Skip Navigation Links
View access keys for this site.

The Conus Biodiversity Website


  Conus violaceus Gmelin, 1791.

Range: E. African coast and W. Indian Ocean islands (Madagascar, Mascarenes, Seychelles); absent from Red Sea.

Description: Medium-sized to large, usually moderately solid. Last whorl narrowly conoid-cylindrical to narrowly cylindrical; outline convex at adapical third and straight below to almost uniformly straight and parallel-sided. Shoulder indistinct. Spire of moderate height; outline convex to domed, sutures narrowly channeled. Larval shell multispiral, maximum diameter about 0.6 mm. First 3-5 postnuclear whorls tuberculate. Teleoconch sutural ramps straight to slightly convex, last ramp may be slightly concave. Early ramps with 1-2 increasing to 2-4 spiral grooves; late ramps with additional striae or only with striae. Last whorl with well-separated narrow spiral ribs from base to shoulder; intermittent grooves axially and spirally striate.

Shell Morphometry
  L 50-93 mm
  RW 0.14-0.30 g/mm
     (L 50-77 mm)
  RD 0.41-0.47
  PMD 0.71-0.83
  RSH 0.14-0.22

Ground colour white. Last whorl with brown or violetbrown axial streaks and 2 spiral bands, above centre and within basal third. Base violet. Larval shell violet, sometimes brown. Early teleoconch sutural ramps white, violet or brown. Late sutural ramps largely brown to violet-brown or flecked with white. Aperture white.

Periostracum brown to olive-brown, thick, translucent to opaque, with interlaced axial and spiral ridges.

Habitat and Habits: In shallow water, often exposed to surface water currents; on coral rubble, among seaweed and in crevices or caves with algal encrustation (Grosch, pers. comm., 1989).

Discussion: C. violaceus can hardly be mistaken for any other Conus species. C. tenuistriatus is sometimes similar but differs in its broader last whorl (RD 0.47-0.62) with more closely spaced and usually granulose spiral ribs, its pink rather than dark violet larval shell and its generally violet aperture.

Range Map Image

C. violaceus 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.


Return to framed version (returns to Gallery)