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Collecting seashells on the beaches of Sanibel, Captiva and the world

Colorful Juvenile Milk Conch On Sanibel

jane with juvenile milk conch sanibel beach

As Jane and I walked all along West Gulf Drive after those cold (down to 37 degrees!) winds came through this past week, I heard her say “Whoa!” then bend down to pick up a shell. She found a JUVENILE MILK CONCH!

jane holding juvenile Strombus costatus

A MILK CONCH is very unusual to find here on Sanibel since it’s a caribbean shell.

jane juvenile milk conch

Look how colorful it still is!

jane juvenile milk conch aperture

If you remember, Beach Girl Robyn found an adult MILK CONCH along the same beach in September and I said the same…. “Unusual”. Maybe I should say it’s a “rare” find here instead. To find it here, it’s way more rare than finding a JUNONIA! In any case, this 5 inch shell a fantastic find.

5 inch juvenile milk conch sanibel florida

So then we keep walking and she’s about 5 paces ahead of me. I see her run and pick up something else in a hurry. She yells “Aha! A SCOTCH BONNET!”. What???

Strombus costatus and Semicassis granulata

Yes, my buddy Jane also found a perfect SCOTCH BONNET right in front of me. I felt like I was walking with Clark for goodness sakes! Heehee. No, really….we were both ecstatic.

Jane scotch bonnet

Note to self: Never let Jane walk in front of me while we are shelling together. Ha!

jane scotch bonnet aperture

 We also met SS Jenny (Shelling Sister) sifting through a sweet honey hole where she was finding oodles of FIGHTING CONCHS, WHELKS and OLIVES. She got out there before sunrise and used her iLS lighted cap she got for Christmas! Right after I took this picture she found two ALPHABET CONES in the same spot. Weehoo! She had no trouble finding the Sanibel Six many times over.

Jenny Iowa shelling sanibel

Congrats to Jane and Jenny on your seaside treasure trove!

 Sanibel shell beach


  1. I look at the pictures of all of the beautiful shells on here almost everyday! We are coming down in June for 2 weeks and I am so excited, it will be our first trip to Sanibel. All of these pictures keep reminding me that it may be time to relocate to Southwest Florida :-)

  2. Mom found three–count em three! bonnets at the 10 spot the other day! And I’ve renamed her the cone queen because she finds at least one alpha every time she goes! Love that milk conch! Hope to see you soon!

    • What is the “10 spot” ?
      Lee in MI

      • Hi Pam what is the 10 spot?

        The mermaid & three of her daughters are coming for the shell festival. Can’t wait hope to see you then.??

  3. We’re heading out to Blind Pass in a few … mainly to stretch our legs … but you never know what treasures we’ll find there.

  4. Awesome finds all the way around :-)

  5. Thanks for your awesome blog. I’m from a land-locked state in the West, my and my first adventure in shelling came this past Fall during a trip to the East Coast. I found your blog while trying to figure out how to clean the few shells I found at Cape Cod (unfortunately, I didn’t find many). I have been following your blog ever since and love it. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures, information, and tips with us. I’m excited to say that because of your blog, I’ve planned and booked a trip to Sanibel next month. (Unfortunately, I now realize that I’ve planned it for when there isn’t a full moon.) I’m really looking forward to the trip and hope to see you on the beach!!

    • You will have an awesome trip. We have been there numerous times when there is not a full moon and we always find treasures!!

      Have fun!

      • Oh, I’m so glad to hear that! I’m so excited – thank you!

      • my friend and I shelled at low tide and visited the Bailey Matthews shell museum at high tide. Fill a cooler with snacks and use bug repellent for the noseeums.

        • Like. (sure wish i had a ‘Like” button)

  6. GREAT finds!! Woo hoo!! I bet everyone was so excited!

  7. My goodness, West Gulf Drive is delivering the goods again! Mmmmm, that looks like a really nice shell pile! I wish teleportation had already been invented, I wouldn’t mind a nice beach walk right now!

    • If teleportation were reality, we’d all beam into Sanibel at least daily to get our shelling fix!

      • AMEN!!!

  8. What great finds! Love that shell pile. I agree,Susan. Beam me to Sanibel, Scotty!

  9. Wow! That is incredible. I shelled here yesterday for 4 hours. Gor some very nice things but not like that. Thinking of doing the two hour drive in the am. How is the red tide I saw mentioned the other day can anyone please tell me before 6 a.m.?

    So ready for a Sanible seashell run.

    Thnak you very much.


  10. Yum, that scotch bonnet looks good enough to eat! Gorgeous! Me thinks that the 10 spot is in insider place to shell.

    • On Pam’s sidebar look for the post – Little Hickory.

      • Oho, Bonita Springs! Thanks for clearing that up, AntKaybe!

  11. we stayed at Pointe Santo last week where I was very glum about the scarcity of shell after that big blow from the northwest. After the grandchildren went home we moved to a smaller place on middle Gulf Drive above Rabbit Road. The shelling has been great!!! If my feet were not so water logged I’d be dancing on air.!!

    • Sue – By any chance were you at Mitchell’s Sandcastles? We are going to be there in March and I am wondering how it is since we have never stayed there before?

  12. You’ve had so many incredible finds…makes me wish I lived closer. I posted about a heart I found on the beach and have had a lot of questions about it. I think it’s a rock but I hope you can stop by and see what you think! Thanks! ♥

  13. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I was getting so many questions about my heart! Hugs! ♥♥♥

  14. WOW!! A couple of great finds! I really must hav ebeen at the wrong beach the couple of times I have been there! I especially like the scotch bonnet…beautiful!!

  15. Nice milk conch. That is a real treat. Nice find.

  16. Now why do I live in MN? Ugh!! I am so sad that I’m not there!!

  17. Hi Avid Shellers,

    I’m heading down to Sanibel on January 20th…and i’m a little nervous about the red tide…especially for my mother who has some health problems.

    Can anyone give me a current update on how the beaches are down there?…and if they have been safe/non-irritating to the eyes/lungs?


  18. Pam and Jane,
    It was so great to meet you both out on the beach the other day. I have to say that was the best shelling day for me. I ended up finding a total of 4 alpha cones that day, no digging required!! : ) I did find a scotch bonnet on Saturday which I was very excited about, not as pretty as Jane’s but it will be a great treat to have from our trip. This was our first trip to Sanibel and I will say I am now a huge fan of shelling!!! We are definitely coming back, had the best vacation!!

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