Large Polished Strombus (Strombidae)
Approximate Size: Length 7″, Height 2.5″, Depth 5″
This example is one of the larger varieties. It has been cleaned and polished. It’s rare size means that it is a collectors shell.
Strombus is a genus of medium to large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Strombidae, which comprises the true conchs and their immediate relatives.
The genus Strombus was named by Swedish Naturalist Carl Linnaeus in 1758. There were around 50 living species recognised, which vary in size from fairly small to very large.
Six species live in the greater Caribbean region, including the queen conch, Strombus gigas (now usually known as Eustrombus gigas or Lobatus gigas), and the West Indian fighting conch, Strombus pugilis. However, since 2006, many species have been assigned to discrete genera. These new genera are, however, not yet found in most textbooks and collector’s guides.
Worldwide, several of the larger species are economically important as food sources; these include the endangered queen conch which very rarely also produces a pink, gem quality pearl.
In the geological past, a much larger number of species of Strombus existed. Fossils of species within this genus have been found all over the world in sediments from Cretaceous to Quaternary (age range: 140.2 to 0.0 million years ago)
Of the living species, most are in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Many species of true conchs live on sandy bottoms among beds of sea grass in tropical waters. They eat algae and have a claw-shaped operculum.