Growth, morphological variations in the shell, and biological data of the conch (“Cobo”) Strombus gigs L. (Mollusca, Mesogastropoda)

The present study was undertaken in nine locations along the north coast of Havana province; at the reefs located east and south of Batabano Gulf, Jardines de la Reina Archipelago and Cabo Crue (west coast of Oriente); in the period between May 1972 and May 1974.

The investigation deals with the influence of the environment on the growth rate of the queen conch (Strombus gigas, Linnaeus).  Observed growth rates are between 4 and 8cm per year. Shallow waters (less than 2m deep) are better fit for rapid development. The morphology of the shell changes, according to the intensity of growth: large, light shells with numerous short spines and well defined spiral markings, are evidence of rapid growth. Growth is positively correlated with final size of the shell and negatively correlated with duration of the development period (juvenile stage).

Measures of population abundance, patterns of distribution and habitat characteristics are given. The preliminary values of the mortality coefficient are between 1.01 and 1.90.  Other biological data are also given. 

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