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Queen conch
Strombus gigas
Linnaeus, 1758

Description:
The largest of the conches. The outer surface of the shell is a sort of orange in color, but can be overgrown by algae or debris. The outline is a short conical spire with blunt spikes. The last winding is by far the largest.
The inside of the shell is a rosy-pink. The living animal has a mottled gray appearance, and the head has a large proboscis and two eyestalks. The opening can be closed off with a long, claw-like plate, called the operculum.
When disturbed, the animal will retreat into the shell, closing it with the operculum.
Size: the shell can reach up to 25 cm.

Habitat:
It burrows in the sandy bottoms around seagrass beds and patchy reefs.
Depth: ranges from 1 m down to 40 m.

Distribution:
Common all over the Caribbean, though over harvesting reduces the numbers locally. In these areas, below 12 m more abundant.

Remarks:
Although capable of normal way of creeping, specimens have been seen moving over larger distances by pressing their foot with the operculum against the substrate, and pushing away, making jumps ( De Jong and Coomans, 1988).
In most countries it is illegal to bring back these shells from holidays.

Queen conch (Strombus gigas)