Conus algoensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA MOLLUSCA GASTROPODA NEOGASTROPODA CONIDAE

Scientific Name: Conus algoensis
Species Authority: Sowerby I & II, 1834
Synonym(s):
Conus danieli Crosse, 1858
Conus jaspideus Kiener, 1845
Conus scitulus Reeve, 1849
Taxonomic Notes: There are two subspecies, C.a. simplex and C.a. algoensis. There are two clinal variations of subspecies C. a. algoensis: C. a. form scitulus, C. a. form agulhasi.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-10-28
Assessor(s): Veldsman, S.G.
Reviewer(s): Peters, H. & Raybaudi-Massilia, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Peters, H., Bohm, M. & Sheriff, Z.
Justification:
The species occurs in a small range, but to relatively deep depths in cold water, making it difficult to collect. Pollution is an issue for intertidal populations, as is overcollecting, as these are easier to reach. These populations have been declining in the past, but with adequate protection are likely to bounce back. It occurs in a couple of protected areas, and in deeper waters, so is currently considered to be of Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to South Africa where it has been found along the western shores of False Bay to the south of Cape Town, Western Cape Province (Tenorio and Monteiro 2008).

The distribution is as follows:
C. a. algoensis: from Saldanan Bay to the False Bay area (Danger Point);
C. a. form agulhasi: Agulhas Bank;
C. a. form scitulus: Harmanus to Cape Agulhas;
C. a. simplex: False Bay area from Muizenberg to Cape Point (S. Veldsman pers. comm. October 2011, Liltved and Millard 1989).
Countries:
Native:
South Africa (Western Cape)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no records of population levels for this species. Populations in intertidal zones are declining (S. Veldsman pers. comm. October 201). The others (from 5 m and deeper) appear to be stable at present.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: According to specimen shell trading websites, examples of this species have been found under rocks on reefs at shallow depths with others reported at 20 m in sand. The size of adult species is typically 35 mm but larger variations from Simonstown Harbour have been found at 70 mm (Tenorio and Monteiro 2008).

This species occurs from 0-50 m in some areas. Subspecies and forms are all found in similar types of habitat. The species also occurs intertidally, and can be found under small to large boulders, on sandy reefs (S. Veldsman pers. comm. October 2011).
Systems: Marine

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 limited availability of shells of this species for sale on the mollusc shell market as reported through specialist websites and dealer catalogues (Rice 2007), with relatively high prices demanded.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is restricted to a single bay (False Bay area), but also occurs up the coast to Saldanha Bay.  It lives in shallow to deeper waters so parts of the population may be easily collected.  The shell is attractive to casual shell collectors, but is taken mainly by specialist divers at deeper depths.

This species could be vulnerable to a major pollution event. Individuals in the intertidal area could be affected by pollution, and the population in intertidal areas has already been declining. For populations at deeper depths, pollution is not considered a threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are a couple of conservation areas within the range of this species, for example Danger Point where collection is prohibited. One small population of C. a. simplex, the one attaining the giant size, is protected by a navy base at Simonstown.

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Liltved, W.R. & Millard, V.G. 1989. Conidae of South Africa. The Strandloper, Bulletin of the Conchological Society of Southern Africa,.

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

Tenorio, M.J. & Monteiro, A.J.A. 2008. The Family Conidae, The South African species of Conus. In: Poppe, G.T. & Groh, K (ed.), A Conchological Iconography, pp. 168. ConchBooks, Hackenheim.


Citation: Veldsman, S.G. 2013. Conus algoensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 September 2014.
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