Strombus canarium, commonly known as the dog conch, is a species of edible sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Strombidae, the true conchs. An Indo-Pacific species, S. canarium lives on mud and sandy bottoms, grazing on algae and detritus. The shell of adult individuals is colored light yellowish-brown to golden to gray. It has a characteristic inflated body whorl, a flared and thick outer lip, and a shallow stromboid notch. Although it is considered to have value as an ornament, because the shell is heavy and compact it is also often used as sinker for fishing nets.
The external anatomy of the soft parts of this species is similar to that of other strombid snails; the animal has an elongate snout, thin eyestalks with well-developed eyes and sensory tentacles, and a narrow, strong foot with a sickle-shaped operculum attached. Among the predators of this snail are carnivorous gastropods such as cone snails and volutes, as well as humans, who consume the soft parts in a wide variety of dishes.
The dog conch is an economically important species in the Indo-West Pacific, and several studies indicate that it may be currently suffering population declines due to overfishing and overexploitation. Malacologists and ecologists have recommended the reduction of the current exploitation rates; recent initiatives in Thailand are attempting to ensure the reproduction of younger individuals, as well as managing the natural populations in general. (Read more...)