Conus auratinus daMotta, 1982
Auratinus cone, 132mm

Conus auratinus is rarely seen in the living state in the Marshalls, but a fair number of dead shells have been found. The few living specimens have mostly been on the leeward seaward reef in surge channels at night, usually at depths of 10-20m. Like other tented cones, this is a mollusk eater. One living specimen was collected and placed in an aquarium, where it immediately attacked and ate a Cypraea leviathan. This is the largest, or at least the longest, of the tented cones, so its typical prey is also probably pretty large. There is some question whether this is really C. auratinus rather than a narrow C. aulicus, or even if those two species are in fact different. We discuss it a bit more on the Conus aulicus page.

Frequently, the dead ones are broken in the same way, with the central part of the shell apparently bitten out by something with a narrow, sharp mouth (or possibly, a crab's claw?).

The wider specimen on the left side below might be Conus aulicus rather than C. auratinus.

Created 4 July 2009
Updated 10 March 2011

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