Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Neogastropoda Conidae

Scientific Name: Conus alconnelli
Species Authority: da Motta, 1986
Taxonomic Notes: The taxonomic status of this species is uncertain. Moolenbeek and Coomans (1987) propose that Conus alconnelli is a synonym of Conus martensi. Tenorio et al. (2008) conclude that differences in colour and shape justify Conus alconnelli as a separate species.

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.
This species is endemic to Eastern South Africa where specimens have been found between Gipsy Hill (St Lucia) in the north and Port Shepstone in the south. Although this species has a relatively restricted range and has been described as being very rare, recent new populations have been discovered and the deep water habitat and inaccessibility of this species makes it unlikely to be threatened at present. It is considered to be Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs between 60-143 m, and is endemic to Eastern South Africa. However, specimens have been recorded off the coast of Oman, and in the Mahajanga region of Madagascar (Tenorio et al. 2008), but this may refer to the proposed synonymy by Moolenbeek and Coomans which has not been accepted. In eastern South Africa specimens have been found between Gipsy Hill (St Lucia) in the north and Port Shepstone in the south (GBIF 2011). Further research is needed into this species' full distribution.
Countries occurrence:
South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 800
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Lower depth limit (metres): 143
Upper depth limit (metres): 60
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are no population data records for this species. New populations have recently been discovered (S. Veldsman pers. comm. October 2011).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: Unknown Population severely fragmented: Unknown
All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in waters between 60-143 m off the East coast of South Africa in sandy substratum (Tenorio and Monteiro 2008).

Typical adult size for shells of this species are between 40-90 mm (
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

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

Limited availability of shells of this species for sale on the mollusc shell market as reported through specialist websites and shell dealer catalogues (Rice 2007), with very high prices demanded may reflect their deep habitat. There is reference to this species being very rare on collector websites (Poppe and Poppe 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known material threats to this species. Because of the deep habitat, it is unlikely to be susceptible to threats of pollution and overcollection. The species is usually dredged by small boats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species' range incorporates the St Lucia Marine Protected Area ( It is in deep and inaccessible habitats, so that little is known about its full distribution and ecology. Further research may therefore be beneficial. Natal has strict legislation on collection of the species (S. Veldsman pers. comm. October 2011).

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.4. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Sandy
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Unknown
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Unknown
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over part of range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Percentage of population protected by PAs (0-100):5
  Area based regional management plan:Unknown
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:Unknown
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Unknown
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Unknown
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:Unknown
  Included in international legislation:Unknown
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Unknown
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2011. FAO Major Fishing Areas. Available at: (Accessed: March 2011).

GBIF. 2011. Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Data Portal. Available at: (Accessed: 5 April 2014).

Griffiths, C.L., Robinson, T.B., Lange, L. and Mead, A. 2010. Marine biodiversity in South Africa. PLOS 5(8): 1-13.

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

Moolenbeek, R. G., Coomans, H. E. 1987. The Rediscovery of Conus martensi Smith, 1884. La Conchiglia: 24 - 25.

Poppe, G. T. and Poppe, P. 1996-2011. Conchology, Inc. Mactan Available at: (Accessed: March 2011).

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

Tenorio, M.J. and Monteiro, A.J.A. 2008. A conchological Iconography. ConchBooks.

Citation: Veldsman, S.G. 2013. Conus alconnelli. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T192868A2176811. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided