Trip To New Caledonia

Author : Touitou David, 2003

During september 2003, I had the chance to fly from Tahiti to New Caledonia Island, a wonderful shell collecting spot.
This was my first trip there, on the amazing island. I was hosted by a couple of friends, also collectors, I met online and they were really nice with me, taking me to their favourite shelling spots.
Of course, I will not mention any spot to preserve them from overcollecting. First of all, the island. the first impression, excepted the cold at this part of the year, is what a wide island… you can drive for hours without seeing anybody. This a real wild country. Of course most of the people there live near the main city of Noumea.
Another surprising thing is the diversity of the landscapes and so of the shores which creates many very different habitats. That one of the reason why New Caledonia have so many very local endemic seashells.


Concerning shell collecting, another advantage is the fact that you can collect during low tides on the reef itsefl without any need of snorkeling nor diving. You may walk on some spots, just in front of the beach and find amazing cone shells (such as giant Conus sugillatus and nice Conus ferrugineus f. chenui). We the nwalked at low tide but most of the time we snorkled and did some scuab too.
We only scuba in deep waters (50-60m) to catch few Conus moluccensis f. merleti, Conus circumcisus and Conus floccatus.

Here is a sum-up of the Cone Shells I collected during this short trip. Many species that I had already from Tahiti were not collected though.

And of course I had the "pleasure" to snorkle along with the local leathal sea-snakes…

Conus legatus

Conus marmoreus & Conus marmoreus with Conus legatus


Conus arenatus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
Conus balteatus Sowerby I, 1833
Conus bougei Sowerby, 1907
Conus canonicus Hwass, 1792
Conus capitaneus Linné, 1758
Conus coelinae Crosse, 1858
Conus coronatus Gmelin, 1791
Conus ebraeus Linné, 1758
Conus eburneus f. polyglotta Weinkauff, 1874
Conus emaciatus Reeve, 1849
Conus episcopatus Da Motta, 1982
Conus exiguus f. cabritii
Bernardi, 1858
Conus ferrugineus Hwass, 1792
Conus ferrugineus f. chenui
Crosse, 1857
Conus floccatus Sowerby II, 1841
Conus generalis Linné, 1767
Conus granum Röckel & Fischöder, 1985
Conus litoglyphus Hwass, 1792


Conus lividus Hwass, 1792
Conus magus f. circae Sowerby II, 1858
Conus marmoreus Linné, 1758
Conus marmoreus (local variation called "bastard") Linné, 1758
Conus miliaris Hwass, 1792
Conus miles Linné, 1758
Conus molluccensis f. merleti
Mayissian, 1974
Conus monachus Linné, 1758
Conus muriculatus f. sugillatus Reeve, 1843
Conus omaria Hwass, 1792
Conus pulicarius Hwass, 1792
Conus striatus Linné, 1758
Conus terebra Born, 1778
Conus textile Linné, 1758
Conus textile Linné, 1758
Conus virgo Linné, 1758