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Posted: Dec 26 2010

Charonia variegata (Lamarck, 1816), Atlantic Trumpet Triton

CLICK HERE for video of live C. variegata. Zante, Greece

CLICK HERE for more video of C. variegata eating starfish. SORRY! I didn't check this second video closely. The action is in Hawaii and the shell is the Pacific C. tritonis Linné, 1758. However, I'm leaving it up as it is terrific.

12/26/10 Post on Conch-L:

"This is a shell everyone knows. However, for this very reason I can address it quickly and pop out a presentation on a cold day with everyone out for the day but me. So, here it is and, I hope, with some information and photos about C. variegata you may not have seen, including two wonderful videos."

Reader comments:

Jim Brunner, Florida Panhandle, reported:

"Also found in the northern GOM (Gulf of Mexico) off PC (Panama City)at depths of 120 feet+"

Paul Kanner pointed out:

"In the video of the Triton eating a Crown of Thorns starfish, it appears to to be a Charonia tritonis rather than a variegata. The flared outer lip looks more like tritonis. Still it is a much appreciated presentation." (Note: error noted above with link.)

Harry Lee, author of Marine Shells of Northeast Florida 2009, commented and also noted the video error:

"Great job. I like the close-ups of the early shell.

The vivid vermilion protoconch is so stunning (and allometric vs. the teleoconch) that I'm surprised that it wasn't named as a separate species as was the case with the confamilial western Atlantic:

Cymatium aquatile (Reeve, 1844): Rissoa cruzensis Nowell-Usticke, 1969,
Cymatium martinianum (d’Orbigny, 1847): Litiopa effusa C.B. Adams 1850, and
Cymatium parthenopeum (von Salis Marschlins, 1793): Dissentoma prima Pilsbry, 1945.

I think the Charonia in the videos is C. tritonis (Linnaeus, 1758)."

12/28 Marcus Coltro, FEMORALE.COM,

"We have two distinct forms in Brazil - the regular shouldered form from North Brasil, a heavy and thick shell reaching over 300mm and a Southern form, found mainly off Rio de Janeiro - a much lighter, elongated shell. It is usually darker too."

















12/29 Harry asked of Marcus:

"The southern form has an uncanny resemblance to Charonia tritonis (Linnaeus, 1758). How do you distinguish between these two?"

Emilio F Garcia, Lafayette, LA, reported:

"The "southern form" shown by Marcus is not restricted to that area of Brazil. I have "slim" specimens from the offshore islands of Central America. Although most of the specimens I have seen represent rather young shells, I have a 12" specimen from the island of Guanaja, Islas de la Bahía, Honduras that perfectly fits the bill.

By the way, I have three records of Charonia variegata from off Louisiana. They were collected in 1971, 2001 and 2010 so they are not really jumping in the dredge. The three specimens are empty baby shells (about 2")."

3/3/16  Rusty posted:

To me all the tritons are rare on treasure coast much rarer than lions paws or intact murexs. Never ever finds broken pieces and I have found plenty of whelks, tuns, tulips pieces.

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