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Queen conch
Strombus gigas
Linnaeus, 1758

The largest of the conches. The outer surface of the shell is a sort of orange in color, but can be overgrown by algae or debris. The outline is a short conical spire with blunt spikes. The last winding is by far the largest.
The inside of the shell is a rosy-pink. The living animal has a mottled gray appearance, and the head has a large proboscis and two eyestalks. The opening can be closed off with a long, claw-like plate, called the operculum.
When disturbed, the animal will retreat into the shell, closing it with the operculum.
Size: the shell can reach up to 25 cm.

It burrows in the sandy bottoms around seagrass beds and patchy reefs.
Depth: ranges from 1 m down to 40 m.

Common all over the Caribbean, though over harvesting reduces the numbers locally. In these areas, below 12 m more abundant.

Although capable of normal way of creeping, specimens have been seen moving over larger distances by pressing their foot with the operculum against the substrate, and pushing away, making jumps ( De Jong and Coomans, 1988).
In most countries it is illegal to bring back these shells from holidays.

Queen conch (Strombus gigas)