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CONUS - SOUTH PACIFIC

From the continent of Oceania, with its pristine beaches of clean white sand, deep turquoise atolls, and infinite skies, there is a large group of cone shells, most of which are present throughout the vast Indo-Pacific region; but many others that are endemic species and forms, located in remote islands, and inaccessible to most collectors.

Conus gaugini Richard & Salvat, 1973

70.4mm. Nuku Hiva, Marquesas. Dived dead at 22mts. 

This rare endemic comes in shades of pink, magenta, mauve; or even orange and red, with black and white dashes. the spire is always attractively candy-striped in black and white.

The depicted specimen is truly stunning shell: large and extremely dark purple. Even though it was collected dead, with a visible barnacle on the spire. 

Conus marchionatus Hinds, 1843

50mm. Nuku Hiva, Marquesas. Dived at night in 30mts.

Another marquesan endemic, related to the c. nobilis clade. This species displays very little variation: pure white, triangular shells, that are very glossy, and overlaid by a perfectly drawn net of solid color that ranges from golden yellow to near black like the depicted shell, which is a superb large gem.

Conus m. merleti Mayissian, 1974

51.4mm. Noumea, New Caledonia. Dived, 40mts.

This shell is like strawberries and cream! It is the South Pacific variant of the darker Conus moluccensis from the Indo-Pacific. Shells are always cream white and decorated with vibrant red flamules, that create a stunning display.

The depictd shell is a large and pretty representative. Not the best I´ve seen; But this is definately among my favorites.

Conus monachus Linnaeus, 1758

42.6mm. Hoinara. Solomon Is.

This species has a wide range, and a series of attractive forms. Depicted here is a specimen from the Solomon Islands. I have another Philippino shell, which is of a much darker blue. In contrast, the depicted shell is a lot paler, with baby blue background, overlaid by olive green bands and flammules. A really wonderful little shell!

Conus richeri Richard & Moolenbeek, 1988

51.7mm. New Caledonia. Dredged 200-300mts.

This very rare New Caledonian endemic comes from great depths in an area that is now off-limits. The shells are usually below 2", and come in an array of pastel shades of pink.

The depicted specimen was crabbed. Nevertheless, it shows an extremely dark, perfectly drawn, superb pattern, on a giant, smooth shell. A real treasure.

Conus t. textilinus Kiener, 1845

51.6mm. Marquesas. Dived.

The marquesan form of the widespread textile cone. These are usually smallish, around 2", with denser patterns, and more rounded tents. 

This particular specimen is very different from the others I´ve seen: Very plump and heavy, with dense pattern on a very thickened shell. Extremely attractive and unique.