Marine Life

Aruba’s Large Sea Snails – The “Crown Conch Melongena”

Melongena, commonly known as the crown conchs, is a genus of large sea snails which have an operculum. These are marine gastropod mollusks in the family Melongenidae, the crown conchs and busycon whelks. The shells of Melongena species are extremely variable in shape and sculpture.

aruba_1993_10_florin_f_m

Aruba (1993) 10 Florin (front) – Crown Conch Melongena

There is still some disagreement about how many species of Melongena actually exist. However, phylogenetic analysis indicate that there are only three species in the Western Atlantic, with all snails in coastal Florida being referred to Melongena corona (Hayes 2003).

crown_conch_snail

A conch (pronounced in the U.S.A. as “konk” or “conch”, is one of a number of different species of medium-sized to large >saltwater snails or their shells. “True conchs” are marine gastropod mollusks in the family Strombidae, and the genus Strombus.

The name “conch” however, is often quite loosely applied in English-speaking countries to several kinds of very large sea snail shells which are pointed at both ends, i.e. shells which have a high spire and a noticeable siphonal canal. These other species include the crown conch Melongena species; the horse conch Pleuroploca gigantea; and the chank shell, Turbinella species. None of these are true conchs; they are all in other taxonomic families.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia articles “Conch” and “Melongena”