Conus aurantius 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Mollusca Gastropoda Neogastropoda Conidae

Scientific Name: Conus aurantius Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Common Name(s):
English Golden Cone
Conus insularis Gmelin, 1791

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-10-26
Assessor(s): Petuch, E.
Reviewer(s): Peters, H. & Coltro, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Peters, H., Livingstone, S. & Passmore, J.
This species has a restricted range and is endemic to the islands of Klein Bonaire, Bonaire and Curaçao. However, it also benefits from the protection of marine protected areas such as Bonaire MPA. Because this species has such a small range, fewer than ten locations, and is subject to collecting, it is listed as Near Threatened - nearly meeting VU D2.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found around three Caribbean islands of the Netherland Antilles; Klein Bonaire, Bonaire and Curaçao (Coltro and Petuch, pers. comm. 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Curaçao
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – western central
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:600
Number of Locations:3-9
Lower depth limit (metres):10
Upper depth limit (metres):2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is no population information for this species of cone snail. This is a cryptic species and is uncommon.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:C. aurantius is a large cone species which is found on inter-reef substrate at depths up to 10 m. Adults will typically grow to 70 mm (Rosenberg 2009).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In common with all Conus spp this species is traded for the specimen shell collector market and can demand high to very high prices (Rice 2007). There are no quantitative data available on the number of shells removed but the moderately large size of the shell (70 mm) is likely to also make this species attractive to the local curio trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is highly restricted in its range, found along a stretch of coastline approximately 300 km long.  Although there are no specific incidence of threat caused by its limited AOO, i.e. coastal development etc, as with all Conus spp it is subject to shell gathering especially by tourists which could place pressure on populations.  However, there are also marine protected areas within its area of distribution (e.g. Bonaire) which will offer a high level of protection.

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, level of off-take and threats (including the impact of fisheries) before any action plan can be formulated. There are no known conservation measures currently in place for this species.  

Citation: Petuch, E. 2013. Conus aurantius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T192716A2148190. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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