Cone Snails

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Conus spp. - Linnaeus, 1758
Cone Snails

Conus eburneus. Cone snails may sting, and some have killed humans. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

Before you attempt to keep a cone snail, be sure to research the species. Some fish-eating species (Conus geographus, Conus striatus, and several others) have a venomous sting and are capable of causing human fatalities! Some cones, however, are harmless to aquarists and will live well if maintained in normal reef aquarium conditions.

Family: Conidae

Other common name(s):

  • Fish-eating Cone Shells
  • Cone Shells

Native range:

Habitat: Most cone snails are found in shallow waters. These are animals of the reefs, reef flats, and reef sand beds.

Maximum length: 13 cm (5 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 190 L (50 gal)

Lighting: Immaterial.

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

[edit] Feeding

Most cones eat worms, a few species of other snails, and some will eat fishes. Many worm-eating cones can be taught to eat earthworms.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Specialist predators. The worm-eating cones make good aquarium specimens and do well in tanks with a good population of worms in a sand bed. Snail-eating cones can slowly track down, sting, and remove all the grazing snails from a tank.

[edit] Special Care

Some species are exceptionally dangerous and should never be kept by amateur aquarists! They possess neurotoxic venoms that are injected through a harpoon-shaped, hypodermic, needlelike tooth.

[edit] Notes

Conus is possibly the largest animal genus, with several thousand described species. Over the last few decades, it has become apparent that many of these so-called “species” are, in fact, simply color or shape variants of other species, so the total number of real species is probably somewhere on the order of 600. This is still an immense number of species and reflects the ecological and evolutionary success of the group.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: RLS
Facts about Cone SnailsRDF feed
Common name Cone Snails  +, Fish-eating Cone Shells  +, and Cone Shells  +
Family Conidae  +
Genus Conus  +
Image credit SWM  +
Lighting Immaterial.  +
Maximum length 5 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 50 gal  +
Native range Circumtropical  +
Reference A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Invertebrates  +
Specific name spp.  +
Text credit RLS  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +