My earliest childhood memory of shelling is when I would get so excited to find COQUINAS. They look just like butterflies! Maybe that’s why I still love them so much now… but then, another thought would be… maybe because they are just so darn cute! The Sanibel Lighthouse Beach was loaded with COQUINAS yesterday evening. Just like being a kid again, I got really excited to find so many variations that look like they have had stripes painted on them. For me, it’s unusual to find this many striped ones all together. While I was picking up these cuties, I also found a few other minis like this KEYHOLE LIMPET…
These Wisconsin visitors were having a great time finding the minis and COQUINAS too…
While we were busy admiring the COQUINAS, these brand-new Fort Myers residents (Ron and Kelli!) found this huge awesome LIGHTNING WHELK…
Look at the color of the spire on this beautiful shell and this one looks like it has painted stripes too. Nature’s miracle and a spectacsheller find!
This mom and daughter shelling team from Orlando were loving the minis and the baby LIGHTNING WHELKS they found in the EGG CHAINS…
Right before the sun went down, I met Kim, Olivia and Zach….
Kim said she saw my post about the brown MACULATED BABY’S EARS last week from Cayo Costa, then found two of them! She said she would have had no idea what it was unless she hadn’t just read about it and saw the pics here. I love that! Here is the one she found last night near the fishing pier. This would have been so easy to mistake it for a SLIPPER SHELL while laying in the sand or mixed in with other shells, right? Wow! Great find!
But hold on, she also found this pretty little shell. I didn’t know what it was until my friend H.L. Schroeder (Lori -heehee- who knows a lot about land snails) identified is as a LINED TREE SNAIL.
It looks like an artist took a brush to a white snail shell and painted the lines on this one too. Just gorgeous. I know it’s rare to find one on the beach since this may be the first one I’ve seen in person but since it’s a land snail, I dont know if its rare on the whole island. Here’s the aperture side of it.
Okay… I’ve got to confess. Maybe you noticed, I didnt give names to some of the folks I met on the beach last night. I have so much happening in this little brain of mine so I have to take notes on my phone since I’m really bad on remembering names. Well, my phone was on overload and couldnt take any more data. I lost the names of these wonderful folks. Ack! I could tell you all about where they live, what they do, and all about our conversations but … names? Lost. Please, Cute Couple- “Well, not St Paul, MN but it’s so close, that’s where we normally tell people we are from”, and Exuberant Couple “We just moved to Ft Myers! Pam, is this a pretty normal find here? No? Waahhhoooooo!” and Mom “I’m mad at you when you don’t post every day- hahaha” and Daughter “We jump in the Avis car any chance we get to drive to Sanibel”…. y’all forgive me! Here is a CYBERSHELLING picture to make up for it. Click on the next image to blow it up to find all of you own shells!
Peanut Worm in shallow water
Clark and I boated out to North Captiva and Cayo Costa today and found this flopping around in the shallow water. What the heck is it? I was thinking it was a live ANGEL WING that had peeped out from it’s shell below but it’s a PEANUT WORM. We found lots of SUNRAY VENUS CLAMS so maybe that’s what the live mollusk looks like when he peeks out of his shell from below the surface. I didn’t dig it up (Yikes!) to find out so I’d love feedback, if anybody knows what it is (as “clean” as possible, please- haha!).
6" Sunray venus
It’s a monster! This was the biggest SUNRAY VENUS that we found today. I didn’t get a chance to clean it before I took this picture but most of that crud will come right off so it should be really pretty.
Brown baby's ears mixed with our other finds
We were very happy to find MACULATED BABY’S EARS today too. These are the brown ones that aren’t as common and have brown smears on them. The one to the right of the WENTLETRAP has spots on it. Also pictured….3 FALSE ANGEL WINGS, 2 RICE OLIVES, a BUBBLE, PEAR WHELK, and a baby LIGHTNING WHELK.
We didn’t find much by the tree roots on the south tip of Cayo Costa but we were still happy with our treasures we picked up on the way there.
Post Update 4/6/10……..Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum director Jose H. Leal identified the top picture as a sipunculid, also known as a PEANUT WORM. That’s a new one for me. So there was no shell underneath. Weird, huh?