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

Whimsical World Of Worm Shells

Posted by on Jun 4, 2015 in Fargo Worm Shell, Florida Worm Shell, Variable Worm Snail, Worm Rock, Worm Shell | 36 comments

Pam Rambo Worm Shell Mirror frame Sanibel Island

WORM SHELLS don’t follow any rules of symmetry or structure as they twist and stretch in all kinds of crazy ways doin’ their own thang- that’s why I love them so much. No two are alike!

Oodles of whimsical worm shells

That’s also why I love to use them in art projects like the large shell mirror in the top photo and for mermaid locks of hair.

Mermaid sculpture with worm shell hair

And for smaller frames…

pam rambo worm shell frame

In Southwest Florida, we have a few different kinds of WORM SHELLS that wash up on our beaches although I never really think about their differences… Im just always thrilled to find any WORM SHELL but I think it’s time I show you the differences.

Here are the 3 varieties of WORM SHELLS we have in our area. In the next photo from left to right… VARIABLE WORM SHELL, FARGO WORM SHELL, FLORIDA WORM SHELL

Petaloconchus varians Variable worm rock Vermicularia fargoi fargo knorrii florida worm shell

You’ve seen me post WORM SHELLS a million times but I don’t think I ever even say “FARGO WORM SHELL”. I always think “WORMIE!” so who cares what kind- haha. So yes, this is the FARGO WORM SNAIL – Vermicularia fargoi – which comes in many various color forms.

Vermicularia fargoi Forgo Worm snail shell color forms

These little cutie shellooties are the FLORIDA WORM SHELL – Vermicularia knorrii – (or KNORR’S WORM SNAIL). Look at those sweet little white tips!

Vermicularia knorrii Florida worm snail shell color forms

Just so you can see the differences in size of the FARGOs and FLORIDAs…

Vermicularia fargoi and knorrii color forms and sizes

WORM SHELLS are even fun when they are broken too. Sanibel local sheller Cherry uses them to make wooden plaques with her granddaughters’ names on them… Ella and Grace.

seashell and wood sign

These are THE cutest!!!

seashell name wall hanging sign

There’s another type of WORM SHELL… the VARIABLE WORM SHELL- Petaloconchus varians. This is the one I call WORM ROCK because it really doesn’t look like a snail shell but instead it looks like a big ol’ hunk of rock or dark CORAL. Theses snails can grow into large colonies which look similar to CORAL REEF structures.

Petaloconchus varians Variable worm snail shell colonies

The wonderful, whimsical world of WORM SHELLS. Be still my heart.

Whimsical wonderful world of worm shells

PS- To see all of the different places that we’ve found WORM SHELLS and more photos of them, CLICK HERE and scroll down through all of the pages of posts.

Come with me on a Shelling Adventure and maybe we will find some together.

pam rambo shelling trips


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When The Seashells Come Rolling In

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in Alphabet Cone, Captiva, Coral, Lightning Whelk, Scotch Bonnet, Worm Rock | 15 comments

captiva shelling october

The islands get happy. The strong winds and rain that belted the islands the past few days are paying off with seashells! The shells are rolling in and piling up all along the beaches of Captiva.  The first person I saw this morning was Michelle from Toronto with her 2 huge LIGHTNING WHELKS…

michelle toronto

 Look at this huge ALPHABET CONE and KING’S CROWN in her shell jug….

michelle's shell jug

Then I heard a “Woohoo!” from somebody. It was Lois from PA …

louis pa scotch bonnet

 with a perfectly beautiful SCOTCH BONNET in her hand…

scotch bonnet lois bonnet lois

 Okay, this is really cool. Get this….She told me she has been shelling for 40 years and that she has kept a life list of shells she has found. She has 347 different types of shells on her life list. You hear that yall? You can start counting your shell finds to have a shell life list of your own if you want.

scotch bonnet

 Charity from Ohio was finding lots of WHELKS…

Charity with whelk captiva

 Get a load of this big honkin chunk-a CORAL she found too…

chunk of coral captiva

Joyce from Long Island, NY shows us her FLORIDA CONE and big shell bag filled with goodies.

joyce Long island shell bag

 Look at Loretta from Texas with her great piece of WORM ROCK (and her cutie iLoveShelling hat!!!) …

beach after storm 10-20-11 025

photo by Diana Taylor

I saw great shells along every stretch of beach on Captiva today and heard that someone found a nice size LION’S PAW right in front of Captiva Island Yacht Club. I also heard the Sanibel was rocking too!

Captiva shells October

I haven’t even gone through all of my photos or much less taken photos of my own finds from today but I will hopefully get to that tomorrow….if I’m not too busy finding new treasures! Enjoy the shelling whether you are on the coast or doing a little fun cybershelling.

Captiva seashells october 2011

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Yee Haw, A Lion’s Paw!

Posted by on Oct 2, 2011 in Florida Cone, Lightning Whelk, Lion's Paw, Sanibel, Scotch Bonnet, Worm Rock | 16 comments

Lions paw found on Sanibel Island

As soon as I saw this huge LION’S PAW, I wanted to grab it and run down the beach. Unfortunately for me, I had to remain calm and admire it in the hands of the guy who found it… Bob from California.

Bob find lions paw seashells Sanibel

He couldn’t believe his luck when he found it on a sand bar off West Gulf Drive this morning. He pointed out the nodules were broken off but then we all said “who cares!”. That’s a fantastic find.

lions paw Sanibel shell

Congrats, Bob!

Bobs lion paw interior

I also saw local sheller Liz with some killer finds of her own… a FLORIDA CONE, TRUE TULIP, FLAT SCALLOP and a perfect SCOTCH BONNET with great color.

scotch bonnet cone flat tulip

I think the cooler weather was bringing lots of the locals to the beach this weekend. We saw our friend Jean collecting COCKLE shells to line a walking path in her yard. Good idea!

Jean with Cockle shells

Shelling guide Louise Alt from Waterwoman Adventures was shelling with her trusty first mate Darla. I always love to run into Louise!

Louise Alt Waterwoman

Jane was shelling off East Gulf Drive for black SCALLOPS to make a frame for her husband John’s picture…

jane with scallops

Darlene (Pine Island) found this 7 inch LIGHTNING WHELK on the sand bar at Blind Pass…

Darlene lightning whelk Sanibel

Barbara from Long Island, NY had just gotten started shelling for the day and found a nice SHARKS EYE…

Barbara sharks eye Barbara Sanibel

April from PA loves the WORM ROCK like I do…

April with worm rock

 Yep, I can say “Yee Haw!” for Bob and all of the other successful shellers this weekend. There were some mighty good seashells out there for the pickin’. :)

pink shellers with green buckets


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Another Sanibel Cyber Shelling Adventure

Posted by on Sep 16, 2011 in Brittle Star, Carrier Shell, Cyber Shelling, Fighting Conch, Florida Cone, Horse Conch, Sanibel, Worm Rock, Worm Shell | 35 comments

Seashell finds Sanibel September

I found that CARRIER SHELL I showed you on my last post Carried Away By A Carrier Shell but since I was so excited, I didn’t get to show you the rest of the shells I found. Aren’t the beautiful? It was an amazing day.

But wait, I’ve got a shell pile for you cyber shellers out there! I promise, I did not touch one thing in this pile before I took the next picture. But be careful! If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you might have a little sensory overload. Use caution, please.

cyber shelling

OMG I just looked at that photo again! I missed another CONE!!! Did you spot it? TWO cones…. and I just looked again- maybe THREE. I worked this pile a while so I could have gotten it on another swipe but I definitely didn’t get it on the first run. I guess I was gathering every ounce of patience not to pluck this WORMIE, CANDIE and ALPHIE (notice the ultra cuteness clue of the “ie”endings) off the beach so I could take the picture.

Handful of favorite shells

 So just a few minutes after finding this little seashell honey hole, I found the CARRIER SHELL and had to do a video. I hope you can see some of the other shells in that “troth” (I don’t think I’ve ever called it that before, but it sure did seem like one- LOL).


Oh yeah, something else cool…there was a live four legged BRITTLE STAR in one of the tidal pools.

Four legged brittle star


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This Weekend Rocked

Posted by on Sep 12, 2011 in Alternate Tellin, Angel Wing, Baby's Ear, False Angel Wing, Mangrove seed pod, Purplish Tagelus, Sanibel, Tellin, Worm Rock | 24 comments

diane in surf

My friend Diane joined Clark and me on the beach off West Gulf Drive yesterday for a lovely afternoon of shell seeking. We wanted to find a big WHELK like last week but she was just as happy with a candy HORSIE CONCH.

Diane with beach candy

She was even happier to find 9 BABY’S EARS…

babys ears on pen shell

Then to top it all off she framed her Sanibel Six in a very creative MANGROVE SEED POD picture frame.

sanibel 6 mangrove seed

I met another blog buddy Candice from St Pete! She saw Clark with his shelling backhoe and asked him “Are you Clark?” LOL

Candice iLS sanibel

She said she wasn’t finding much, so I walked with her just for a few minutes and we found a few goodies… 3 ALTERNATE TELLINS, a PURPLISH TAGELUS, COQUINA, FALSE ANGEL WING, 2 CONCHS, a LACE MUREX, a TURBAN and a beautiful BABY’S EAR.

candice shells

All of Candice’s shells were found on the high and dry wrack line on the far right of this next picture. On the sand bars, there were hundreds of FIGHTING CONCHS  and a few bigger shells…

shells at low tide

Aha! That’s where the big WHELK was that we were looking for. Jennifer (Sanibel) had already found that prize AND three ALPHIES!

Jennifer's shells

Nice finds, Jennifer!

Jennifer Sanibel cones whelk

Clark didn’t find another big WHELK but he did find a huuu-jahh piece of WORM ROCK. He knows this is another fave of mine. It doesn’t look like anything fabulous in this photo but trust me, it’s cool. This is a rock formed by a colony of VARIABLE WORM SNAILS (not exactly the same thing as my “wormie shells” we find) and it’s not every day for us to find it this big.

worm rock

Look at it close up…

worm rock copy

Rock on and have a happy Monday!

sand dollar in tidal pool



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