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Conomurex luhuanus

Conomurex luhuanus, common name the Strawberry conch, is a species of medium-sized sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Strombidae, the true conchs.[1]

Shell description [edit]

Some shells of Conomurex luhuanus. The two smaller shells to the right have been cut open to reveal the coloration of the parietal wall

The shell of C. luhuanus ranges from a more common length of 5 cm, to a maximum length of 8 cm.[2]

C. luhuanus is often mistaken for a Cone snail, mainly because of the conoidal outline of its shell, which is relatively unusual among the Strombidae. Its stromboid notch, though not as conspicuous as observed in many species that used to belong to Strombus (such as Lentigo lentiginosus), is deep and easily distinguished. The interior may be slightly lirate.

The external color of the shell can be either white with an orange, brown/tan pattern of blotches, or completely brown/white. The interior is usually colored strong orange, red or pink, and the inner lip border is black or chocolate brown.[2]

Phylogeny [edit]

The phylogenetic relationships among the Strombidae have been mainly accessed in two different occasions, by Simone (2005)[3] and Latiolais (2006),[4] using two distinct methods. Simone proposed a cladogram (a tree of descent) based on an extensive morpho-anatomical analysis of representatives of Aporrhaidae, Strombidae, Xenophoridae and Struthiolariidae, which included C. luhuanus.[3]

With the exception of Lambis and Terebellum, the remaining taxa were previously allocated within the genus Strombus, including C. luhuanus. However, according to Simone, only Strombus gracilior, Strombus alatus and Strombus pugilis, the type species, remained within Strombus, as they constituted a distinct group based on at least five synapomorphies (traits that are shared by two or more taxa and theirmost recent common ancestor).[3] The remaining taxa were previously considered as subgenera, and were elevated to genus level by Simone in the end of his analysis. The genus Conomurex, in this case, only included C. luhuanus.[3]

In a different approach, Latiolais et al. (2006) proposed a cladogram based on sequences of nuclear histone H3 gene and mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase I (COI) gene showing phylogenetic relationships of 32 species that used to belong to the genus Strombus and Lambis, including Conomurex luhuanus (= Strombus luhuanus).[4] All species in this cladogram are still given under their original names in Strombus and Lambis.

References [edit]

  1. ^ Rosenberg, G. (2011). Conomurex luhuanus (Linnaeus, 1758). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=565370 on 2011-03-25
  2. ^ a b Poutiers, J. M. (1998). Gastropods in: FAO Species Identification Guide for Fishery Purposes: The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific Volume 1. Seaweeds, corals, bivalves and gastropods. Rome, FAO. page 475.
  3. ^ a b c d e Simone, L. R. L. (2005). "Comparative morphological study of representatives of the three families of Stromboidea and the Xenophoroidea (Mollusca, Caenogastropoda), with an assessment of their phylogeny". Arquivos de Zoologia (São Paulo, Brazil: Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo) 37 (2): 141–267. ISSN 0066-7870. 
  4. ^ a b c Latiolais J. M., Taylor M. S., Roy K. & Hellberg M. E. (2006). "A molecular phylogenetic analysis of strombid gastropod morphological diversity". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 41: 436-444. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.027. PDF.
  • Walls, J.G. (1980). Conchs, tibias and harps. A survey of the molluscan families Strombidae and Harpidae. T.F.H. Publications Ltd, Hong Kong

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