Conus regius & Conus cedonulli feedings habits
Author : Touitou David, 2001
Updated : 03 March 2016
I had the chance to observe many Conus regius Gmelin, 1791 & Conus cedonulli Linnaeus, 1767 in my aquarium and manage to find out what this shells feed on. Conus regius and Conus cedonulli (Grenadines Islands) are both worm killers. They both feed on the carribean "fire worm" Hermodice carunculata (picture below). The worms have usually three different colors : gree, orange or red. This could partially explain the many variations in color of Conus regius.
I kept in my small aquarium Conus regius, Conus regius f. citrinus and one specimen of Conus cedonulli I brang back from Union Island down in the Grenadines (read the entire article here).
They all have same strategy. They are during day time much less active than during night time but they can hunt, catch and feed during day time. Usually the shells are partially burrowed or just laying in the sand.
Then the shell start to extend his foot and then you can see the entire animal. But it does not move. The syphon is very active. Fire worm is a very active species wich may turn around the aquarium for some minutes before finding a hiding place. They never care about the shells and passed by or crossed them !!
The worm usually escape but neevr stops very far though. Sometimes the shell would hit it a second time.
I could observe several shells trying to eat the same worm. But I never noticed a Conus feeding on a dead worm or a part of a dead worm. They really need to feed on live worms.
Here are some pictures showing how they hunt, stun and feed :
Here we are, a fire worm passing by a ready to hunt Conus regius :
The worm have been hit :
The specimen next to our hunter seems kind of "afraid" to see the other one extending is lethal weapon :
This time for Conus cedonulli had to move toward his victim and gave a shot :
Here are some pictures showing cone shells while feeding :
Incredible : Conus cedonulli and Conus regius f. citrinus feeding on the same worm…
Some more pictures of these shells :