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Aquatic Lambis lambis (Spider Conch)

Hairyman

Ludwig Leichhardt
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Ironbark, SEQ
Scientific Name: Lambis lambis

Common Name: Spider Conch

Order:

Family: Strombidae

Other Names: Spider Shell

Distribution: Indo Pacific and Northern Australia. Marine.

Habitat: On Marine reefs in intertidal zone and to app 5m below.

Identifying Feature: Large marine snail to 200mm+. Very solid with 6/7 spines from flaring outer lip.
Colour varies, usually outer shell is covered in marine growth making them difficult to see.

Field Notes: Herbivorous snail usually found on upper reef at low tide.

Fishing: Collected by Aboriginal people for food.
Shell is placed on coals with opening facing upwards. Animal cooks in its own juice, when liquid has boiled away shell is taken off coals and placed face down on wood or rock. A hole is made in the back of the shell by striking with a rock and the hard foot of the animal is used to pull it out through this hole.
Only the muscle is eaten. Large numbers were eaten in the past forming sizable middens of up to several thousand shells.

Sources: Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambis_lambis
A Handbook to Australian Seashells. B.Wilson

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