Authors : Eric Le Court de Billot & David Touitou,  november 2013
Last Update : January 2014

DOWNLOAD THE PDF FILE

 Thanks for their help to : Felix Lorenz, Loïc Limpalaer, Giancarlo Paganelli, Paul Kersten, Antonio Monteiro, Manuel Tenorio, Bruno Mathé, John K Tucker

 

 The thumbs below do not fit to the real scale of the shells as some
would be too small or to big if we respect sizes in %

GENRE/GENUS CONUS

All shells displayed in this article come from Mauritius and come from the collection of Eric Le Court de Billot, except for Conus julii kindly shot by Bruno & Paul Mathé.

A. "The Conus textile complex"

 

Here is the list of taxa studied in this work :
- Conus textile, Linnaeus 1758
- Conus archiepiscopus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
- Conus verriculum Reeve 1843
- Conus textile f. scriptus, Sowerby II, 1858 (==>Conus textile vaulberti, Lorenz, 2012)
- Conus textile f. euetrios var. cyanosus Lauer, Rossiniana 1987
- Conus textile vaulberti, Lorenz, 2012
 

Mauritius offers, like other Indian Ocean localities, surprising variations of Conus (Cylinder) textile, Linnaeus 1758. Many very different patterns may force collectors to search for specific name of species, forms and/or variations. We have shown these specimens to many expert collectors and malacologists. Actually no real consenus have been established. So we had to make a choice. We will update this page whenever new descriptions will be published. The actual idea is that many localities from Indian ocean offers the species named : Conus archiepiscopus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792. This shell is very variable in shape and pattern, and may vary a lot in colors showing sometime real beautiful bleuish specimens.

In the R.K.K. (Manual of the Living CONIDAE,1995), the authors mentionned : "C. archiepiscopus : Know from different localities within the Indian Ocean. We consider it a form of C. textile very similar to form eutrios."

Recently (2012), Dr. Lorenz have isolated the St Brandon population and described as Conus (Cylinder) textile vaulberti, Lorenz, 2012. [LINK TO THE PDF FILE] Some specialist think that it shall be treated as a species level (Conus vaulberti). This shell was earlier known as Conus textile f. scriptus, Sowerby II, 1858.

Some specimens have been also described by Reeve as Conus verriculum Reeve 1843.

Actually (2013) we choose to illustrate 3 different shells :

- St Brandon population of Conus textile vaulberti, Lorenz, 2012 (replace the older name Conus textile f. scriptus, Sowerby II, 1858)
- Conus archiepiscopus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792 and its bleuish variation Conus archiepiscopus var. cyanosus Lauer, Rossiniana 1987
- Conus archiepiscopus f. verriculum Reeve 1843

 

C. archiepiscopus 
C. archiepiscopus 
C. archiepiscopus f. cyanosus
C. archiepiscopus f. cyanosus
C. archiepiscopus
C. archiepiscopus
C. archiepiscopus
(*)
C.  textile vaulberti
(St Brandon island)
C.  textile vaulberti (St Brandon island)
C.  textile vaulberti (St Brandon island)
C. archiepiscopus f.
verriculum
C. archiepiscopus f.
verriculum

 (*) Dr Felix Lorenz recommend to use "C. textile " for this specimen : "I am not sure if that pale slender thing should also be called archiepiscopus. I'd call that Indian Ocean textile. You probably go more by shape, whereas I tend to follow color pattern. I once had a phD candidate who did DNA on Conus and he found that the color pattern much better reflects relationships than shape."
His citation is Dr Christian Melaun (2008) Phylogenetische und toxinologische Untersuchungen an Conidae (Mollusca: Gastropoda) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung west-atlantischer Vertreter der Gattung Conus, 308 pp Inaugural Dissertation Justus-Liebig Universität Giessen, Germany

 

 

Discussion about the locally know variation of Conus archiepiscopus/Conus texile : Conus archiepiscopus f. verriculum (known as Conus texile f. verriculum) by David Touitou

Many collectors are pretty sure this to be a real subspecies or form of Conus archiepiscopus/Conus texile. Personnally, with my field experience, I would better recommand to name it as a local variation, due to a variation of feeding habits or due to a variation of habitat. Well, in the Conus textile group, Conus textile and related species such as Conus canonicus may often reveal such patterns worldwide. Let me show you several examples :

Mauritius island : Conus archiepiscopus

C. archiepiscopus 
 
Variation
Variation

St Brandon island : Conus textile vaulberti

C.  textile vaulberti 
 
Variation
Variation

French Polynesia (Pacific Ocean) : Conus textile textile

C.  textile textile
(Moorea)
 
Variation
(Tuamotu : Hao Atoll)
Variation
(Tuamotu : Hao Atoll)

French Polynesia (Pacific Ocean) : Conus canonicus

C.  canonicus
(Tuamotu : Makemo Atoll)
 
Variation
(Tuamotu : Makemo Atoll)

 

More images may be checked in this old article :
http://www.seashell-collector.com/~ziptric/evo/articles/general_articles/page_conus-textile-variation-from-tuamotu.html

Seychelles (Indian Ocean) : Conus canonicus

C.  canonicus 
 
Variation
Variation

  I hope you will appreciate this discussion.

 

 

B. Other species

 

C. arenatus
C. aristophanes
C. aulicus
C. aureus
C. auricomus
C. balteatus
C. balteatus f. cernicus
C. bandanus
C. barthelemyi
C. betulinus
C. biliosus
C. capitaneus
C. catus
C. catus
C. chaldaeus
C. circumactus
C. coffeae
 C. coronatus
C. distans
C. ebraeus (1)
C. episcopatus
C. flavidus
C. frigidus
C. fuscatus
C. geographus
C. glans
C. gubernator
(St Brandon island)
C. gubernator f. leehmani
(Rodrigues island)
C. gubernator f. leehmani
(Mauritius island)
C. gubernator f. leehmani
(Mauritius island)
C. janus
C. julii
C. julii
C. imperialis f. compactus
C. lecourtorum
(St Brandon)

C. legatus
C. leopardus
C. litoglyphus
C. litteratus
C. lividus
C. maldivus
C. maldivus
C. maldivus
C. maldivus
C. miles
C. miliaris
C. moreleti
 C. namocanus
C. nanus
C. nussatella
C. obscurus
 C. paulucciae
 C. parvatus
C. pertusus
C. pertusus
 C. pennaceus f. rubiginosus
(Mauritius)
C. pennaceus f. rubiginosus
(Mauritius)
 C. pennaceus f. rubiginosus
(Mauritius)
C. pennaceus episcopus
(Mauritius)
C. pennaceus episcopus
(Mauritius)
 C. pennaceus
local variation

(St Brandon)
  C. pennaceus
local variation
(St Brandon)
 C. pennaceus
local variation

(St Brandon)
 C. pennaceus
local variation
(St Brandon)
 C. pennaceus
local variation

(St Brandon)

C. pulicarius
C. quercinus
C. rattus
C. retifer
C. sanguinolentus
C. sponsalis
C. striatellus
C. striatus
C. tenuistriatus
C. terebra
C. tessulatus
C. timorensis
 C. tulipa
C. varius
C. vexillum
C. violaceus
C. virgo
C. zeylanicus

(1) Conus ebraeus have now a know criptic specie named as Conus judaeus and is very difficult to distinguish without radular studies.
The specimen shown could be related to both species.

 

Variations of Conus catus from Mauritius : as usual this is a very variable species. It would have taken too much cases to
display all local variations. Here are some of the variations you may find there :

C. catus
C. catus
C. catus
C. catus
C. catus
C. catus

 

 

C. Shells from Agalega island

C. arenatus
C. catus
C. coronatus
C. ebraeus
C. gubernator f. leehmani
C. imperialis 
C. miliaris
C. parvatus
C. pulicarius
C. rattus
C. sponsalis
C. tenuistriatus  

 


 

D. DATA ON HABITAT, SIZE, RARITY & FORMS

Rarity :
VC (Very Common) C (common) UC (Uncommon) R (Rare) VR (Very Rare) E (Exceptionnal)
Depth : IT (Intertidal 0-5m) SW (Shallow water 5-10m) MDW (Moderately Deep water 10-30m) DW (Deep Water 30m-60m)
VDW (Very Deep Water 60-100m) DR (Dredged >100m) F(Only found in Fishes stomach)
Size : average adult size, in mm (millimeters)
Habitat : L(Lagoon) R(Reef) LP(Lagoon Pinnacles) OL(Outer Slope) S(Shore reef)
Areas : SANDY-LIVE CORAL-CORAL DEBRIS-ROCKY-WEEDY-MUDDY-HARD REEF

The work below have been made by Eric Le Court de Billot