Conus (Rhizoconus) mustelinus Hwass in Bruguière, 1792
by native diver in sand patch among coral reef at 5-7m
Off Samar Island, Phillipines
Its attractive coloration and classic cone shape make Conus mustelinus a favorite among collectors. One would think because of its mustard color it would be called the mustard cone, but no, its popular name is ermine cone or weasel cone. We’ll never know what Hwass had in mind when he gave the shell its Latin name!
Conus mustelinus is widespread across the the Western Pacific Ocean. It is easy to collect as it favors shallow water and dwells exposed in the sand at the base of corals.
The shell is solid in color and comes in various shades of mustard with occasional populations greenish or maize. There is a narrow white band about midbody and occasionally a second closer to the shoulder. There are black dots on the edge of the bands and black chevrons on a white crown. The pattern is fairly constant from one to the next, but there is enough variation to make it fun to collect a series Young specimens have a nice gloss, mature ones do not.
This specimen is large in size at approximately 83mm in length. The lip is natural. The shell exhibits the minor scars that one would expect in a fully grown specimen, however the condition is as good as they come. Donated from the collection of Richard Kent.
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