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The Conus Biodiversity Website


  Conus consors Sowerby ii, 1833.

Range: Indo-Pacific to Marshall Is., Melanesia and Queensland; absent from Red Sea.

Description: Medium-sized to large, moderately solid to heavy. Last whorl narrowly conical or narrowly conoid-cylindrical to ventricosely conical; outline convex adapically, straight below and sometimes slightly concave at centre. Siphonal fasciole varies from weak to prominent. Shoulder sharply angulate to almost rounded. Spire of low to moderate height, outline straight to slightly convex. Larval shell of about 3 whorls, maximum diameter about 0.8 mm. Adults of 50-90 mm with about 9-11 postnuclear whorls, the first 4-8 tuberculate. Teleoconch sutural ramps flat to concave, with 2 increasing to 5-8 spiral grooves; occasionally latest ramps with 10-12 variably fine spiral grooves. Last whorl with spiral grooves at base, separating broad ribbons or strong ribs.

Shell Morphometry
  L 50-118 mm
  RW 0.20-1.10 g/mm
     (L 50-95 mm)
  RD 0.44-0.63
  PMD 0.77-0.88
  RSH 0.08-0.20

Ground colour white to pale brown; in subadult specimens of form poehlianus (Pl. 19, Figs. 10, 11; see below), white ground suffused with pale brownish violet. Last whorl with 1-2 spiral bands above and 1 band below centre; band nearest shoulder often interrupted or absent, or both adapical bands may fuse. Colour of bands ranges from yellowish brown to violet or dark brown. Dotted, dashed or solid brown spiral lines from base to shoulder, varying in number and arrangement. Form turschi (Pl. 19, Fig. 4; see below) often with additional straight to wavy blackish brown axial streaks or blotches. Larval shell brown. Early postnuclear sutural ramps with regularly set brown dots at outer margin; later ramps with brown radial markings of varying number and prominence. Aperture white.

Periostracum variable; dark grey, greyish brown or shading from light to dark brown, thin, translucent; sometimes with tufted spiral lines on last whorl, fringed shoulders and radial ridges on sutural ramps.

In C. consors from the type locality, sole of foot light brown, sides of foot dark brown. Rostrum brown edged with buff. Proboscis orange. Siphon brown, sparsely speckled with darker brown (Kohn, unpubl. Observ.). In form poehlianus from Papua New Guinea (Pl. 75, Fig. 35), foot orange-pink, lighter dorsally; dorsum mottled with brown, bearing a dotted brown pre-marginal line, a white post-opercular spot, and tan radial streaks on lateral marginal zones; sole mottled with tan centrally and posteriorly. Rostrum mottled white and tan. Tentacles white, tipped with brown. Siphon white with tan spots and tan transverse streaks, denser dorsally and proximally; distal edge grey (Chaberman, pers. comm., 1981).

Radular teeth similar to those of C. striatus. (Kohn, Saunders & Wiener, 1960).

Habitat and Habits: Slightly subtidal to 200 m; in sand and silt. Form poehlianus to 35 m in adult stage and to 50 m in juvenile stage, near river mouths, on reef and fore-reef; in silt, coral sand and rubble with sand, often beneath rotting logs (Chaberman, pers. comm., 1981; Richards, pers. comm., 1989; Kengalu, pers. Comm., 1989). In New Caledonia, form anceps and typical form from 5 m on the reef to 67 m within the lagoon (Estival, 1981; Richer de Forges & Estival, 1986; Tirard, pers. comm., 1989); in Philippines, both forms in 40-80 m but may range to 200 m. Type specimens of form turschi from 35-75 m (da Motta, 1985). Egg diameter varies from 389 µm (Palau) to 434 µm (Marshall Is.); the minimun pelagic period is 7 days in Palau and estimated to be about 4 days in Marshall Is. (Perron & Kohn, 1985).

Discussion: C. consors is very similar to the smaller species C. magus. For distinctions, see the DISCUSSIONS of the latter species. The nominal species C. consors, C. anceps, C. daullei, C. poehlianus, and C. turschi refer to forms of the same species with overlapping ranges. The typical form is strictly conical and has the broadest last whorl amongst all forms. Form anceps and form poehlianus are narrowly to ventricosely conical, not distinguishable from each other by shell shape, and differ only in the colour pattern (shades of spiral banding yellowish to orangish brown in form anceps vs. light brown to pale violet-brown or almost white in form poehlianus) (Pl. 19, Figs. 10, 11). Subadults of form poehlianus from the Solomon Is., Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu with 2-3 spiral rows of brown clouds and numerous spiral rows of alternating brown and white dots. During growth, the clouded pattern changes to a banded pattern of lighter colour and the dotted spiral lines usually disappear. Form anceps occurs broadly in the Western Pacific, form poehlianus in the Solomon Is., Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Philippines. Form turschi (Pl. 19, Fig. 4) is based on a ventricosely conical variant with a distinctive colour pattern; it ranges from W. Thailand to the Solomon Is., Vanuatu and Queensland. Form daullei (Pl. 19, Fig. 2) refers to shells from the western Indian Ocean, which are narrowly conoid-cylindrical to conical, have the highest spires among all forms of C. consors (RSH 0.13- 0.20 vs. 0.08-0.16 in other forms), and a dark brown pattern; this form intergrades in shape and pattern with the typical form in the Western Indian Ocean and with form turschi in W. Thailand. In the Solomon Is., form turschi lives syntopically and intergrades with the forms anceps and poehlianus. In Philippines, the typical form, form anceps, form turschi and form poehlianus all intergrade.

Range Map Image

C. consors 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 Rckel, 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 Rckel, 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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