Butterfly Cone – Conus pulcher
The Butterfly Cone is a species in the order Sorbeoconcha (Sauggehäuseschnecken) and thus belongs to the class of gastropods. Conus pulcher was first described in 1796 by Lightfoot.
According to IUCN Redlist, three subspecies are distinguished by different geographical distribution:
- Conus pulcher pulcher
- Conus pulcher siamensis
- Conus Pulcher byssinus
Description, Anatomy & Characteristics
The Butterfly Cone has a conical housing, the shell is quite thin. The housing has a white to cream-white tint with a brown pattern. The pattern can be very different.
The snail itself is also brown.
Conus pulcher is the largest of all cone snails. It reaches a maximum size of 26cm.
Habitat & Distribution
The Butterfly Cone lives on and in sandy and muddy ground, in depths between 1 to 50m.
When diving in the Canary Islands you can observe them every now and then.
The distribution area of the species is large, whereby it is divided into three subspecies. Conus pulcher pulcher lives on the African coast from Senegal to Angola and the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. C. pulcher byssinus can be found from the West Sahara to the border of Mauritania and Senegal. C. pulcher siamensis lives only around the Canary Islands and Madeira.
Biology & Diet
The Butterfly Cone is a nocturnal species. During the day you usually see the housing only.
It feeds on other animals.
The poison of the snail is also dangerous for humans. In addition, it actively hunts, so you should exercise caution when you meet it.