The Queen Conch ecosystem
The Caribbean has its own ecosystem. Amongst what can be considered as a hostile environment, the Queen Conch has its own position. Considered as a specialist, the Strombus Gigas eats primarily algal and detritus. As adults in large number, they can have a major influence on benthic productivity processes. For example, young individuals feeding on seagrass remains seagrass epiphytes and macroalgae. It plays an important role in regulating the abundance of seagrass detritus. Therefore the Queen Conch population has a direct influence on the overall structure of the macrofaunal communities. In other words, the Queen Conch takes part in the cleaning process of the Caribbeans water. In addition, it plays an important role in the regulation of the food available for other species.
As a key species in the scheme of marine biodiversity and marine dynamics, there are several predators of the Queen Conch. It includes first of all the tulip snail (Fasciolaria tulipa) and the apple murex (Phyllonotus pomon). Also, other carnivorous species such as octopus (Octupus vulgaris), spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), old wife (Balistes vetula). And finally spotted eagle ray (Aerobatus Narinari), tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvieri), nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum) and loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta). The shell is its major defense system, with its strong foot, allowing the mollusk to move easily on the bottom of the ocean.
A queen conch, Lobatus gigas, grazes on seagrass in The Bahamas.