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by Ross Mayhew creator of The Mollusc of the Moment Articles


"Conus milneedwardsi "

Jousseaume, 1894


"Glory of India" Cone Shell
Conus milneedwardsi Jousseaume, 1894
(Image by UMAX Astra 1200s Mac Scanner (RM)

.....This is one of the "Four Glories" of the Cone world - the other three being the famous Glory of the Seas, and the Glories of Bengal and the Atlantic, which will be featured later. It has four forms, which are found in deep water a) from Sri Lanka to Kuwait, b) From the Red Sea to Madagascar, c) around the Mauritius and Reunion Islands, and (surprise!) d) the Ryuku Is., south of Japan. The latter three forms remain extremely rare, but trawlers are regularly dredging up the W. Indian form by the hundreds: a small specimen can be had for $10 wholesale!! Like all cones, it is a carnavore, and spear-fishes for its its prey with a tiny harpoon-like projecectile (a specialized form of "radula" or Gastropod-tooth) which injects its prey with a nerve-toxin. The intended victim is quicly paralyzed, after which it is swallowed whole and digested at liesure. It is not known exactly what it eats, but it probably dines on Polaechaete worms, or perhaps shrimp. Cones are amoungst the fastest known hunters in the animal world, and an attack can take place in only a few milliseconds! (A milli-second is one thousanth of a second, and a cone attack can take place in 10 or less of them).