The vast bassin created by the continents of Africa and Asia, comprises a very varied group of shells, some of which have a much larger distribution throughout the Pacific. Others are endemic, and occur only in some small stretches of sea, or off the idyllic beaches of the many pristine island worlds that sprinkle this tropical paradise.

Conus g. terminus Lamarck, 1810

63.5mm. Tulear region, Madagascar.

Conus gubernator is widespread and even somewhat common along the South Eastern coast of Africa. There are several color forms and even subspecies have been named. Portrayed here is an absolutely stunning dark violet jewel selected out of hundreds. This is not large, but it is hery hard to come by such a dark and perfect jewel. 

Conus p. praelatus Hwass, 1792

63.1mm. Nacala Bay, Mozambique. dived in 10mts. in sand.

This is one of the many recognized forms that conform the pennaceus clade or "Feathered cones", which has an enormous distribution through the tropical Pacific.

This particular shell is a large gem of really stunning black reticle over dark baby blue. A most impressive piece and doubtlessly the best I´ve seen so far.

Conus s. anadema Tomlin, 1937

52mm. North Somalia.

The uncommon "Clay Cone" Conus splendidulus (formerly argillaceus) has always been among my favorite species. The color scheme is quite sober: consisting of spiral bands of sienna overlaid with broken ribbons of dark chestnut; interrupted by dashes of pure white and burnt umber.

The depicted specimen belongs to the rarer golden form.

Conus t. eumitus Tomlin, 1926

80mm. S. Maputo. Mozambique. 

In the same fashion in which Conus pennaceus attains an enormous variety in this area, so does Conus textile; there are several named forms, most of which occur in the Channel of Mozambique area, between Mozambique and Madagascar.

This specimen is a real monster for eumitus, an uncommon form, which is always plump, densely tented, and quite blue.

Conus violaceus Gmelin, 1792

79mm. Diego Suarez, Madagascar.

A very handsome, solid torpedo-shaped species; which has a softly ridged and pure white shell, with dark brown bands, and purple canal tip. Most shells are under 3". The depicted specimen is in contrast quite large. It is also gem and has a dark pattern interrupted by a series of lines that are equally spaced, providing rhythm to the pattern. A real showpiece!


Conus p. lohri Hwass, 1792

54.1mm. Ponta Abril, Mozambique. dived in 20-30mts.

This solid flesh colored form of pennaceus was once among the rarest forms of this species and it commanded high prices in the market. Today, although reasonably scarce, it is more obtainable. This particular shell is quite large and dark, and in perfect condition. As you can see it contrasts beautifully with the blue colored praelatus to the right.