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Queen Conch

Lobatus gigas

Size – They are one of the largest in the Caribbean Sea reaching up to 14in (35cm) in shell length. On average they are 6-12 inches (15-30cm.)

Their shell eventually stops increasing in length, but it does not stop increasing in thickness. You can usually tell the age of a Queen Conch based on the thickness of their shell. Like a typical Gastropod, they use locomotion to move. They are typically shaded around the opening of their shell with a pale pink hue, but have been seen with a deep magenta color as well. The outside is normally a brown or tan tone.

They prefer to dwell in seagrass meadows, sandy plains covered in swaying sea grass, and their depth range is dictated by this. They are most often found in the Caribbean Sea and the Tropical Northwestern Atlantic.

They are an herbivore and feed on plant and algal material growing in the seagrass beds. They also scavenge for decaying plant matter.

They move with a unique form of locomotion. It has been nicknamed as a form of pole vaulting locomotion. This method allows them to hide easier because they do not leave the typical snail trail of substrate. This prevents predators from following their chemical trace.

Queen Conches were previously known as Aliger gigas or Strombus gigas, but are now reclassified as Lobatus gigas. They are closely related to the goliath conch and rooster conch.

They belong to the genus Lobatus, which contains 5 living species. 

Lobatus belongs to the True Conch family, Strombidae.

They are not endangered, but are commercially threatened in areas due to overfishing.

Queen Conch Graphic
By Daniel Neal from Sacramento, CA, US - Queen Conch (Strombus gigas), CC BY 2.0,
Queen Conch Photo 1
By Daniel Neal from Sacramento, CA, US - Queen Conch (Strombus gigas), CC BY 2.0,
Queen Conch Photo 2
By divemasterking2000 - Image Nekton Rorqual 2009, ET eyes (Queen Conch) by divemasterking2000 from Flickr., CC BY 2.0,
Queen Conch (Lobatus_gigas) Photo 3
By NOAA - Queen Conch (Strombus gigas), accessed 4 July 2009, Public Domain,