This is so wild. Attached to a SUNRAY VENUS CLAM, were fresh egg cases that these MAUVE-MOUTH DRILLS just produced!
MurexKen found this fascinating nest just after MurexAlice had shown me those cute little MORTON’S EGG COCKLES on yesterdays post (hmmm- the “egg” theme continues, huh?). I was tickled that he called me over to show me this egg case that I’ve never seen before. The babies look like little pods of pollen sitting in a beautiful flower. Mk and MA are quite a pair for finding the unexpected!
I’m not quite sure, but I think the shell on the left was still laying some eggs. I hated to disturb them so after taking a few photos, we returned the mollusks and eggs to the water to make sure they produce healthy babies.
You can see this one’s aperture with just a bit of the “mauve” showing around his body.
Oh wait…. just in case you can’t remember what a MAUVE-MOUTH DRILL looks like when you find them empty on the beach, here are a few pictures to refresh your memory…
Now you’ll see why they call it “mauve-mouth”. They have a mauve or purple in the aperture when they are alive or freshly dead.
Out of all these shells in our collection at home, I could only find one that had a mauve mouth.
I don’t find MAUVE-MOUTH DRILLS that often so to see live ones that are laying eggs was really pretty exceptional. I’m not sure if this would be considered scientifically “rare” to see this out beach combing, but it was rare for me. Great finds MK and MA!
I’m working very hard on my shell jealousy issues. It’s not going well.
I feel for you Cheryl! I’m having a bit of an issue with my “green mouth” envy myself!! Perhaps we need a 12-step program and matching tee-shirts!
Yes! Or a rich Sanibel beach house owner to fly us all out to Sanibel for an iloveshelling reunion!! ;) Sherri from MN
I’m hoping to find an in-patient program right there on the island! I can dream, can’t I?
That really is so cool.
well i tried to get to shellville last year but didn’t make it. so i am trying again…next month for the shell fest. but geeze louise being from the west coast i guess i didn’t realize how popular sanibel/captiva was in mid february. trying to find a place for a week to ten days for just me has been near impossible. i am not ready to give up yet, but should have started last fall!!!! any suggestions on a place to call home starting on or around february 16 for ten days ish so i can cross off an item on my bucket list (shelling on sanibel island), would be greatly appreciated.
contact the chamber of commerce…they have a list of available housing
There are two condos left for 10 days starting on Feb 16 at The Colony Resort on the east end of the island. Check out colonyresortsanibel.com, and units #3 and #15. I am an owner there, but these are not my units. I’m just familiar w the website, so did some checking for you. They are small and quaint and relatively inexpensive, if that’s what you are looking for. Good luck!
thanks for the suggestion. ended up having to change my dates. found availability at a cottage (gulf breeze) and am sooo excited about shelling at sanibel!!! already practicing the “stoop”!! unfortunately it’s when i am cleaning up after my dog, but hey it gets the lower back limbered up!!! plus gotta go thru all of pam’s tips so i can hit the beach on the 28th knowing what and where to look and with the right gadgets!!!
Wow! Those pictures are very spectacular! Great find MA and MK! <13
Always learning something new here…Thanks for posting this.
how kewl!!! love it! hope to find goodies like this when we visit!
Wow, so beautiful! To think, you have the octopus babies and now the mauve mouth drill babies on your site. This is one dang wonderful place. :-)
Ooooo, what a cool thing to find! Well done MurexAlice, MurexKen and Pam! What unusual-looking egg cases, and so large compared with the size of the adult snails!
Woo hoo! So awesome! I’m heading that way in 2 weeks and what a way to get stoked. Hope to see you on the beach!
Pam, I love your site, it makes my day. I love to beach comb and do most of it on Emerald Isle, N.C. I love it there but hope to get down there sometime this year. Keep up the good work. Keep Shelling….Von in Lynchburg Va.
WOW! What an amazing sight!
Love this! A couple of questions please… Is the clear, collar looking thing encasing the eggs? Or are the eggs laid on top of this collar looking thing? Did the mauve mouth produce the clear, collar looking thing or is it simply a host? Is the venus clam alive too? Thanks! LOVE your blog!
Angela Moore – Critter Saver
AM-Critter Saver (heehee- I’m still lovin that!) Yes, the mauve mouth drill produced that clear collar looking thing- that’s the casing for the eggs. The sunray venus was an empty shell but both valves were still attached. Cool, huh?
Wow, that is amazing. They are so tiny!
Pam, when you started the Iloveshelling site, did you ever imagine the wonders you would be sharing with your devoted followers? Nature and your camera skills provide fascinating opportunities for your readers. Thank you!
Linda from SWM, I had NO clue. We really used to see such cool stuff before I started this blog but had no idea how much more fun it would be to share it with other people that think all this is as fascinating as I do. So thank yall too for making this so much fun for me too!!!
truly amazing….thanks pam!
I had a lot of fun on Blind Pass yesterday. I found a huge horse conch with a hermit crab in residence so back into the water he went. I didn’t see any egg casings. Don’t they all usually spawn around the same time?
I saw your posting from your trip. That was a huge horse conch. I cant leave comments on your blog because I don’t have the proper credentials, (a blog of my own or anything else) but I enjoy TEB too. Just wanted you to know!
Thank you so much – all you need is a google profile to comment.
Beautiful! Love to see egg casings of any kind! In all my years of shelling, I have only found 2 drills with the mauve mouth~ so I made them into cute little earrings!!
Sooooo cool, Pam! Thanks for sharing!
I took this photo in December on Sanibel do you think it is the same thing?
Hi Julie, You can’t post photos here but if you have facebook, please visit
https://www.facebook.com/iLoveShelling and post your photo there. We’d love to see if it’s a mauve mouth drill!
I’m an environmental educator in Virginia and I’ve visited Sanibel Island once…I loved it. I’m working on restoring the most polluted river on the Chesapeake Bay, The Elizabeth River…www.elizabethriver.org (to learn more). But what I wanted to share with you is I work on the world’s first floating wetlands classroom, The Learning Barge and I use shells quite a bit in education. I have 6 learning stations and one is the RIVER Art Station where the students make their own Zen sand gardens and use items from nature including shells. This is one of the teachers and students favorite stations. The barge also has an observation pool where we mix salt water and fresh water to reflect the brackish river. I try to keep the salinity up and I have live oyster and oyster shells as habitat in there. The kids love learning about the oysters. Do you know how to tell how old an oyster shell is? Count the rings… Also we use oyster shells in our habitat cubes as the Fishable Station and kids pull these up from out of the river, shake the cubes over a basin and look at the micro organisms. (We have a catch and release policy)…..You have a great site and I’ll make sure to join. I just started a site baybabies.org and blog baybabies.blogspot.com Thanks!
Beautiful! To see the shells laying eggs in action – what a natural wonder treat! When I’m there, I enjoy all the live wonder as much as finding empty shells! I have a photo of a white pearlescent lacey egg case on a pin shell from spring 2010 – so amazing it could almost be jewelry! I never mind my son to miss school to be there – it’s always the best science and nature class he’ll ever have!
What are the other little white shells in your picture with the mauve drill? I got a bunch of the white shells like yours when last at Sanibel,but don’t know what they are? Hope to see you on next trip!