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  • José H. Leal

A Busy Dusky Cone Mom

Museum collaborator extraordinaire Amy Tripp photographed this Dusky Cone, Conasprella stearnsii, in the process of laying what will be the next generation of Dusky Cones. As most cone snails do, Dusky Cones release their eggs inside translucent egg capsules.


Dusky Cone female laying egg capsules, Kice Island, Florida. Photo by Amy Tripp.

The capsules provide a physical barrier between the eggs and embryos and the external environment, protecting them from sudden changes in water chemistry, and serving as a container for a nourishing brew known as intracapsular liquid. The Dusky Cone is the smallest of the three cone snail species found in shallow water on the coast of Southwest Florida.


Dusky Cone shell from Goodland, Florida. Photo by James F. Kelly.