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All about pink queen conch, Lobatus gigas.

Updated on August 18, 2012

Lots of avid seashell collectors are somewhat familiar with the pink queen conch or Lobatus gigas known in the scientific community. Like most beginners in beach combing, I would love to get my hands on an adult fully grown queen conch shell. This hub is practically everything you want to know about this animal. Hope you will enjoy.

This animal is a sea snail that uses its shell as a protection. The young queen conch looks nothing like an adult. The shell of this animal will develop into a heavy and solid exterior. The opening is a gorgeous pink color and the shell itself is mostly white with a pink undertone. The Lobatus gigas lives in the tropics and can be found in the Caribbeans.

Lots of seashell collectors love to have the queen conch adult shell in their collections. This shell is very large, heavy and solid. In addition to its sturdiness, it has a gorgeous pink color which adds to the appeal of the shell. However, you shouldn't take the shell from a live animal. It is also important to not fish for young queen conch because it has not reach sexual maturity yet. The younger ones are known as rollers and quite different than its adult counterpart.

Despite its big size and hard exterior, the queen conch is a herbivore and do not consume other sea snails. Lots of other snails are known to hunt the Lobatus gigas. Natives that share its natural habit also consume the meat. When you go to the Caribbeans and other tropical South American coasts, you will find the queen conch meat on the menu. There are several ways in which the meat is prepared. I have attached a youtube video showing you the actual preparation of conch salad for tourists. This is a pretty exotic dish because the conch meat is fresh and raw.

The shell can be used as a decoration for your house. Lots of people love this seashell because of its size, color and shape. Vendors that use this animal for its meat will have lots of shells that they are going to discard. To get to the meat, they will have to sever a muscle from the exterior. You can usually just take the shells for free at those sites. However, you do have to clean the shell yourself to get rid of the fishy smell. I do recommend doing it this way because you are not really taking that animal just for its shell. Other people already enjoyed their meat and you are just taking the leftovers. At least for me, it would be easier for my conscious.

Most people are not very familiar with the conch pearls. These big mollusk will produce pearls. The pearls are absolutely stunning and are various shades of pink. In the Caribbeans, there are specialty shops that sell these beautiful pearls for tourists and locals. However, these pearls are very rare. Only a few animals out of thousands will have a few pearls. If you love pink colored items, the queen conch pearl should be added to your collection.

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    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 

      5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Very interesting - I've walked along the beach at the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and have seen pieces of these kinds of shells, but never a whole one. I guess they wash up from the Caribbean. Pretty amazing.

      Voted up.

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