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  • José H. Leal

Seeing Eye to Eye!


When I first saw this image, I thought of the famous “mirror scene” in the Marx’s Brothers 1933 movie “Duck Soup,” in which Harpo pretends to be Groucho’s reflection in a non-existent mirror. The routine went on for a few comical minutes, after which Grouch finally realized he was being fooled by the intruding Harpo. But in this great image by Senior Aquarist Carly Hulse we have two of our conchs, a young Queen Conch (Aliger gigas) on the left and a Milk Conch (Macrostrombus costatus) on the right, in an imaginary, mirror-like face-off. Apart from the differences in shell shape (see images below), these two herbivore species can be distinguished by the even, greenish color of the eyestalks and dark siphon in the Milk Conch, which contrasts with the mottled skin of the same structures in the Queen Conch. Come say Hi to our live conchs in the Beyond Shells exhibit!

The Queen Conch, Aliger gigas. Photo by Patricia A. Starkey.

The Milk Conch, Macrostrombus costatus. Photo by Patricia A. Starkey.