Conus bandanus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Banded marble cone, 102mm

We know Conus bandanus has long been considered by many to be a variation of the very similar Conus marmoreus, but we believe it distinctly differs both in its shell and its habitat. On the shell, there are two irregular spiral bands of smaller-sized light triangular markings while C. marmoreus has no such bands. Also, in C. marmoreus the tent markings are pure white (after the shell's periostracum is removed), while in C. bandanus, they have a tint of orange. To a field observer who has seen many specimens of both, the habitat differences are very distinctive. C. marmoreus is found almost exclusively in sand while C. bandanus is nearly always on a hard rocky substrate. We see C. bandanus nearly always on lagoon pinnacles and the seaward reef, while C. marmoreus is far more common along lagoon interisland reefs. The first photo shows a large specimen, and the next two successively smaller ones.

The specimen above was found on Kwajalein's seaward reef and brought into the lagoon to place with a C. marmoreus (left). I was hoping both animals would expose themselves, but the C. marmoreus was not in a mood to cooperate.

Created 4 July 2009
Updated 1 August 2010

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