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

Paper Valentines from Sanibel

Posted by on Feb 14, 2012 in Beach Hearts, Beach Holiday, Live Atlantic Fig, Paper Fig, Paper Fig Egg Case, Valentines Day- Shellentines Day | 27 comments

paper fig valentine

I love paper Valentines. Finding a PAPER FIG Valentine on the beach is even better!  Okay, I didn’t find these laying on the beach just like this (especially with a red background- heehee) but I found some very cool Beach Bling that I could not identify…

Atlantic fig snail egg case

It looked like the gulf had a picnic and the left over corn cobs washed up on the beach. I saw them littered from Middle Gulf Drive to Blind Pass the last two days. They may look like corn cobs but I knew they were mollusk egg cases.

Ficus communis egg case casing on sanibel florida

They also look like WHELK egg casing coils that have been chopped every couple of inches. So which shell laid these eggs?

paper fig egg case pen shell

Dr Jose Leal of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum identified these as ATLANTIC FIG SNAIL eggs. Oh Cool! PAPER FIGS! Thanks Dr. Leal!

Paper Fig seashells

I loooove to notice different things that wash up on the beaches…. so this tickled me to learn what one more mollusk egg casing looked like.

egg cases on cockle

But wait! While I was inspecting one of the PAPER FIG EGG CASES, I saw something else in between the individual egg “disks”…. more eggs! Another mollusk laid eggs on the FIG egg case. Wow!

snail egg case on atlantic paper fig egg casing

The PAPER FIG egg casings were very sandy but you can see the orangish rows containing little babies from another shell. I have no idea which shell laid these eggs but if you know, please share!

paper fig mollusk eggs

There were so many empty FIG shells lying on the beach too. Annette S. had commented on my last post about how many she found as well. There were oodles of them!

Atlantic paper fig

I had to add this photo again of a live PAPER FIG from a previous post

live paper fig surrounded by mollusk

This photo fascinates me to see how far this guy is out of the shell…

live paper fig out of aperture

This is the mollusk peaking out of the aperture. And notice, these guys don’t have OPERCULUMS

Live Paper Fig

The shells are so fragile, most often they are found broken on the beach but when they are empty and whole, Clark can’t help but pick them up. This is one of his fave shells to collect so here’s a PAPER FIG Valentine for my honey and all of you other PAPER FIG lovers out there!

Atlantic fig shells Sanibel

paper fig valentine


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Another First Junonia!

Posted by on Dec 11, 2011 in Bones, Junonia, Live Atlantic Fig, Paper Fig, Sanibel | 37 comments

Donnie Benton junonia

 Donnie Benton found his first JUNONIA! He sooooo deserves it. He was at the lighthouse beach at 4 a.m. at low tide  searching for ALPHABET CONES (his faves) when he saw those beautiful spots half buried in the sand. Congrats Donnie! I know it’s such a high.

donnie benton hand junonia

I first heard of Donnie when his 5 year old daughter Alyssa found a JUNONIA and a SCOTCH BONNET within a few months of each other. I met Donnie (Ft Myers) in September and quickly realized that he was …. well…. he is obsessed about shelling. ;) I showed you some of his finds last week from Blind Pass while I was at the golf cart parade. They were good but now he has the golden treasure.

donnie benton hand junonia aperture

He was the first one on the beach for the low, low tides (negative .5) on Friday and Saturday and these are just some of the shells he found. He even picks up trash (the sunglasses and goggles)…

Donnie seashells

 Here’s another shot of the Big J, some of his ALPHIES and a few more…

donnie seashells lighthouse beach

We were on the beach at sunrise when we saw Donnie and found some goodies too but this was the coolest. It’s a live PAPER FIG with the mollusk wrapped around its shell.

live paper fig surrounded by mollusk

 I couldn’t help but pick it up to look at the other side…Wow!

live paper fig out of aperture

 Oops! I forgot to show you this! Some of you noticed the odd round “thingie” in the photo above of Donnie’s haul. We think it’s a vertebrae from some very large animal/fish/mammal. Whatever it is, it’s very cool.

donnie hand sea life vertabrae

Congrats again Donnie!!!!!

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