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  • José H. Leal

Communal Spawning in Cone Snails

Florida Cones, Conus anabathrum Crosse, 1865, and other species of cone snails are known to perform group spawning. Also known as communal spawning, the phenomenon, which is not restricted to mollusks, occurs when a large number of female individuals lay their eggs or egg capsules at the same time, in the same spot. One of the possible advantages of group spawning is that the concentration of a large number of eggs, larvae, or juveniles in a small area may overwhelm local predators. This may translate into better survival rates than in species that do not rely on group spawning. Again, this cool photo was taken by Amy Tripp near Marco Island, Florida. Read more about the Florida Cone here.


Two female Florida Cones laying egg capsules. The arrow points to spot under the snail’s foot where the capsule gland is located, with a new capsule emerging from the gland. Photo by Amy Tripp.