Caribbean Queen Conch

  • The “queen” conch is a large edible sea snail, a type of marine mollusk.

  • Conchs are native to the coasts of the Caribbean, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.

  • Conchs are herbivores – they eat algae and other tiny marine plants.

  • The conch’s main predators include loggerhead turtles, nurse sharks, other snail species, blue crabs, eagle rays, spiny lobsters, and other crustaceans.

  • Male and female conchs copulate to reproduce. Mating aggregations can have hundreds or even thousands of individuals.

  • Female conchs lay hundreds of thousands of tiny eggs in a sandy egg mass. The larvae emerge after 5 days and may drift on ocean currents for up to a month before settling in suitable habitat on the sea floor.

  • During the first year of life, conchs live under the sand during the day and come out to feed on the surface of the sand at night.

  • It may take a queen conch at least 5 years to reach maturity.

  • At this stage in life they have a very hard flared lip and can reproduce.

  • The queen conch lives an average of 7 years, but are known to live as long as 20 – 30 years.

  • Conchs produce natural pearls that come in a range of hues, including white, brown, orange and pink.

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