Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Neogastropoda Conidae

Scientific Name: Conus fontonae
Species Authority: Rolán & Trovão in Rolán, 1990
Afroconus fontonae

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D2 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-10-26
Assessor(s): Tenorio, M.J.
Reviewer(s): Monnier, E. & Seddon, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Seddon, M. & Peters, H.
This species has been assessed as Vulnerable D2 as it is found restricted to a narrow length of coast for a distance of approx 15 km and the main risk to this species comes from the movements of fishing boats and oil tanker traffic in and out of the harbour with potential of small oil-spills causing pollution events that impact both the species and the quality of habitats.  Although its small size (typically 20 mm) makes it less attractive as a casual marine curio, it is of interest to specialist Conus shell collectors.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Cape Verde Islands where it has been found only off the north-western coast of the island of Sal. The range is from Regona in the north to Petinha in the south and encompassing Fontona Bay after which this species has been named (Monteiro et al. 2004). This is a coastline length of approx 15 km and the species is typically found on rocky coastlines (M.J. Tenorio pers. comm. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Cape Verde
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – eastern central
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:30
Number of Locations:1
Lower depth limit (metres):5
Upper depth limit (metres):3
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is usually common in the range during the breeding season (M.J. Tenorio pers. comm. 2011). No changes have been seen in the populations during monitoring over last 10 years, so it is considered stable (M.J. Tenorio pers. comm. 2011).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species has been found within rock crevices at depths of 3 to 5 m (Poppe and Poppe 2011). Adults of the species typically grow to 20 mm in length.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In common with all Cape Verde Conus spp., the shells of this species tend to be traded for the specialist collector. Their susceptibility to superficial damage makes them less appealing than larger shells.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The risk to this species comes from the movements of fishing boats and oil tanker traffic in and out of the harbour with the potential of small oil-spills causing pollution events that impact both the species and the quality of habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs
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
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: No decline ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

9. Pollution -> 9.2. Industrial & military effluents -> 9.2.1. Oil spills
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Majority (50-90%)   
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Sport hunting/specimen collecting
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Monteiro, A., Tenorio, M.J. and Poppe, G.T. 2004. The Family Conidae, The West African and Mediterranean species of Conus. In: Poppe, G.T and Groh, K. (eds), A Conchological Iconography, pp. 270. ConchBooks, Hackenheim.

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

Citation: Tenorio, M.J. 2012. Conus fontonae. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T192572A2118657. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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