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The Conus Biodiversity Website

CATALOGUE OF RECENT AND FOSSIL CONUS

  Conus nobilis Linnaeus, 1758.

Range: From the Andaman and Nicobar Is. along Sumatra and Java to Timor.

Description: Moderately small to moderately large, moderately solid to solid; specimens of C. n. victor (Pl. 36, Figs. 7,8) smaller than those of other subspecies. Last whorl conical, occasionally narrowly conical or approaching conoid-cylindrical; outline slightly convex at adapical fourth, straight below. Shoulder carinate. Spire low, outline variably concave to slightly sigmoid; apex may project from an otherwise almost flat spire. Larval shell of about 2 whorls; maximum diameter about 0.7-0.8 mm. Later postnuclear whorls carinate. Teleoconch sutural ramps flat, slightly concave in later whorls, with pronounced axial threads; 5 increasing to 10-14 equidistant and evenly fine spiral grooves on later ramps. Last whorl with variably spaced weak spiral grooves on basal third, separating ribs near anterior end and ribbons above.

Shell Morphometry
  L 30-71 mm
     (-C. n. victor 25-49 mm; -C. n. friedae 34-53 mm)
  RW 0.10-0.51 g/mm
  RD 0.47-0.57
  PMD 0.84-0.92
     (-C. n. friedae 0.84-0.86 mm)
  RSH 0.01-0.12

Ground colour white. Last whorl with a variable yellowish to dark brown pattern of reticulations and spiral bands; variation associated with geographic distribution. Forms with an almost regular network and rather sparse brown spots to blotches intergrade with forms with sparsely interrupted to continuous brown spiral bands separating 3-4 zones where white tents concentrate, at base, centre and below shoulder. Brown areas with prominent spiral rows of alternating darker brown and white, mainly axial dashes and dots. White markings range from very small tents to small blotches and are consistently edged with darker brown toward the outer lip. Base pale violet. Larval shell pale pink, darker pink posteriorly. Early teleoconch sutural ramps pink to orange. Late sutural ramps with yellowish to dark brown radial streaks and blotches coalescing with last whorl pattern and containing fine darker radial lines. Aperture white, suffused with pale violet or pale brown.

Periostracum yellowish grey, very thin, translucent, - smooth (C. n. skinneri).

In C. n. skinneri, dorsum of foot brown, grading to cream posteriorly; anterior part with cream radial streaks, central part with scattered cream spots, and posterior part with sparse brown radial markings. Rostrum and tentacles cream. Siphon with a brown base followed distally by narrow cream, broad black and broad cream transverse bands and a pink margin (R. Wittig- Skinner, pers. comm.).

Radular teeth with a laterally inflated adapical barb opposite a minute barb; serration central waist and basal spur present (Nybakken, 1990, as C. victor).

Habitat and Habits: In 1 to 10 m; on sand bottom with Foraminifera, where water is clear and with slight currents.

Discussion: C. nobilis is very similar to C. cordigera and C. marchionatus; for distinctions, see the Discussions of those species. Several geographic forms of C. nobilis differing mainly in their colour patterns may be ranked as subspecies (Cailliez & Finet, pers. comm., 1992; Cailliez, 1993): 1. C. n. nobilis (Pl. 36, Figs. 1, 2) from Java and S.E. Sumatra; its colour pattern is yellowish to dark brown, has large white tents or blotches and sparse brown spots or flecks ranging from a rather regular network to concentrations of white markings adapically, centrally and basally. 2. C. n.friedae (Pl. 36, Figs. 10, 11) from Sri Lanka. Its last whorl colour pattern is a rather fine brown network bordering white dots to medium-sized tents that tend to be edged with darker brown toward the outer lip. The brown pattern concentrates in 3 spiral bands, near centre and in their abapical and adapical thirds. The bands often contain spiral rows of white dots alternating with dark brown dots and axial dashes. 3. C. n. skinneri (Pl. 36, Figs. 4-6) from Bali to Sumbawa; its colour pattern is mid-brown to dark brown, with 3-4 spiral zones of fairly small and regularly arranged white tents and interrupted to solid brown spiral bands between; the spiral rows of alternating dark brown and white markings are rather continuous and as prominent as in C. n. victor. C. n. skinneri and C. n. victor differ in the morphology of both the penis and the radular sac (Cailliez & Finet, pers. comm., 1992). Slightly different shells labelled as coming from the Moluccas are preserved in old collections; they have broader spiral zones of white tents below the shoulder and at the centre. 4. C. n. victor (Pl. 36, Figs. 7, 8) is a somewhat smaller form from Komodo Id. to Lomblen Id., Flores and N. Timor Sea; its colour pattern is light to orangish brown and includes a rather solid broad spiral band above and below centre with pronounced continuous spiral rows of alternating darker brown and white markings. 5. C. n. renatae (Pl. 36, Fig. 9) from the Andaman and Nicobar Is. shows a fairly regular light to dark brown network with rather large white tents or blotches and rather few brown blotches; the spiral rows of alternating darker brown and white markings are sparse and highly interrupted. 6. A single shell from N.W. Sumatra (Pl. 36. Fig. 3) has a mid-brown, regularly reticulated pattern with concentrations of brown triangular flecks within adapical as well as basal third; the spiral rows of alternating dark brown and white markings are prominent but highly interrupted.

Range Map Image

C. nobilis 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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