The genus Conus comprises around 300 species, many of which have a beautiful housing, mostly cone-shaped, some with a weak tip.
Warning: cone snails are predators and sometimes also life threatening for humans. Several deaths are ascribed to the snail pictured here.
Cone snails are the only snails that can be seriously dangerous to humans. The poison sting of some species can be fatal even for humans. The cone snail's poison, the so-called conotoxin, consists of several oligopeptides, protein molecules consisting of a few amino acids that act as neurotoxins.
The venom of a cone snail species consists of different peptide building blocks that affect different parts of the prey's nervous system. Cone snails are predatory, but their prey only includes smaller marine animals, especially other molluscs, worms and smaller fish.
Around 70 of the larger species (e.g. Conus geographus, Conus textile and Conus magus) also feed on fish !!!
These are the most dangerous species for humans because they have the strongest poison.
Snails of the Conus family bury themselves in the ground and come out to hunt. Only become active at night and rest hidden in the ground during the day!
Conus litteratus is a widespread Indo-Pacific species that occurs in the Indian Ocean off Tanzania, Madagascar, the Mascarene Basin. It lives in the sand in and between corals from shallow water. The case is thick and heavy. The color is cream with 2-3 axially yellow or orange bands dotted with black. Conus litteratus feeds on marine worms.