Pages Navigation Menu

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

Bunch Of Bling At Bunche Beach

Lizbeth angel wings

Me and my blog buddy Lizbeth sloshed around the sand flats at Bunche Beach yesterday looking for ANGEL WINGS. She found about 30 single valves earlier in the week so she wanted to go back to try to find a pair.

angel wings bunche

We found a few more single valves but nope… no pairs like MurexKen and MurexAlice found in November 2010. I think any day you can find one ANGEL WING is a good day but I know she will find a pair some day. She is determined! Did you notice that sweet little ROSE PETAL TELLIN in the photo too? Well, we found quite a few of those too. Here’s my stash…

rose petal tellins bunche

We also found a few MINOR JACKKNIFE CLAMS…

minor jackknife clam

minor jackknife clam

We found more TELLINS too. These look like orange  ROSE PETAL TELLINS (they are the same size) but they also could be CONSTRICTED MACOMA TELLINS. I’ve got a few feelers out there to see if anybody can correctly identify them. So hang on…

telling look like dreamsicle

I know that just looks like “goo” on the inside but it’s really the color of the shell. It looks like it was stained, right? I hope to know soon what they are other than what I’ve been calling them… Dreamsicle Tellins.

UPDATE 6/16: Okay, got a positive identification from Dr Jose Leal from the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum…. it IS a ROSE PETAL TELLIN. Thanks Doc! (but I still think I might call it a Dreamsicle Rose Petal Tellin)

orange tellin seashell

There were also oodles of SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS…

sunray venus buried

Lizbeth found this gorgeous SHARK EYE! Okay, I’ve always called any shell that looks like this a “SHARK’S EYE” but this is actually a FALSE SHARK EYE…

false shark eye

Look at the side view…

false shark eye side

It’s actually a different shell that the ones we find with a rounded top. Susan H showed me this difference last year then commented on a previous post

“Hey Pam. As you probably noticed, that shark’s eye is the “other” species, the high-spired more southerly one that has a much more restricted range, Neverita delessertiana, rather than the low-spired regular shark’s eye which occurs from Massachusetts south, Neverita duplicata. Cool.”

You know I don’t like to get too technical so I took a photo with the two different species side by side so you can see the difference. The one on the right is a Neverita duplicate (SHARK EYE) and the one on the left is a Neverita delessertiana (I’ve see it called a FALSE SHARK EYE). See the difference? I think we should just call the one on the left a SHARK’S POPEYE. LOL

difference Neverita duplicata delessertiana

And how I loved seeing this next creature! It’s a live KINGS CROWN laying eggs! Go Momma! Make more babies!

kings crown laying eggs

Look at the brilliant orange beak on this bird. It’s an AMERICAN OYSTERCATCHER…

American Oystercatcher Fort Myers Florida

I had a wonderful day hanging out with Lizbeth- the girl had my sides splitting ROTFL (I know, I’m not much for those acronyms but they really do explain it sometimes) while we hunted for her WINGS. Good luck in finding your pair!

Bunche Beach Fort Myers Florida


  1. I have always wanted to check Bunche Beach out. I love slogging around in a bay low tide. Every good sheller should keep an old pair of tennies just for the occasion.

  2. Okay – where is Bunche Beach? That looks like fun. I haven’t been by Four Sea Stars in a awhile – Glad to see you on the beach LB!!! My god girl – you are tiny!!!
    And yes, I’ll say it – I am a tad bit jealous!! okay major jealous….I have rocked a bikini in 20 years! LOL

    Pam I hope you and Lizbeth had a fabulous time together. I am impatiently waiting for Oct to roll around.

    Sheri – if you are reading this when are you going?

    • I meant HAVENT rocked ah bikini in 20 years

    • I had a whole comment all made up and one of the kids hit my arm and it went POOF. Oh well…..

      Roxanne, you totally crack me up! I have no doubt you’d rock a bikini. :)

      We leave tomorrow and I’m so bummed. I was thinking of a short and sweet trip in the fall anyway….how cool would it be to meet up? It is so amazing to meet your blog friends in real life and laugh like you’ve know each other for years. Who knew the Internet could be so much fun?

      Pam, I miss you all ready.


      • Oh – if you make a trip in fall try to make it for Oct 7-13 or whenever your kids fall break is ….duh…anyway that is ours here in KY. So that is when I will be there.

        I love your blog (even though I myself am childless) you always crack me up. I love the way you write.

        Fingers crossed for fall!!

  3. Pam – I was looking in the shop for a lighted ball cap and don’t see one – do you still carry those? It will be legal in Oct and I’d like one.

  4. Pam, where did you guys go on Bunche Beach? Did you follow John Morris Rd. til it ended? I can’t check in to the condo until 3 and I get in to RSW at 10:30, so I thought that’d be a good place for a shelling warmup. :)

    • Yes Joan (and to Roxanne), that’s exactly how you get to Bunche Beach in Fort Myers- head towards Sanibel on Summerlin Rd and take a left on John Morris and go to the end. They’ve made the parking a little better now and you can rent kayaks there too. It would be the perfect place to stop and wade around but don’t forget to look for minis. Take a look at this other blog post about Bunche Beach from about 6 months ago…

      Roxanne, there is a tab on top of the blog that says “Shop”- thats still the merchandise I have and I will ship out. the link is I don’t have that many lighted caps left so it’s “while supplies last” lol. I’ve had a hard time shipping so thats why I had to switch to my new shop (doesn’t have the lighted caps unfortunately) but I have some cute stuff in there and more variety!! Thank you for asking about the shop!!!! xo

      • Pam. Thank you for the link to the hat. I couldn’t find it on my own. Placed my order. I have the tote and a hoodie already. Will keep adding to my collection as time goes on. Must have iloveshelling gear for my Sanibel visit!!!!


        • Thank You Roxanne! Got the order (and thank you so much for the others too)! And Moira too! whoop whoop! I only have 3 lighted caps left now so they’ll be gone soon.

  5. The sharks eye….whether false or not….is gorgeous!!!

  6. Nice images! Great oystercatcher! I saw one walking down the beach at Long Beach, Long Island here in NY last year, in between all the people. I never saw one there before. The seagulls were looking at him with an expression that seemed to say, “Who the heck are you, and what do you think you are doing here??” He turned and walked towards them in a tough manner, and they backed off right away. Oystercatchers are amazing-looking birds I think.

    • I don’t ever remember seeing one here before either.

      • I think maybe they are more often seen in the back bays, which is apparently where they nest.

    • Susan – Just a note to say good luck tomorrow. I was going to take the train up and stop in to see you at the museum. But, after realizing that I’d have to take the subway too, I changed my mind. I don’t get into NY that often so I guess I’m just chicken. :) Please let us know what the most unusual or difficult thing was to identify.

      • Thanks Katherine, you are kind, and maybe on Sunday I will drop a line here saying a little about what people brought in.

        You know, the subway these days is not scary like it used to be in the 1980s, it’s pretty civilized. And always feel free to ask me how to get somewhere, although Google maps is probably even better than I am for advice! :)

        • Maybe one day I’ll have to try it. For now, it is just trains and walking.

          I look forward to hearing about Saturday. I’m sure it will be interesting.

          • Well… I did have a good time today working ID-Day at the American Museum of Natural History. I got to meet Donna who you have all read posts from on this blog. Donna lives on Long Island and came in to Manhattan to meet me and bring me some shells to ID. She’s a really good sheller with a keen eye! She had found some things locally (here in NY) which impressed me a lot, plus some nice Sanibel items and a few very cool things from Massachusetts.

          • How fun for you both to meet- Now I’m the jealous one! I’m sure you both had a blast getting to meet- you didn’t happen to get a photo, did you?

          • It was such a huge pleasure to meet you today, Susan!! You are so friendly and super knowledgeable!! I learned a whole lot! It was so fun, ‘talking shop’!! Hope to see you again !!

          • Hi Pam, I did get a picture!! I can put it up on the ILS FB page!

          • Donna, tell me again where the beach was in Massachusetts? Was it Plum Island?

          • Hi Susan, it was Plum Island beach in Newburyport, mass.

          • Oh… also I just wanted to tell Katherine Haskins that the Manhattan buses are really pleasant to ride, and on the northbound Avenues (like for example 8th Avenue), most of the buses go straight up that Avenue for a long way, so you could easily take a bus up to AMNH from Grand Central or Penn Station.

            If you are not sure which bus to take, you can always ask the bus driver, “Does this go up to 79th Street? I’m going to the Natural History Museum.” Most bus drivers are very nice and will tell you which bus to take if theirs is not the right one.

          • The bus sounds like a good idea. I’ll try it next time. Sounds like you had a great day and fun meeting Donna. Let us know if you do this again.

          • Hi Katherine,

            The AMNH museum will have ID Day again next year, actually every year, at about the same time. I should certainly be there, manning a “Mollusks” table again, unless by some chance I have a previous major commitment. If I remember, I will try to mention the AMNH’s ID-Day on Pam’s blog again in June next year.

            If I can’t be there for whatever reason, unfortunately there is no-one else who is prepared to staff the table, as AMNH doesn’t have a Malacology Department any more.

      • Perhaps the most unusual thing was this: Donna had an extremely beautiful little (about an inch long) scallop valve in perfect condition (from Massachusetts) that was almost smooth, no ribbing on it, and was dark pink with radial rays of an even darker pink. That was quite a puzzle to me. After a while I realized it must be a juvenile of the really large sea scallop, Placopecten magellanicus, a scallop that occurs from Newfoundland to North Carolina and is is fished commercially in New England. That species gets as large as 9 inches across the shell (!) but is usually about 6 inches across as an adult.

        In an adult the shell margin is almost perfectly circular, but Donna’s juvenile valve was longer and more narrow in shape than that. However it is not that uncommon for juvenile shells in general to be a slightly different shape from adults.

        here’s a couple of links about the sea scallop

        Here on the coast in NY I have only once found a broken piece of an adult shell of that species, because it lives in deeper water, so to find such a perfect and pretty juvenile on the beach is unusual I think. :)

        • Thanks Susan, I posted pics of all the shells you identified for me, including the scallop, on the I love shelling facebook page. You’re the best!! :)

          • Oh I now have to confess that I am not on Facebook and neither is my hubbie, so I can’t see your images there! The DH signed up to FB a couple months ago and got fed up with it, so we signed off again.

          • I love all of your comments!!! And no worries, Susan, I’ll send you the photos she posted on Facebook.

          • Oh… we should tell Pam about the lady who looked at that very nice shell guide sheet from the Sanibel museum, pointed to one shell and asked us: “Tell me, where can I find THAT shell???”

            Donna and I fell about laughing and told her, “Ah, that’s what WE want to know too!”. No prizes for guessing which shell the lady meant!

            But after that we did explain to her that everyone wants that one and it’s terribly hard to find. You have to be both lucky and persistent.

            I told her that maybe once each day someone finds one, but there are hundreds or maybe thousand of people looking all the time, and we all want one!

          • Susan, that lady was so funny! It was classic that as soon as she asked about the ‘you-know-what’, you and I just looked at each other and started laughing….that lady sure had good taste in shells!!

          • She had never even seen a picture of one before and had no idea what it was, but right away she wanted one!!! Everyone wants that elusive Junonia! :)

            I told that lady that if she really wants to be sure she has one, she’d better go to Sanibel and buy one in a shell shop! Don’t hold your breath on finding one yourself! A lot of people have looked for many years and not found one.

            Some other people of course like Super Sheller Clark have found more than their fair share!!! :D

          • She had never even seen a picture of one before and had no idea what it was, but right away she wanted one!!! Everyone wants that elusive Junonia! :)

            I told that lady that if she really wants to be sure she has one, she’d better go to Sanibel and buy one in a shell shop! Don’t hold your breath on finding one yourself! A lot of people have looked for many years and not found one.

            Some other people of course like Super Sheller Clark have found more than their fair share!!! :D

  7. Wow, I never knew that there were differences in these Mooon Snails. Oh, just for the record, maybe you would like to check out this species, Polinices didyma or Ball Moon Snail. It looks highly similar to the Shark’s Eye just that smaller! Haha, when I first saw your blog I aactually thought that the Shark’s Eye’s were some new invasive species and went to check it out on the net only to find out its a different species… :( Haha, cool Rose Petal tellins you have there! :)

    • Worldwide there’s really a lot of different species of moon snails that look quite similar to one another. The ball moon snail is an Indo-Pacific species.

      As for the two similar species that occur on Sanibel, they weren’t officially recognized as different until 2006. There’s a lot of good info them here:

      • Yup! I live in Singapore so all the shells we find are Indo-Pacific ones. :) Haha, it seems funny that there seem to be an Indo-Pacific version of the Caribbean shells that are found along Sanibel. :) Thanks so much for the information Susan! :)

        • You would be surprised: once you know one tropical (or subtropical) fauna pretty well, you can usually notice some similar species in almost any tropical fauna anywhere around the world. I noticed for example that in Pam’s images from Thailand there was an ark shell that looked fairly similar to a Turkey Wing.

          Maybe sometime Pam could do a “compare” post with some of those equivalent shells, if that wasn’t too dry a subject.

          You are fortunate to live in Singapore, which has shells from the Indo-Pacific fauna, which is the richest fauna of all. A huge number of species. I think it would be quite a challenge to learn them all!

          • Yup, I’m having a hard time trying to identify all the shells! Apparently, we get to see all sorts of seashells, from the coast to the dining table! The region here is lovely but rarely, and very rarely get shells from the Carribean so I would really wish to go there. :) We are an island nation but sadly most of our coast have been reclaimed and shells common in the indo-pacific are now uncommon or rare over here… :(

          • Oh, btw, do you have a blog on seashells too? :)

          • No I don’t have a blog. I do my shell research and then I write papers. That takes so much of my time I can’t do a blog as well. Nice idea though!

  8. I sooo enjoy your blog and get really excited when I see shells that I’ve been able to collect way up North when vacationing in Cape Cod! I found a perfect moon snail bigger than a lemon on Morris Island last year!! I’d been looking for years for a whole one. We also have jars full of hundreds of jacknife and razor clams. Sanibel Island is on my bucket list for 2013. Can’t wait to share in all of your fun! Thank you so much, Pam, for all of the work you put into this! It’s such a joy to visit every day!

  9. Pam,
    The white tellins are just a color (or lack of?) the rose petal tellin. I used to find lots on the causeway until they parked the barges there while building the bridge. I’ll have to try Bunche, never been there. Great photos!

  10. As for the “other” kind of Shark’s Eye, Neverita delessertiana, even though the high spire is a pretty good way to recognize them (the shell is really very globular and not flattened down like the regular Shark’s Eye), still, the best way to be sure is that in N. delessertiana the umbilicus (the hole at the base of the shell) is clearly channeled on the inside, which is not the case in Neverita duplicata.

  11. Just crossed over the Sanibel bridge. Gotta catch my breath. I am back and have my shelling mojo ready. Hope I get some goodies to share. Do you by chance have any I love shelling tanks?

  12. sally is correct, the rose petal tellin is white a lot more often than it is rose colored…i think the smaller, more triangular tellins are Tampa tellins,
    Tellina tampaensis. they usually have a pale orange tint to them.

  13. I had no clue they weren’t all sharks eyes. Great post. And Four Sea Stars is hysterical, everyone should have a mom like that – I can’t think of a better place to take kids with Autism, than Sanibel. What a way to fill their senses.

    • Molly–you are too sweet! And we all love Sanibel. There really is no better place, is there?

  14. Pam—we just made it back home and the kids are all wining and complaining about when they can go back….I think I’m going to be digging mud, sand and back-bay muck out of my nails (and every place else) for at least a week. And it was totally worth it. :)


  15. While on a walk with Pete Dunne from Cape May Bird Observatory he said a friend of his had the best description of an Oyster Catcher that he had ever heard, “It is a penguin wearing a tuxedo smoking a carrot! LOL

    • MEMarilyn!LOL He’s right!! That’s exactly what the oystercatcher looks like!

      • LOL, that’s really funny. Poor old oystercatchers, they do look a bit strange!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This