Trip to Maldives (2017)
By David Touitou


We had been dreaming of swimming in the Maldives for years. We were lucky this year in July to stay for a week on the island of Helengeli which is north of Male Atoll. It is an island that is located in the middle of the pass.


The seabed is nice but quite damaged. The corals are not majestic, they have suffered greatly. The fish fairly numerous on the outer slope. We hardly ever encountered sharks.



Only a lagoon had a lot of shells without being very rich. We also made apnea along the outer slope in 15 meters of water.


I dreamed of finding two species of cones: Conus pennaceus ganensis with the spire so flat and Conus zonatus, mythical species for me because I never found it in Seychelles where it is very rare.


Conus pennaceus was finally common in the lagoon already mentioned but absent from the other two. In this lagoon it became the dominant malacophagus species before Conus canonicus. We did not meet with Conus textile / archiepiscopus.
Its habitat was classic: sanded under the pieces of dead coral.


Conus pennaceus f. ganensis Delsaerdt, 1988


Conus zonatus was more difficult to locate. It is a cone that shares the habitat and lifestyle of Conus imperialis to which it ultimately looks not bad. He lives on the bottom between the coral debris to which he looks so much. It is therefore necessary to swim very slowly while observing the bottom with great attention. It is well encrusted and often scarred.


Conus zonatus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792 

More images can be seen below the two lists of shell or watch the video :



We have crossed other species of course which I have listed below:


Three or more live specimens found :

Erosaria erosa (Linnaeus, 1758)
Lyncina carneola (Linnaeus, 1758)
Luria isabella (Linnaeus, 1758)
Mauritia histrio (Gmelin, 1791)
Purpuradusta fimbriata (Gmelin, 1791)
Talparia talpa (Linnaeus, 1758)
Cypraea tigris Linnaeus, 1758
Two live specimens found :

Erronea caurica (Linnaeus, 1758)
Lyncina leviathan Schilder & Schilder, 1937
Only one live :
Bistolida hirundo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Erosaria poraria (Linnaeus, 1758)
Erosaria helvola (Linnaeus, 1758)
Lyncina lynx (Linnaeus, 1758)
Mauritia scurra (Gmelin, 1791)
Monetaria moneta (Linnaeus, 1758)
Palmadusta asellus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Dead specimens :
Arestorides argus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Bistolida kieneri (Hidalgo, 1906)
Cribrarula cribraria (Linnaeus, 1758)
Erosaria gangranosa (Dillwyn, 1817)
Lyncina vitellus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Mauritia depressa (J.E. Gray, 1824)
Monetaria caputserpentis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Nucleolaria nucleus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Pustularia bistrinotata Schilder & Schilder, 1937
Pustularia globulus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Staphylaea staphylaea (Linnaeus, 1758)
Talostolida teres (Gmelin, 1791)

Live specimens :
Conus (Puncticulis) arenatus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Virroconus) aristophanes G. B. Sowerby II, 1857
Conus (Cylinder) canonicus Linnaeus, 1758
Conus (Virroconus) chaldaeus (Röding, 1798)
Conus (Virroconus) coronatus Gmelin, 1791
Conus (Virroconus) ebraeus Linnaeus, 1758
ou Conus (Virroconus) judaeus Bergh, 1895
Conus (Fraterconus) distans Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Virgiconus) emaciatus Reeve, 1849
Conus (Virgiconus) flavidus Lamarck, 1810
Conus (Virgiconus) frigidus Reeve, 1848
Conus (Lithoconus) leopardus (Röding, 1798)
Conus (Strategoconus) litoglyphus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792 
Conus (Lividoconus) lividus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792 
Conus (Rhizoconus) miles Linnaeus, 1758 
Conus (Harmoniconus) musicus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792 (f. ceylanensis)
Conus (Rhizoconus) mustelinus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Harmoniconus) parvatus Walls, 1979
Conus (Darioconus) pennaceus Born, 1778 (f. ganensis)
Conus (Rhizoconus) rattus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Pionoconus) striatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Conus (Stephanoconus) zonatus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Dead specimens :
Conus (Darioconus) auricomus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792 
Conus (Floraconus) balteatus G. B. Sowerby I, 1833
Conus (Conus) bandanus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Rhizoconus) capitaneus Linnaeus, 1758
Conus (Pionoconus) catus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Leporiconus) coffeae Gmelin, 1791 
Conus (Tesselliconus) eburneus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Darioconus) episcopatus da Motta, 1982
Conus (Gastridium) geographus Linnaeus, 1758
Conus (Leporiconus) glans Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus (Hermes) nussatella Linnaeus, 1758
Conus (Gastridium) tulipa Linnaeus, 1758
Conus (Strategoconus) varius Linnaeus, 1758
Conus (Rhizoconus) vexillum Gmelin, 1791