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

Florida Fighting Conch – Strombus alatus

Florida fighting conch Strombus alatus

Family Strombidae

Strombus alatus

Gmelin, 1791

Florida fighting conch – 110 mm (4.3 inches)

Common in SW Florida

(See where and when Florida Fighting Conchs were found CLICK HERE)

 

 

different juvenile Florida fighting conch Strombus alatus Juvenile Florida Fighting Conchs

CLICK HERE to see more photos of “juvie” Florida Fighting Conchs

 

 

 

 

 

juvenile Florida fighting conch Strombus alatus

 

Aperture view of juvenile FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCHS

 

 

 

 

 

Florida fighting conch eyes snout trunkDESCRIPTION

Strombus alatus, commonly known as the Florida fighting conch, contains a small, jagged spire at the top of the shell and about seven whorls.

The front of the shell is designed with two curved edges; these edges allow the eyestalks to look out from under the shell and become aware of its surroundings, keeping the rest of its body safe. The snout acts as a trunk, reaching out from under the shell to collect food. Here you can see a fighting conch’s soft-body, eyestalks and snout emerging from its shell.

conch shells sanibel florida tide

 

HABITAT

These warm water shells can be found throughout the Gulf of Mexico, up to North Carolina, and across the Caribbean Sea, inhabiting sand banks and sea grass beds located in shallow water.

CLICK HERE to see posts of live Florida Fighting Conchs in their habitat

 

 

florida fighting conch egg case

LIFE CYCLE

The eggs are released in a gelatinous egg string then sand adheres to its thick jelly-like sheath.

 CLICK HERE to see more photos and story of these egg strings

 

 

 

 

florida fighting conch colors

COLOR FORMS

Multiple colors and patterns varying from white, tan, orange, brown, black and purple. Albinos are uncommon.

 

 

 

Florida fighting conch Strombus alatus knobless form

OTHER FORM VARIATIONS

 

Knobless Florida Fighting Conchs- The shoulders on these shells are smooth and missing the knobs (nodules). Theses are uncommon to find in SW Florida.

CLICK HERE to read more on Knobless Florida Fighting Conchs

 

freak fighting conch

Freak Florida Fighting Conchs – either cause by lack of food source, environmental issues or repairing from injury.

 

CLICK HERE to read more on Freaks.

 

 

 

 

freak fighting conch apex freak fighting conch on blue

Video of FLORIDA FIGHTING CONCHS…

3 Comments

  1. Hi my name is Henry I love watching your videos of sea shelling I collect a lot of shells my self those are a lot of cool shells u got there do u have any for sale ?

  2. I visit Captiva twice a year. Last October there were dozens of Fighting Conchs on the shores, all alive, so left untouched. This April, I collected 34 medium-size Fighting Conch shells along the shoreline of Captiva. I have two questions, and cannot find answers anywhere. Why are they called Florida Fighting Conchs? Is there a reason (other than turbulent surf) for so many shells to turn up in the same location at the same time? (Live in colonies? Breeding?)

  3. I Have learned that you cannot import conches from other countries…I have one however, that was brought over by a ancestor in the late 1800’s, from Ireland? And I wish to identify this snail. It has a different inner structure totally so I want to send the pictures I recently took to find out it’s a Conch, white with fawn Periostracum fawn and by it’s whorls is most likely over a hundred years old. This snail sea-shell is 9.m.

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