Conus aureus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Neogastropoda Conidae

Scientific Name: Conus aureus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus paulucciae Sowerby, 1843
Taxonomic Notes: There are two known subspecies for this species; C. aureus aureus and C. aureus paulucciae ( Röckel et al. 1995). For other authors C. paulucciae is considered a distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-10-28
Assessor(s): Raybaudi-Massilia, G.
Reviewer(s): Veldsman, S.G. & Peters, H.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Peters, H., Bohm, M. & Sheriff, Z.
This is a wide ranging species occurring throughout most of the north west, west and central Pacific, and the east Indian Ocean.  It is currently not considered under threat from any disturbances. It has therefore been assessed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This is a wide ranging species occurring throughout most of the north west and central Pacific, and the east Indian Ocean. C. a. paulucciae is found in Mozambique, the Mascarenes, Seychelles, Maldives and Chagos Island. C. a. aureaus is found along the coast of Mozambique, the Mascarenes to Japan and Philippines, as well as to Queensland, New Caledonia and the Tuamoto archipelago (Röckel et al. 1995).
Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia); British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hebei, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Zhejiang); Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Cook Islands; Disputed Territory (Paracel Is., Spratly Is.); Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; Indonesia; Japan; Kiribati; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Réunion; Samoa; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Thailand; Timor-Leste; Tonga; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Upper depth limit (metres):3
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There are no population data for this species.  It is never common throughout its range.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found between 3-30 m on coral reef and rubble, and down to 50 m on sand and coral rubble. The typical adult size of shell for this species is between 40-80 mm (Röckel et al. 1995), more typically 40-60 mm.  The species has planktotrophic larval development, which explains the wide range of this species.

It is a mollusciverous cone which hunts mainly at night (

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In common with all Conus spp and other molluscs, the shells of this species are traded for the collector market. There are no quantitative data available on the number of shells removed.

There is ready availability of shells of this species for sale on the mollusc shell market as reported through specialist websites and dealer catalogues (Rice 2007), with low prices demanded. C. a. paulucciae is much rarer than C. a. aureus.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known material threats to this species as a whole. C. a. paulucciae may be impacted by localized threats which could affect the status of this subspecies over time.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures currently in place for this species.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.6. Inter-Reef Rubble Substrate
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

♦  Handicrafts, jewellery, etc.

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Rice, T. 2007. A Catalog of Dealers' Prices for Shells: Marine, Land and Freshwater. Sea and Shore Publications.

Röckel, D., Korn, W. & Kohn, A.J. 1995. Manual of the Living Conidae, Vol 1. Verlag Christa Hemmen.

Citation: Raybaudi-Massilia, G. 2013. Conus aureus. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T192413A2090188. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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