Strombus persicus
Swainson, 1821

Relevant Synonyms
Strombus (Conomurex) decorus raybaudii (Nicolay, 1986) [southern coast of Turkey]

Strombus decorus (Röding, 1798)

 photo: S. Gofas / Coll. H. Zibrowius    

Shell biconical, with a moderately high spire and a large body whorl. Spire whorls with a definite keel, which is continued on the body whorl at a short distance from the suture; early whorls also with axial folds. Aperture elongated, posteriorly notched, anteriorly with a subterminal fold near the siphonal canal, and a short, widely open siphonal canal.

color : whitish background, and brown markings organized to form unequal spiral bands.

common size : 35 to 45 (common), to 50 mm (max.).

Among the Mediterranean species, this species only resembles Conus, from which the shells are easily recognized by the wider aperture with an additional notch next to the canal. The Mediterranean immigrant belongs to a difficult Indo-Pacific species complex, which is discussed by Moolenbeek and Dekker, 1993. Crucitti and Rotella (1991) have studied biometrically a population from the Gulf of Iksenderun, and questioned the need for separating the Mediterranean population at the subspecific level.

Larvae are planktotrophic, ensuring long-distance dispersal. All Strombus species are herbivorous, feeding on algae. Studies on the biology of the species along the Syrian coasts showed that it produces as high as 58% of the total community respiration and 75% in total biomass (reaching up to 93%) (Kucheruk and Basin, 1999).

habitat : in the Mediterranean, low-energy environments of shallow bays, on mixed (rock/sand/mud) bottoms.

1st Mediterranean record
Southern Turkey, 1986 [1978].

Worldwide: restricted to the south coast of Arabia and part of the Persian Gulf, whereas the related species Strombus decorus (Röding, 1798) has a broader distribution in the other parts of the Indian Ocean. Mediterranean: recorded first from southern Turkey in 1978 (Nicolay, 1986) as Strombus (Conomurex) decorus raybaudii; successively from Israel (Mienis, 1984); Greece, Rhodes (Verhecken, 1984); Cyprus (Bazzocchi, 1985); Syria (Gosselck et al., 1986); Lebanon (Bogi and Khairallah, 1987); southern Turkey (Crucitti and Rotella, 1991); Greece, south Peloponnese (collected by Enzenross and Enzenross), Argolikos (Zenetos et al., 2002b). An accidental introduction in the Northern Adriatic (De Min and Vio, 1998) is unlikely to establish due to the cold winter conditions.

Locally common or invasive; densities of tens of specimens per m² at some sites are reported by Fishelson (2000) on the Israeli coast.

speculated reasons for success :

Unknown. Accidental. The suggestion (Oliverio, 1995) that Strombus persicus was introduced by ships coming from the Persian Gulf, is plausible but there are doubts over the first site impacted.

Although not currently a widely consumed species, it is potentially interesting as seafood.


  • Crucitti P. and Rotella G., 1991. Una popolazione di Strombus (Conomurex) decorus del Golfo di Iksenderun (Turchia sud-orientale): Biometria e osservazioni ecologiche. Bollettino Malacologico, 26: 211-218.
  • Gosselck F., Spittler P. and Kassab N.Y., 1986. Some gastropods and bivalves of the Syrian Mediterranean coast. Wissenschaftlich Zeitschrift der Wilhelm-Pieck-Universitat Rostock, 35: 96-99.
  • Moolenbeek R.G. and Dekker H., 1993. On the identity of Strombus decorus and Strombus persicus, with the description of Strombus decorus masirensis n. ssp. and a note on Strombus fasciatus. Vita Marina, 42(1): 3-10.


  • Nicolay K., 1986. Nonstop spreading of Mediterranean Strombus. La Conchiglia, 18(202-203): 29.
  • Oliverio M., 1995. The status of the living Mediterranean Strombus, or: What is a lessepsian migrant? Notiziario del CISMA, 16: 35-40.
  • Verhecken A., 1984. Strombus decorus raybaudii in de Middellandse Zee. Gloria Maris, 23(4): 79-88.


Last update : January 2005

©ciesm 2002