Conuber conicum (Lamarck, 1822)
Description: Shell conical, smooth. Umbilicus almost or completely closed by columellar callus. Colour grey or fawn, with a light grey or brown band below the suture, and usually a less distinct cream band at the base of the body whorl; callus dark brown. Operculum corneous.
Size: Up to 53 mm in length.
Distribution: Endemic to Australia; Torres Strait, Qld, to Broome, WA, including Tasmania.
Habitat: Sand flats around low tide level. Common.
Remarks: The egg masses and the early development of C. conicus and C. sordidus have been described by Murray (1962). Both species produce circular sausage-shaped egg masses, composed of a clear jelly with eggs embedded towards the outside. The masses are much larger than the molluscs that produce them, but are 90% water with little organic content. The jelly dissolves as veligers begin to hatch, 10-11 days after laying in the case of C. sordidus. The veligers are planktotrophic, and disperse into the sea.
Figs. 1,2: Gunnamatta Bay, Port Hacking, NSW (C.320565)
Copyright Des Beechey 2000