Conus haytensis (Sowerby I, 1850)

Conus haytensis var. gurabensis (Maury, 1917)




In terms of shell characters, C. haytensis may be easily confused with the fossil species C. sewalli, but these two species have very different coloration patterns. Tucker and Tenorio assigned C. haytensis to the genus Pyruconus Olsson, 1967. Puillandre et al., however, showed that “Pyruconus” is paraphyletic,  as the two extant species —C. patricius Hinds, 1843 and C. fergusoni Sowerby III, 1873, both of which are from the eastern Pacific— assigned to this genus-level grouping by Tucker and Tenorio nest in different clades. Nevertheless, Puillandre et al. assigned both species to Pyruconus (ranked at the subgeneric-level) “to avoid the creation of a new subgeneric name” (p. 12) (1).

Conus haytensis is more similar to C. fergusoni than to C. patricius. As C. patricius is the type species of Pyruconus, C. fergusoni and C. haytensis should probably be assigned to a different subgenus of cone snails; nevertheless, the paraphyletic subgenus name “Pyruconus” is used here for consistency with Tucker and Tenorio and Puillandre et al. until this taxonomic matter can be formally resolved (1).

Specimen PRI 67555 (Fig. 18F) may be a fragment of a much larger specimen of C. haytensis than the other specimens shown here (C. haytensis is one of the largest species of fossil cone snails known from the Dominican Republic). If so, its secondary coloration pattern shows variation not exhibited by the other, smaller specimens: rows of spiral dots and dashes, with unpigmented regions in-between (1).





Conus haytensis

Santo Domingo


Fig 18. Conus (“Pyruconus”) haytensis Sowerby I, 1850 (1)

All specimens are from locality station TU 1215 (Gurabo Fm.)


(A-C) PRI 67552, SL 30.2 mm;

(D) PRI 67551, SL 27.9 mm;

(E) PRI 67554, SL 21.2 mm;

(F) Conus haytensis?, PRI 67555, fragment is 33.6 mm in length.



Conus haytensis var. gurabensis (Maury, 1917)



Shell large, solid; whorls about ten, the first three smooth, the two and a half following sculptured with many vertical, subequal riblets, interrupted by six small varices. The riblets and varices are crossed by close-set, fine revolving threads forming a somewhat cancellated ornamentation, quite different from the coronated spire of typical haytensis. The riblets then become obsolete, and the following three and a half whorls are ornamented only with the fine, delicate, sharply defined spirals. These decrease from fifteen or more and tend to become obsolete, so that the summit of the last whorl retains traces of only about five. 

Greatest diameter of shell 47 mm. 

Locality. — (Exp'd '16) Zone B, Rio Gurabo at Los Quemados.



Conus haytensis gurabensis (2)

Plate 4, fig. 9

mm. 47

Santo Domingo




Bibliografia Consultata


·         (1) - Hendricks (2015) Glowing Seashells: Diversity of Fossilized Coloration Patterns on Coral Reef-Associated Cone Snail (Gastropoda: Conidae) Shells from the Neogene of the Dominican Republic

·         (2) - Maury, C. J., 1917. Santo Domingo Type Sections and Fossils. Bulletins of American Paleontology, 5 (29 )