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Conus ardisiaceus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA MOLLUSCA GASTROPODA NEOGASTROPODA CONIDAE

Scientific Name: Conus ardisiaceus
Species Authority: Kiener, 1845
Taxonomic Notes: The closest relative of this species occurs in southeastern Australian waters (C. papiliferus), which suggests that this may be a relictual species (G. Raybaudi pers. comm. October 2011).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-10-26
Assessor(s): Raybaudi-Massilia, G.
Reviewer(s): Peters, H. & Veldsman, S.G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Peters, H., Bohm, M. & Howarth, L.
Justification:
This species is endemic to the reefs off Oman, ranging from Muscat south to the island of Al Masirah. It has a restricted range with an extent of occurrence and area of occupancy of less than 2,000 km2. It is likely to be vulnerable to threats from marine pollution, particularly from the petroleum industry, which is widespread in the area. Based on this threat, for which a single threatening event can potentially affect a large area, we infer an occurrence of no more than ten locations. The species was never abundant, but is very scarce now, so it is inferred that there has been a decline in the number of individuals which is likely to be ongoing since the causes are not fully understood and have therefore not been addressed. It is listed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species of cone snail is endemic to the coral reefs off Oman in the Arabian Sea, ranging from Muscat south to the island of Al Masirah (Röckel et al. 1995).  This is a coastal distance of approx 700 km.
Countries:
Native:
Oman
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Native:
Indian Ocean – western
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no quantitative population information for this species. It was never abundant in the market, but is thought to be now very scarce based on reports from collection efforts by trained collectors, with only few juveniles found (G. Raybaudi pers. comm. October 2011). Latest reports from Masirah island suggest the species is very scarce here (G. Raybaudi pers. comm. October 2011).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is known to occur in shallow water on coral reefs. Adults of the species will grow to approx 55 mm although they will typically be less than this (Röckel et al. 1995). It has a lecithotrophic larval development as inferred from protoconch, with individuals producing typically only 5 to 6 eggs per season.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

In common with all Conus spp, this species is traded for the collector market. There are no quantitative data available on the number of shells removed, however, this species is traded for prices typically at the high to medium end (Rice 2007). There is only limited availability of shells on the market which may indicate lack of abundance in the wild.


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Oman is susceptible to the majority of threats faced by countries of the Arabian Sea (Sale et al. 2010). These include (i) chronic contamination of coastal waters due to the continuous discharge of oil from harbours, ballast water, terminals, and sewage-plant effluents (Madany et al. 1998); (ii) discharge of effluent from manufacturing industries including the discharge of  heavy metals, oil and petroleum-based compounds, nutrients, and halogenated organics (Gevao et al. 2006); (iii) the clearing and alteration of habitats such as coral reefs, in particular, which have all been altered by coastal dredging and development for industrial, commercial, and residential use (Sheppard et al. 1992, 2010). The main threat affecting this species is pollution, particularly from the petroleum industry, because of the shallow water habitat in which it occurs.

The limited availability of shells in the collector market could be an indicator of lack of abundance in the wild, especially as this is a shallow water species and easily gathered.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is restricted in its range and very scarce in the market and would benefit from further research into populations, distribution, habitat, and threats before any action plan can be formulated. There are no known conservation measures currently in place for this species.

Citation: Raybaudi-Massilia, G. 2013. Conus ardisiaceus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 31 October 2014.
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