Conus brazieri Sowerby, 1881
Brazier cone, 88mm

Conus brazieri is found in the Marshalls exclusively fairly deep on the seaward reef slope. We have seen no specimens shallower than 35m. Empty shells are not especially rare, but living specimens are seen rarely and nearly exclusively at night. This is usually seen listed as a form or subspecies of Conus circumcisus, but after observing quite a number of specimens, we are convinced it is a separate species. In addition to habitat, they differ from the similar but strictly lagoon-dwelling Conus circumcisus in their complete lack of spots on the body of the shell (in adult shells) and the distinct and regular spots, more regular than typical C. circumcisus, on the spire. The shell is usually a light peach color and is covered with an orange periostracum, rather than the more brown-colored periostracum of C. circumcisus. While we are certain they are not the same species, it is difficult to prove. Perhaps DNA analysis will tell.

Below is a young specimen with a thinner periostracum.

Created 3 July 2009

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