urceus2 urceus1

Strombus (canarium) urceus Linnaeus, 1758
colorful set of 6 with operculums
netted in sand/sea grasses at 20 meters by local fishermen
off Negros Island, Central Philippines. March 2012

With some shells if you have seen one, you’ve seen them all. Not so with the little bear conch (Canarium urceus Linnaeus, 1758). It has exceptional variety with every element of the shell variable – and that is what makes it so much fun to collect! These six specimens collected from off of the coast of Negros Island in the Philippines represent only a small sampling of this diverse shell. Just about everything is variable with Canarium urceus – size, shape, body color and pattern, color of aperture, color of lip, depth of stromboid notch, number and size of shoulder nodules, etc. Probably the most common color forms are fawn with white striations or whitish with fawn blotches, however in the market place the pretty pastel colors are seen most, for the obvious reason – they bring the best prices! Black and deep brown are also choice.

Canarium urceus is widespread and common throughout the Pacific Ocean, living in colonies and as typical of all Strombus, found among the sea grasses in moderately shallow water.

The winner will have a nice starter set of little bear conchs. With little difficulty one can assemble a collection of about two dozen different shells. To get a fuller idea of just how variable this shell is, check out this website:

You might be amazed!

Set of shells donated by Richard Kent.