Lambis crocata (Link, 1807)
in sea grasses 15-20 meters
Kinbu Bay, Okinawa, Japan
The Spider Conchs are a small genus in the Strombidae family all of which inhabit the tropical seas of the Indo-Pacific region. The genus – Lambis – originally had the exotic name of Pterocera, so today Pterocera crocata Link, 1807 is now Lambis crocata Link, 1807.
An interesting feature of this genus is that the species have different numbers of fingers or arms or whatever one chooses to call the appendages that distinguish the spider conchs from the true conchs
Lambis crocata has the common name of Orange Spider Conch although the shell is rarely orange in color; the common color being tan or beige, but they do have an orange or peach colored aperture.
Lambis crocata has long, curved and delicate appendages making it one of the most attractive species of the genus. It is quite different from the large and heavy chunky, bland Lambis truncata Lightfoot, 1786 that has little interest to most collectors. There is a rare and expensive subspecies named Lambis crocata pilsbryi Abbott, 1961that has exceptionally long arms and is spectacular in appearance.
Most of the spider conchs are common, crocata being scarce, however the beautiful and prized Lambis violacea Swainson, 1821 is quite rare and very costly making it near impossible to collect the the complete genus.
Our specimen is very attractive, orangish is color with an intricate pattern on the dorsum and long graceful fingers. It is close to gem in quality, collected from a desirable location. Donated from the collection of Richard Kent.