General Description

Shell elongated conical shape with a short pointed end (spire) with rounded shoulders. Shell covered by a thin yellow-brown skin (periostracum). Shell colour underneath the periostracum is quite variable, but usually white-cream-grey with orange and dark brown markings underneath. Opening (aperture) elongated, extending almost the full length of the last whorl of the shell. Body red. Shell up to 5 cm long.


All Cone Shells are active hunters, using hard calcium darts armed with paralysing toxins to spear and kill their prey. Each species specialises on one food type, such as fish or worms, and each species has a distinct toxin. Anemone Cones feed mainly on polychaete worms. Cone toxins act very fast, allowing them to kill their often fast moving prey before it can get very far away. In humans, these toxins cause painful wounds, fainting and semi-paralysis; some tropical species have caused fatalities. The Anemone Cone is one of the few Cone species that live in southern Australian waters, but there may be multiple species in what is currently called Conus anemone. Eggs are laid in masses under rocks, to which they are attached. Juveniles are well-developed when they hatch and crawl away as miniature adults.


Southern mainland Australia and Tasmania.


Exposed and sheltered waters, usually in rock crevices, up to 130 m depth, most common up to 15 m depth.

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