.5 whorls, maximum diameter about 0.95 mm; maximum diameter about 1-1.1 mm in C. l. luteus. In C. l. luteus, first 1-2.5 postnuclear whorls weakly tuberculate; first 0.5-4 whorls in C. l. richardsae.Teleoconch sutural ramps almost flat, with 2 increasing to 3-4 spiral grooves in C. l. richardsae, to 4-6 grooves in C. l. luteus; spiral sculpture may be very weak in latest whorls. Last whorl with a few weak spiral ribs near base.

Shell Morphometry
  L 28-54 mm
  RW 0.03-0.10 g/mm
  RD -
     (- C. l. luteus 0.48-0.53;-C. l. richardsea 0.42-0.48;-?luteus from New Caledonia 0.49)
  PMD -
     (- C. l. luteus 0.77-0.90;-C. l. richardsea 0.76-0.94;-?luteus from New Caledonia 0.75)
  RSH 0.13-0.21

Ground colour red or yellow in C. l. luteus (Pl. 49, Figs. 1-3), reddish violet in C. l. richardsae (Pl. 49, Figs. 4-6). C. l. luteus with a spiral row of red-brown axial blotches on each side of centre, and with dotted and dashed reddish brown spiral lines from base to shoulder, or restricted to centre. In C. l. richardsae, last whorl with 3 spiral bands of brown axial clouds, below shoulder and on both sides of centre; dashed spiral lines from base almost to the shoulder. Larval shell white to pale yellow in C. l. luteus, slightly darker in C. l. richardsae. In C. l. luteus, early postnuclear sutural ramps light yellow with brown dots at inner margins, following ramps with brown axial blotches. In C. l. richardsae, sutural ramps grey to reddish vilet with brown radial blotches. Aperture white.

Habitat and Habits: In Marshall Is., in 12-18 m, living in caves and coral rubble; in Philippines in 100-240 m.

Discussion: For comparison of C. luteus with C. corallinus, C. nucleus, C. granum, and C. viola, see the Discussions of those species. We consider the differences between the allopatric populations in French Polynesia to the Marshall Islands, and the Philippines, insufficient for separation at the species level, and we regard them as geographic subspecies. A single specimen from N. Caledonia (Pl. 49, Fig. 7) also seems to be a member of this species. It differs in its more ovate shape (PMD 0.75), which is more similar to C. viola, but it matches C. luteus in its other characters, including its yellow apex. It may represent another subspecies of C. luteus.

Range Map Image

C. luteus 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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