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Species / Tricornis Oldi

Tricornis Oldi


Original Description of Strombus oldi by Emerson, 1965, p. 398:

  • "Adult shell 95 to 112 mm. (about 3 3/4 to 4 1/2 inches ) in length, solid, moderately heavy, with a dark-brown stain within the aperture and with 8 to 10 strong, nodular raised ribs between the anal and siphonal canals on the back of the outer lip. Color of shell is whitish with a pattern of narrow axial bands of yellowish brown on ventral portion of the body whorl and with an overlay of yellowish brown interrupted by the ribs and nodules on the dorsum. Whorls number 7 to 10; nuclear whorls are worn off. Post-nuclear whorls are ornamented by numerous, low, whitish knobs on the periphery and are colored with axial blotches between the knobs and on the concave portions of the whorls. The knobs are more prominent on the later whorls and are largest on the body whorl, which is also ornamented on the dorsum with numerous rows of smaller spiral ridges, two of which possess rounded beads. Between the spiral ridges are fine spiral threads. Parietal wall is weakly glazed. Columella is stained with dark-brown and is smooth except for three small plications at the upper end of the columella, adjacent to the anal canal. Interior of the outer lip is thickened in the region where the previous lip terminated. Siphonal canal is short, relatively broad and slightly twisted to the right. Stromboid notch is moderately deep and is slightly flaring to the right. Operculum, periostracum and soft parts are unknown."

Locus typicus: Mogadiscio, Republic of Somalia

Types: The type locality is “Mogadiscio, Republic of Somalia.” It was obtained by M. Ramazzotti, and given to the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (no. 299730) by Mrs. Orville Davis. Paratypes, all from the vicinity of Obbia, are in the American Museum of Natural History (New York); AMNH nos. 97346, 97346a, and 97346b (immature ) .

History and Synonymy

Tricornis oldi (Emerson, 1965: 397) (Strombus (Tricornis) oldi)

Specimens from private collections

Tricornis oldi Emerson, 1965; Somalia, Indian Ocean; 130 mm; Coll. Christian Börnke

Tricornis oldi Emerson, 1965; Mogadishu, Banaadir Region, Somalia, Indian Ocean; t: 117 mm, b: 112 mm; Coll. Christian Börnke

Tricornis oldi Emerson, 1965; Ras Hafun, Bari Region, Puntland State, Somalia, Indian Ocean; 113 mm; 1988; Coll. Chong Chen
Comment Chong Chen:

  • The "Bill Old's Conch" is one of the greatest collector's items in Strombidae. Characterised by a chocolate stripe inside the apertute, it is endemic to Somalia and Oman where it is rarely found in shallow water. It was named after Bill Old (then scientific assistant at AMNH), probably the first person to notice its scientific novelty, by his supervisor Dr William K. Emerson. It is very variable in lip development and most specimens are quite worn. Perfect specimens are still very scarce even today.

Strombus oldi Emerson, 1965; Somalia; live taken, subadult(?); 122 mm; 1986; Coll. Koenraad De Turck


  • Anonymous, 1998. A partial list of scientific and nature books illustrated by Anthony D'Attilio; The Festivus, XXX(1): 20,21, Fulltext
  • Emerson, 1965
  • Harry G.Lee, 1998. Strombus oldi- A Retrospective; Shell-O-Gram, Official Publication of the Jacksonville Shell Club, Inc., [Fulltext->]]

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