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All You Ever Wanted to Know About the Queen Conch, from Gestation to Gastronomy

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Conch Recipes | Key West Conch Farm | Queen Conch Information | Conch Jewelry
Conch Cultured in Captivity | Wild Conch Spawning News | Conch Republic | Conch Pictures

There once was a conch from Belize,
who lead a short life of ease.
In a turtle grass bed,
all day he just fed,
and did whatever he pleased.
Richard S. Appeldoorn

Queen Conch Pictures

Pronounced "konk"

Pink Conch Queen Conch
Conch viewed from below.

Queen Conch viewed from above
Large adult Conch viewed from above. This may be what you might see while diving.

Queen Conch Roller - Young
A young conch often referred to as a "roller" since without the large adult "lip" on the shell these conch will roll in the surf.

Strombus Conch Veliger - Planktonic stage
Conch Veliger, the planktonic stage of the conch.

Conch Shell with Hermit Crab
A conch shell which has been taken over with a LARGE hermit crab.

Conch Shell Horn

Conch Shell Horn

The crown, spiral tip, has been sliced off of the Conch shell to create a unique instrument which produces a very loud noise which will carry over great distances. I know of one used to call the children home for dinner!

The Key West Conch Shell Blowing Contest was created in 1962 as an integral part of Old Island Days, a culture and heritage celebration established by the Old Island Restoration Foundation. Musical ability is not a requirement in the annual "conch honk." Instead, sounds are judged on their quality, duration, loudness and novelty. Some sounds are novel indeed, resembling bleats or squawks. A few entrants, however, manage impressive displays of mollusk musicianship. Retired teacher Kathe Betz of Milwaukee captured first place in the 2002 contest by using double- and triple-tonguing techniques to tootle her way through a portion of the "William Tell Overture."

Conch Tools

These Conch tools were left by a little-known Native American group who occupied the Rio Grande Delta at the extreme southern tip of Texas during the time period of A.D. 1100-1700.

Conch Shell Tools
These shell projectile tips were fashioned out of the columella, or central column, of the conch shell. In the Rio Grande Delta, shell was used to make many tools that were ordinarily made of stone in inland areas of Texas

Conch Shell Jewelry
These pendants were also made of conch shell columellas.

Conch Pearls

Queen Conch Shell Pink Pearls
The pink or conch pearl is produced by the Queen Conch. Conch pearls are porcelain-like, have a silky glimmer and in most cases a wavy pattern. If the bright points are looked at through a magnifying glass, you will see closed structures which resemble little flames. The colors range from a whitish yellow to a pale or bright pink. Conch pearls are extremely rare.

Click here for some beautiful Conch Jewelry.

Other Conchs

Horse Conch

Horse Conch

Pleuroploca gigantea - Not a Strombus Conch. The State shell of Florida. Found mostly in bays on grass flats they can also be found along the Gulf. Quite a large shell they can reach up to 24"
Hawkwing Conch

Hawk Wing Conch Shell

Strombus raninus. This thick shell features darker colors on the exterior and a reddish aperture. Common from S.E. Florida to Brazil in shallow water. Measures approx 2.5".
Florida Fighting Conch

Florida Fighting Conch Shell

Strombus alatus. Despite its agressive name, the fighting conch is a vegetarian. Range from North Carolina around Florida to Texas. Found on sand and gravel in shallow waters. Measures approx 3".
Rooster Tail Conch

Rooster Tail Conch Shell

Strombus gallus. Found offshore to 30 feet from Florida to Brazil. Measures approx 5".
Crown Conch

Crown Conch

The crown conch is not a "Strombus" conch, Melongena corona is a shallow water gastropod that lives in colonies on muddy sand in quiet bays and lagoons, usually in the shade of mangrove trees or along the edges of smooth cordgrass marshes. In areas with more wave action they grow smaller spines with some local colonies developing smooth shells.

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