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The Spider Conch

Spider Conch (2011-06-19 10-44-20a)Spider Conch (2011-06-19 10-44-45a)

Taxonomy

Phylum Mollusca / Class Gastropoda / Superfamily Stromboidea / Family Strombidae / Lambis lambis

Description

The heavy, robust shell averages around 18 cm in length but can reach a maximum length of 29 cm. It has a flared outer lip with six hollow ornamental projections (called marginal digitations) to the side. These digitations are slightly different in shape for male and female. The first three are short and bent toward the rear in males, longer and curved dorsally in females. Shell color is variable. The outside is white or cream with brown, purplish or bluish black patches while the inside is glazed and can be pink, orange or purple.

Distribution

The Spider Conch is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific, including Aldabra, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, Seychelles, Tanzania, Micronesia, eastern Melanesia, Taiwan, southern Japan and northern Australia. It is found in mangrove areas, reef flats and coral-rubble bottoms in shallow water (low tide levels to 5m).

Ecology

It is a vegetation usually feeding on red algae.

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Written by Gary J Sibio

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