Conus virgo   Linnaeus,  1758 (Sea Snail)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Gastropoda

Image copyrights: Coneshells

Size: 55-151 mm

Color: Body whorl pale yellow or white or orange; occasionally with darker orange collabral lines marking growth cessations, transverse striae at the base becoming finer and absolute towards the shoulder. Base deep and bluish violet. Young shells uniformly yellow, becoming white in mature species with deep bluish violet at the base, somewhat darker towards apex sometimes with several slightly darker transverse bands varying in width and position.

Shell is hard and thick, moderately large to large, solid to heavy. Last whorl conical; outline slightly convex at adapical fourth, straight below. Shoulder angulate. Spire low to medium height, outline slightly concave to slightly convex. Teleoconch sutural ramps almost flat to slightly concave; late ramps with 3 increasing to 5-6 spiral grooves, either paralleled by additional striae or replaced by numerous striae in latest whorls. Last whorl with weak to obsolete spiral ribs near base; widely spaced fine ribs and wrinkled threads between may extend to centre or beyond. Aperture narrow, fine spiral grooves and axial growth lines present. Periostracum is leathery, thick, opaque and brown, smooth except for collabral growth lines.

It is a vermivore and feeds on terebellids and other polychaetes.

Synonym (s)
Conus flavocinctus Link, 1807
Conus virgo var. alba Spalowsky, 1795

Common Name (s)
• Virgin cone
• Virgo Cone (English)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Feeds on terebellid and other polychaetes.


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin INDIA
• Pondicherry INDIA
• Pondicherry, Kalapet (Lat: 11.76) (Long: 79.81) INDIA
• Pondicherry, Kalapet (Lat: 11.88) (Long: 79.8) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Kilakarai (Lat: 9.23) (Long: 78.83) INDIA (Record: 20/03/2002) (Depth: 12 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar (Lat: 9.23) (Long: 78.83) INDIA (Record: 20/03/2002) (Depth: 12 mts)
• Tamil Nadu, Mandapam INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Keezha Karai INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • (2002) Lakshadweep Islands biodiversity strategy and action plan (Version: 3)
  • Subba Rao, NV (2003) Indian seashells Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Kolkata (Part 1) 416 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Tikadar, BK; Daniel, A and Subbarao, NV (1986) Sea shore animals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands The Director, ZSI, Kolkatta 188 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • Subba Rao, NV and Dey, A (2000) Catalogue of marine molluscs of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Occasional paper no 187 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 1-323 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • OBIS Indo-Pacific molluscan database Available at -
  • Saad, MAH (1984) Proceedings of the Symposium on Coral Reef environment of the Red Sea King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia 1-681 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Allen, GR (2005) Reef fishes of northwestern Madagascar RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 31 39-48
  • Fernando, AS and Fernando, OJ (2002) A field guide to the common invertebrates of the east coast of India Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology 1-258 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Kasinathan, R; Singarawadivelan, G and Saminathan, R (1997) Venomous cone snails of southeast coast of India 1 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Kohn, AJ The Conus Biodiversity website Available at -
  • Paganelli, G Available at -
  • Satheeshkumar, P. and Khan, AB (2010) Finding of (Conidae - Gastropoda) from Pondicherry coast, south east coast of India. World Journal of Zoology International Digital Organization for Scientific Information (IDOSI) 5(4) 249-251 Available at -
  • Franklin, JB; Fernando, SA; Chalke, BA; Krishnan, KS (2007) Radular morphology of Conus (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda: Conidae) from India Molluscan Research Magnolia Press 27(3) 111–122 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Sundaram, KS; Sarvesan, R; Mohamed, KH and Shanbhogue, SL (1969) Catalogue of molluscs, prawns, stomatopods and marine algae in the reference collections of the central marine fisheries research institute Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 9 1-52 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-08-29

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