Textile cone Conus textile, copyright Richard Ling.

Belongs within: Conidae.

Conus, the cone shells, is a genus of cone-shaped predatory gastropods in which the radula has been modified into a venom delivery apparatus via the expansive proboscis. In some species, the venom is strong enough to harm or even kill humans that harrass live individuals. The circumscription of this genus has varied significantly between authors: whereas many have included most if not all species of Conidae sensu stricto in Conus, others have divided them between a large number of genera.

Characters (from Wilson & Gillett 1971): Shells usually covered by thick periostracum, outline a straight-sided inverted cone (obconical), spire low and pointed, aperture long, narrow and straight. Columella without plaits. Tiny chitinous operculum sometimes present. Venom apparatus present with long coiled secretory duct running between muscular venom storage sac and proboscis (venom a neurotoxin); radula consisting of series of single hollow barbed shafts constructed in radular sac, individual shafts extended as necessary into proboscis cavity and bathed in venom coming from secretory duct before delivering venom to prey; proboscis very elastic and able to be extended and expanded for prey location and capture.

Conus Linnaeus 1758 BK11 (see below for synonymy)
    |--C. selenae Van Mol, Tursch & Kempf 1967 S11, ES88
    `--+--+--C. textile Linnaeus 1758 S11, BC01 [incl. C. textile neovicarius da Motta 1982 BC01]
       |  `--+--C. ermineus Born 1779 S11
       |     `--C. tulipa Linnaeus 1758 S11, WG71
       `--+--+--C. jaspideus Gmelin 1791 S11, BC01 (see below for synonymy)
          |  |    |--C. j. jaspideus D88
          |  |    `--C. j. stearnsi Conrad 1869 D88
          |  `--C. mindanus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 S11, ES88 (see below for synonymy)
          `--+--C. regius Gmelin 1791 S11
             `--+--+--C. archetipus Crosse 1865 S11
                |  `--C. bertarollae Costa & Simone 1997 S11
                `--+--C. clerii Reeve 1844 S11
                   `--C. villepinii Fisher & Bernardi 1867 S11

Conus incertae sedis:
  *C. marmoreus Linnaeus 1758 O27, BW09 [incl. C. crosseanus Bernardi 1861 BC01]
  C. abruptus Marshall 1918 F27a
  C. aculeiformis Reeve 1844 H09
  C. adamsonii Broderip 1836 [incl. C. rhododendron Couthuoy ex Jay 1839] BC01
  C. advertex Garrard 1961 WG71
  C. affinis Gmelin 1791 F27b
  C. ammiralis Linnaeus 1758 BC01 [incl. C. hereditarius da Motta 1987 BC01, C. temnes Iredale 1930 WG71]
  C. anemone Lamarck 1810 MG-H11 [incl. C. peronianus Iredale 1931 WG71]
  C. angasi Tryon 1884 WG71
  C. antoniomonteiroi Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. aplustre Reeve 1843 WG71
  C. arenatus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. aristophanes KR75
  C. armiger Crosse 1858 [incl. C. bajanensis Usticke 1968] BC01
  C. armoricus Suter 1917 F27b
  C. asiaticus da Motta 1985 [incl. C. (Asprella) lovellreevei Raybaudi 1993] BC01
  C. atlanticoselvagem Afonso & Tenorio 2004 F05
  C. aulicus Linnaeus 1758 [incl. C. gracianus da Motta & Blöcher in da Motta 1982] BC01
  C. auratinus da Motta 1982 BC01
  C. australis Schroeter 1803 F27b
  C. baccatus Sowerby 1877 ES88
  C. beddomei Sowerby 1901 [incl. C. mayaguensis Usticke 1968] BC01
  C. betulinus Linnaeus 1758 WG71
  C. bicolor Sowerby 1833 [=C. albomaculatus Sowerby 1841, C. albimaculatus (l. c.)] ES88
  C. bifasciatus Gmelin 1791 BC01 [incl. C. fasciatus Adams 1853 nec Meuschen 1787 nec Kiener 1848 F27b]
  C. biraghii (Raybaudi Massilia 1992) [incl. C. biraghii congruens Korn & Raybaudi Massilia 1993] BC01
  C. boavistensis Rolán & Fernandes in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. boholensis Petuch 1749 MG-H11
  C. bondarevi Röckel & Raybaudi 1992 BC01
  C. bozzettii Lauer 1991 BC01
  C. bulbus T77a
  C. californicus Hinds 1844 O27
  C. capitaneus Linnaeus 1758 BW09
  C. catus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 [incl. Dendroconus morrisoni Raybaudi Massilia 1991] BC01
  C. cedonulli Linnaeus 1758 [=C. nullisecundus Usticke 1968; incl. C. holemani Usticke 1968] BC01
  C. centurio Born 1778 (see below for synonymy) BC01
  C. ceylanensis Hwass in Bruguiere 1792 BW09
  C. chaldeus (Röding 1798) BW09
  C. cholmondeleyi Melvill 1900 WG71
  C. ciderryi da Motta 1985 BC01
  C. cinctus Swainson 1833 H09
  C. clarus Smith 1881 WG71
  C. claudiae Tenorio & Afonso 2004 F05
  C. cocceus Reeve 1844 WG71
  C. coccineus Gmelin 1791 H09
  C. compressus Sowerby 1866 WG71
  C. consors Sowerby 1833 PK11 [incl. C. turschi da Motta 1985 BC01]
  C. cordigera Sowerby 1866 [incl. C. bitleri da Motta 1984] BC01
  C. coronatus Gmelin 1791 BW09
  C. coxeni Brazier 1875 H09
  C. crioulus Tenorio & Afonso 2004 F05
  C. crotchii Reeve 1849 [incl. C. poppei Elsen 1983] BC01
  C. curralensis Rolán 1986 BC01
  C. daucus Hwass 1792 [incl. C. caribbaeus var. circumpunctatus Usticke 1968] BC01
  C. deperditus Bruguiere 1798 F27b
  C. derrubado Rolán & Fernandes in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. deshayesi Reeve 1844 H09
  C. diminutus Trovão & Rolán 1986 BC01
  C. distans Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. dorreensis Péron 1807 [incl. C. pontificalis Lamarck 1810] WG71
  C. ebraeus Linnaeus 1758 BW09
  C. eburneus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. emaciatus Reeve 1849 H09
  C. emersoni Hanna 1963 BC01
  C. episcopus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 WG71
  C. eversoni Petuch 1987 BC01
  C. evorai Monteiro, Fernandes & Rolán 1995 BC01
  C. eximius Reeve 1849 H09
  C. explorator Vink 1990 BC01
  C. fasciatus Meuschen 1787 F27b
  C. felitae Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. figulinus Linnaeus 1758 WG71
  C. filmeri Rolán & Röckel 2000 BC01
  C. flavidus Lamarck 1810 BW09
  C. flavusalbus Rolán & Röckel 2000 BC01
  C. floridanus D88
    |--C. f. floridanus D88
    `--C. f. floridensis Sowerby 1870 [incl. C. spurius atlanticus Clench 1942] D88
  C. fontonae Rolán & Trovão in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. franciscoi Rolán & Röckel 2000 BC01
  C. frigidus Reeve 1848 WG71
  C. fulmineus Gmelin 1791 (see below for synonymy) T77b
  C. furvus Reeve 1843 [incl. C. nivalis da Motta 1985, C. turritinus da Motta 1985] BC01
  C. fusellinus Suter 1917 F27a
  C. gabelishi da Motta & Ninomiya 1982 MG-H11
  C. gabrielae Rolán & Röckel 2000 BC01
  C. garciai da Motta 1982 BC01
  C. generalis Linnaeus 1767 WG71
  C. geographus Linnaeus 1758 WG71
  C. glans Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. gloriamaris Chemnitz 1777 WG71
  C. gracilis [incl. C. australis Lamarck 1810 non Schroeter 1803, C. duplicatus, C. laterculus] F27b
  C. gubernator Hwass in Bruguière 1792 [incl. C. veillardi da Motta 1990] BC01
  C. harlandi Petuch 1987 BC01
  C. hyaena Hwass in Bruguière 1792 [incl. C. halli da Motta 1983] BC01
  C. imperialis Linnaeus 1758 BW09
  C. infinitus Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. inscriptus Reeve 1843 [incl. C. maculospira bangladeshianus da Motta 1985] BC01
  C. isabelarum Tenorio & Afonso 2004 F05
  C. kalafuti da Motta 1987 BC01
  C. kerstitchi Walls 1978 BC01
  C. klemae Cotton 1953 WG71
  C. legatus Lamarck 1810 BW09
  C. leobrerai da Motta & Martin 1982 BC01
  C. leopardus (Röding 1798) BW09
  C. lienardi Bernardi & Crosse 1861 BC01
  C. lignarius [incl. C. fasciatus Kiener 1848 non Meuschen 1787] F27b
  C. lineatus Bruguière 1792 H09
  C. liratus Reeve 1843 F27b
  C. lischkeanus Wainkauff 1875 [incl. C. kermadecensis Iredale 1912] BC01
  C. litoglyphus Hwass in Bruguiere 1792 BW09 [=C. lithoglyphus (l. c.) ES88]
  C. litteratus Linnaeus 1758 BW09
  C. lividus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. lizardensis Crosse 1865 H09
  C. lizarum (Raybaudi & da Motta 1992) [=Hermes (Magelliconus) lizarum] BC01
  C. loroisi KR75
  C. luquei Rolán & Trovão in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. magnificus Reeve 1843 BW09
  C. magnus Linnaeus 1758 [incl. C. cernohorskyi da Motta 1983, C. fulvobullatus da Motta 1982] BC01
  C. magus Linnaeus 1758 WG71
  C. mahogani Reeve 1843 ES88
  C. maioensis Trovão, Rolán & Félix-Alves 1990 BC01
  C. martensi Smith 1884 [incl. C. alconnelli da Motta 1986] BC01
  C. mauryi Finlay 1927 [=C. ornatus Maury 1919 non Hutton 1873] F27b
  C. mazei KR75
  C. mcgintyi Pilsbry 1955 BC01
  C. messiasi Rolán & Fernandes in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. micropunctatus Rolán & Röckel 2000 BC01
  C. miles Linnaeus 1758 BW09
  C. miliaris Hwass in Bruguiere 1792 BW09
  C. mitratus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 WG71
  C. monachus Linnaeus 1758 [incl. C. achatinus Gmelin 1791] WG71
  C. mordeirae Rolán & Trovão in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. musicus Hwass in Bruguiere 1792 BW09
  C. mustelinus Hwass 1792 H09
  C. nanus Broderip 1833 H09
  C. navarroi Rolán 1986 BC01
    |--C. n. navarroi BC01
    `--C. n. calhetae Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. nielsenae Marsh 1962 [incl. C. thevenardensis da Motta 1987] BC01
  C. nodulosus Sowerby 1864 WG71
  C. novaehollandiae Adams 1854 WG71
  C. nussatella Linnaeus 1758 WG71
  C. obscurus Sowerby 1833 WG71
  C. ommaria Hwass in Bruguière 1792 [incl. C. patonganus da Motta 1982] BC01
  C. papilliferus Sowerby 1834 WG71
  C. parvulus Link 1807 [incl. C. imperator Woolacott 1956] WG71
  C. parvus Lea 1833 F27b
  C. patae Abbott 1971 [incl. C. rudiae Magnotte 1971] BC01
  C. peasei (Brazier 1877) [=Lithoconus peasei] H09
  C. pennaceus Born 1778 (see below for synonymy) BC01
  C. perplexus Sowerby 1857 ES88
  C. planorbis Born 1778 MG-H11
  C. poormani Berry 1968 BC01
  C. praecellens Adams 1854 H09
  C. primus Röckel & Korn 1990 BC01
  C. pseudoarmoricus M. & M. 1918 F27a
  C. pseudoaustini Usticke 1968 BC01
  C. pseudonivifer Monteriro, Tenorio & Poppe 2004 F05
  C. pulicarius Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. pullulascens Tenison-Woods 1879 F71
  C. puncticulatus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 [incl. C. papillosus Kiener 1849] ES88
    |--C. p. puncticulatus BC01
    `--C. p. cardonensis Vink 1990 BC01
  C. quercinus Solander 1786 BW09
  C. radiatus Gmelin 1791 H09
  C. ralphii Tenison-Woods 1878 F71
  C. rattus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. raulsilvai Rolán, Monteiro & Fernandes 1998 BC01
  C. recluzianus Bernardi 1853 [incl. C. roseorapum Raybaudi & da Motta 1990] BC01
  C. regonae Rolán & Trovão in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. regularis Sowerby 1833 [incl. C. gradatus thaanumi Schwengel 1955] BC01
  C. rivertonensis Finlay 1926 F27a
  C. rolani Röckel 1986 BC01
  C. rufimaculosus Macpherson 1959 WG71
  C. rutilus Menke 1843 [incl. C. smithi Angas 1877] WG71
  C. sagei Korn & Raybaudi 1993 BC01
  C. sahlbergi da Motta & Harland 1986 BC01
  C. sanguinolentus Quoy & Gaimard 1834 BW09
  C. sannio Finlay 1927 [=C. affinis Martin 1879 non Gmelin 1791] F27b
  C. saragasae Rolán 1986 BC01
  C. scabriusculus Dillwyn 1817 WG71
  C. sculleti Marsh 1962 WG71
  C. sculpturatus Röckel & da Motta 1986 BC01
  C. segravei Gatliff 1891 WG71
  C. sennottorum Rehder & Abbott 1951 BC01
  C. serranegrae Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. sowerbii Reeve 1849 WG71
  C. spectrum Linnaeus 1758 WG71
  C. spirofilis Habe & Kosuge 1970 [incl. C. nipponicus da Motta 1985] BC01
  C. sponsalis Hwass in Bruguiere 1792 BW09
  C. spurius Gmelin 1791 [incl. C. spurius arubaensis Usticke 1968] BC01
  C. stercusmuscarum Linnaeus 1758 H09
  C. striatus Linnaeus 1758 [incl. C. subfloridus da Motta 1985] BC01
  C. sugillatus Reeve 1844 BW09
  C. sugimotonis Kuroda 1928 [incl. C. whiteheadae da Motta 1985] BC01
  C. sulcatus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 [incl. C. samiae da Motta 1982] BC01
  C. suturatus Reeve 1844 WG71
  C. tahuensis Allan 1926 F27a [=Conospira tahuensis A27]
  C. tenellus Dillwyn 1817 WG71
  C. tenuistriatus Sowerby 1858 H09
  C. teodorae Rolán & Fernandes in Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. terebra Born 1778 H09
  C. tessulatus Born 1778 BW09
  C. tiaratus Broderip 1833 H09
  C. tornatus Sowerby 1833 ES88
  C. travaoi Rolán & Röckel 2000 BC01
  C. triangularis Finlay 1924 F27a
  C. tribblei Walls 1977 [incl. C. queenslandis da Motta 1984] BC01
  C. trigonus Reeve 1848 WG71
  C. tuticorinensis Röckel & Korn 1990 BC01
  C. ustickei Miller in Usticke 1959 [incl. C. bifasciatus Sowerby 1857-1858 non Gmelin 1791] BC01
  C. varius Linnaeus 1758 H09
  C. ventricosus Gmelin 1791 [incl. C. cailliaudii Jay 1848] BC01
  C. verdensis BC01
    |--C. v. verdensis BC01
    `--C. v. furnae Rolán 1990 BC01
  C. vexillum Gmelin 1791 BW09
  C. victoriae Reeve 1843 [incl. C. complanatus Sowerby 1866] WG71
  C. virgo Linnaeus 1758 WG71
  C. vitulinus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 BW09
  C. vulcanus Tenorio & Afonso 2004 F05
  C. wittigi Walls 1977 [incl. C. kongaensis da Motta 1984] BC01
  C. xicoi Röckel 1987 BC01
  C. ximenes Gray 1839 ES88
  C. yemanjae Van Mol et al. 1967 ES88
  C. zapatosensis Röckel 1987 BC01
  C. zebra Lamarck 1810 [incl. C. nahoniaraensis da Motta 1986] BC01

Conus Linnaeus 1758 BK11 [=Conulus Rafinesque 1815 non Leske 1778 BR05; incl. Coronaxis Swainson 1840 BK11, Cucullites Herrmannsen 1847 BK11, Cucullus Röding 1798 BK11]

Conus centurio Born 1778 [incl. C. centurio f. caribaensis Usticke 1968, C. centurio f. cruzensis Usticke 1968] BC01

Conus fulmineus Gmelin 1791 [=C. fulgurans Hwass 1792; incl. C. lentiginosus Reeve 1844, C. optabilis Adams 1853, C. selectus Adams 1855] T77b

Conus jaspideus Gmelin 1791 S11, BC01 [incl. C. jaspideus branhamae Clench 1953 BC01, C. havanensis Aguayo & Farfante 1947 BC01]

Conus mindanus Hwass in Bruguière 1792 S11, ES88 [incl. C. karinae Usticke 1968 BC01, C. pseudojaspideus Usticke 1968 BC01]

Conus pennaceus Born 1778 [incl. C. pennaceus bazarutensis Fernandes & Monteiro 1988, C. rubropennatus da Motta 1982] BC01

*Type species of generic name indicated


[A27] Allan, R. S. 1927. The geology and palaeontology of the Lower Waihao Basin, south Canterbury, New Zealand. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute 57: 265–309.

[BK11] Bouchet, P., Y. I. Kantor, A. Sysoev & N. Puillandre. 2011. A new operational classification of the Conoidea (Gastropoda). Journal of Molluscan Studies 77: 273–308.

[BR05] Bouchet, P., & J.-P. Rocroi. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia 47 (1–2): 1–397.

[BC01] Boyko, C. B., & J. R. Cordeiro. 2001. Catalog of Recent type specimens in the Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History. V. Mollusca, part 2 (class Gastropoda [exclusive of Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata], with supplements to Gastropoda [Opisthobranchia], and Bivalvia). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 262: 1–170.

[BW09] Bryce, C., & C. Whisson. 2009. The macromolluscs of Mermaid (Rowley Shoals), Scott and Seringapatam Reefs, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 77: 177–208.

[D88] D’Asaro, C. N. 1988. Micromorphology of neogastropod egg capsules. Nautilus 102 (4): 134–148.

[ES88] Emerson, W. K., & W. E. Sage III. 1988. Conus baccatus G. B. Sowerby III, 1877: a Panamic faunal constituent. Nautilus 102 (3): 110–114.

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[F05] Fernández, J. 2005. Noticia de nuevos táxones para la ciencia en el ámbito Íbero-Balear y Macaronésico. Nuevos táxones animales descritos en la península Ibérica y Macaronesia desde 1994 (IX). Graellsia 61 (2): 261–282.

[F71] Fletcher, H. O. 1971. Catalogue of type specimens of fossils in the Australian Museum, Sydney. Australian Museum Memoir 13: 1–167.

[H09] Hedley, C. 1909. The Marine Fauna of Queensland: Address by the President of Section D. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science: Brisbane.

[KR75] Kohn, A. J., & A. C. Riggs. 1975. Morphometry of the Conus shell. Systematic Zoology 24 (3): 346–359.

[MG-H11] McEnnulty, F. R., K. L. Gowlett-Holmes, A. Williams, F. Althaus, J. Fromont, G. C. B. Poore, T. D. O’Hara, L. Marsh, P. Kott, S. Slack-Smith, P. Alderslade & M. V. Kitahara. 2011. The deepwater megabenthic invertebrates on the western continental margin of Australia (100–1100 m depths): composition, distribution and novelty. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 80: 1–191.

[O27] Oldroyd, I. S. 1927. The Marine Shells of the West Coast of North America vol. II pt I. Stanford University Press: Stanford University (California).

[PK11] Puillandre, N., Y. I. Kantor, A. Sysoev, A. Couloux, C. Meyer, T. Rawlings, J. A. Todd & P. Bouchet. 2011. The dragon tamed? A molecular phylogeny of the Conoidea (Gastropoda). Journal of Molluscan Studies 77: 259–272.

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[T77a] Tucker, J. K. 1977a. A color variant of Conus bulbus Reeve. Veliger 20 (2): 180.

[T77b] Tucker, J. K. 1977b. The identity of Conus fulmineus Gmelin. Veliger 20 (2): 180–181.

[WG71] Wilson, B. R., & K. Gillett. 1971. Australian Shells: illustrating and describing 600 species of marine gastropods found in Australian waters. A. H. & A. W. Reed: Sydney.

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