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The Conus Biodiversity Website


  Conus melvilli Sowerby iii, 1878.

Range: Oman to Persian Gulf; probably also in Maldives.

Description: Small to moderately small, moderately light to moderately solid. Last whorl conical to broadly or ventricosely conical, outline convex. Shoulder angulate to rounded. Spire of low to moderate height, outline straight to slightly convex or sigmoid. Larval shell of 2-2.25 whorls, maximum diameter 1.3 mm (shells from Oman) to 2.1 mm (shell from Persian Gulf). Teleoconch sutural ramps nearly flat, with closely spaced axial threads and obsolete spiral striae only on latest ramps; sutures usually depressed and moderately wide. Last whorl sculpture grades from a few spiral ribbons at base to variably spaced spiral ribs on basal half.

Shell Morphometry
  L 20-32 mm
  RW 0.09-0.17 g/mm
     (L 20-30 mm)
  RD 0.66-0.75
  PMD 0.75-0.88
  RSH 0.10-0.19

Ground colour white to bluish grey. Last whorl with a red-brown "brick wall" pattern of about 16-26 fine spiral lines and irregular, numerous to very sparse axial dashes. Shells with a spiral row of variously sized dark greyish blue or brown flecks just above centre and often within basal third (described as C. boschi) intergrade with shells with large axial blotches across entire last whorl except for subshoulder area (represented by the holotype of C. melvilli) (Pl. 12, Fig. 22). Larval whorls white. Teleoconch sutural ramps with dark brown radial streaks or lines; lines often overlying broad reddish brown spots. Aperture dark violet.

Periostracum brownish grey, thin, translucent, smooth.

Radular teeth with a small adapical barb and distinct basal spur; serration absent (Clover, 1972, as C. boschi).

Habitat and Habits: Shallow water; on sand at protected sites (Bosch & Bosch, 1982).

Discussion: C. melvilli is very similar and closely related to C. tuticorinensis; for comparison, see the DISCUSSION of the latter species. In Oman, shells similar in shape to the holotype of C. melvilli and intergrading in colour pattern with specimens described as C. boschi strongly suggest the two to be conspecific (Moolenbeek, pers. comm., 1992). Shells from the Persian Gulf corresponding with the specimens from Oman in all conchological characters except for a wider larval shell (ca. 2.1 vs. 1.3-1.7 mm) are assigned to C. melvilli.

Range Map Image

C. melvilli 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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