7960676689?profile=originalFlorida fighting conch: This thick, shiny shell can reach just over 4 inches, and varies in color from milky white to amber to dark caramel. The inside is likely to be brown or deep purple.

7960677671?profile=originalCommon nutmeg: The exterior of this sturdy shell is etched with vertical ribs and revolving grooves, creating a crosshatched texture. It can measure up to almost 2 inches and has a surface color of white, pale yellow or orange with blotchy, orangish-brown bands.

7960677489?profile=originalFlorida prickly cockle: Slightly oval in shape, this shell has about 30 deeply chiseled ribs covered with scoop-shaped scales, giving it a prickly appearance. Its exterior is cream mottled with tan or purplish brown; its interior is salmon to reddish purple. It can measure up to 2.7 inches.

7960678066?profile=originalShark’s eye: The color of this smooth, dome-shaped shell varies, but it is often grayish brown with a swirl of blue in the center that resembles an eye. The shell’s diameter can reach about 3 inches.

7960678083?profile=originalCommon jingle: Translucent, with an irregular round shape, these shells are made almost entirely of mother-of-pearl. They measure 1 to 2 inches in diameter and can be found in a variety of colors, including white, silver-gray, yellow and orange.

7960677900?profile=originalAtlantic kitten paw: These thick, flat shells have six to 10 radial ribs that resemble the toe joints of a kitten’s paw. They are usually white to gray, except for their orange ribs, and can be just over 1 inch long.

7960678473?profile=originalBanded tulip: It has a softly rounded spindle shape and is noted for the distinct dark reddish brown spiral lines on its main body whorl, which is typically ivory or bluish gray with orange or gray splotches. The shell may reach a length of about 4 inches.

7960678274?profile=originalEastern auger (aka common American auger): This elongated, cone-shaped shell can reach about 2.5 inches in length. In between each of its 15 or so whorls are beaded spiral bands. Colors may be tan, gray or off-white.

7960678490?profile=originalArk shell: These rounded, thick, ribbed shells are among the most common whole shells on beaches. They are in a variety of species, ranging from 1 to 4.5 inches.

7960678100?profile=originalStiff pen shell: This thin-walled, fan-shaped shell has 15 to 20 broad ribs with tubular spines. The shell can be up to 12 inches long.

7960678294?profile=originalLettered olive: This glossy, cylindrical shell is covered with brown zigzag markings that look vaguely like letters of the alphabet. Shaped like an elongated olive, it can measure up to almost 3 inches in length and ranges in color from white (rare) to brownish gray.

7960678672?profile=originalLightning whelk: This shell is easy to identify because, unlike most other marine snails, it has a left-handed opening. It can grow to 16 inches in length and is characteristically grayish-white, tan or creamy yellow, with young shells having brown vertical streaks that resemble lightning bolts.

7960679291?profile=originalVariable coquina: These diminutive, wedge-shaped shells come in a rainbow of glossy shades that are either solid or marked with concentric bands and rays. Measuring no more than 1 inch, they are also known as butterfly shells for the way they look when they open, with two halves joined by their hinge. 

7960678698?profile=originalAtlantic slipper snail: The underside of this shell has a white shelf with an indented edge that creates a slipper-like appearance. The shell’s apex is bent to one side, and its smooth exterior can be yellow, cream, brownish or gray, often with longitudinal streaks. It reaches up to 2.5 inches.

7960679682?profile=originalKeyhole urchin (or sand dollar): The sand dollar is not a shelled mollusk, but beachgoers love to find the white skeleton this sea urchin leaves behind after it dies.

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Saturday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
Thursday
Pippi posted an event
May 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a blog post
May 3
Pippi posted an event
May 3
Mary Kate Leming posted a photo
May 3
More…