Having a hard time finding ALPHABET CONES? Refocus your eyes on the miniature shells where the DUSKY CONES hang out. If you are reaaallly lucky, then you’ll find a juvie ALPHABET CONE mixed in with the DUSKYS. In the photo above, you’ll see five cute little DUSKYS on the left then the tiny juvie APHIE on the right end all nestled rainbow style in the palm of Deseray’s hand. She found all of the CONES! I met Deseray’s grandad Fred, her mom Mary Ann and her just west of Lighthouse Beach this weekend. Three generations of shellers…
I could have talked to them for hours about their exquisite mini finds. Deseray has an exceptional eye in finding tiny gems since she has been shelling all of her life and she knew most of their names right away. The only one that stumped us was the TURRID. I thought it was a TURRID but it looks a little different than most we find so I looked back. Yep… most of ours are Pyrgospira tampaensis and I think Deseray’s is the Zonulispira crocata. So let’s just go with the basic iLoveShelling style and just call the really cool shell in between the KING’S CROWN and the LETTERED OLIVE …. a TURRID!
And yes, she also has a little teeny tiny WENTLETRAP on the bottom too. This is just one of many that she found! Here’s are Mary Ann’s mini finds. She had to put an AUGER in her “fave shells” photo since Deseray has always called them “Unicorn Horns”. That is so cute! It DOES look like a Unicorn’s horn!
Did you see those two fabulous little CRAB shells? I love all of the cool stuff they collect! I hope yall can name all of the other minis they collected but if not, look them up on my SEASHELL IDENTIFICATION page. CLICK HERE!
Wow, some really glorious small shells!
I heart minis and they have some nice ones!
Oh I like the turrid…I dont have one of those…gots to put that on my list of shells to find!! They found lots of nice shells. Everyones been finding cones here lately. Shelling has been good.
So January shell list is WT’s and turrids for me and hubby will be happy if he finds his sand dollar! Lol..
It’s a CONEucopia of cones! :-)
LOL That is so stinkin clever!! heeheeheeheee
Beautiful mini’s. Seems like there’s more king’s crown shells lately I found 2 when we where there in Sept.
I never have much luck at the lighthouse. I must be going there at the wrong time of day. I would love to find a turrid. Lucky folks.
Great mini’s! Your post has me wondering, what is the difference between a dusky cone and a jasper cone? I have been going thru my shell books and cannot figure it out!
Hi Sue S,
The dusky cone and the jasper cone are both part of an extremely confusing group of very similar small cones in the tropical and subtropical Western Atlantic. This group is currently called the “jaspideus complex”.
This species complex has not yet been properly sorted out. There are various professional opinions (that disagree with one another), but currently nobody really knows how many or how few species there are in this group. We need some DNA and RNA studies to be carried out on live-collected material, but who knows how long it might be till that happens!
It seems that only the dusky cone has been recorded from the Sanibel area, and so, if you find cones like this on Sanibel, for the time being I would just call them dusky cones, no matter what some of your books might say.
Thank you so much for taking the time to give this wonderful explanation. From this point on, we will call them dusky cones!
I found 2 King Crown minis last week and a white rice shell. Great
Shelling week. Be back in Jan
My daughter and I are coming down to Sanibel on Tues. Nov. 27th. I have been checking the weather at weather.com and it shows the winds will be E on the 27th and ESE on the 28th. This does not look good for us. Any suggestions on good places to shell, maybe even off island?? Thanks for any help you can offer. We will only be in Sanibel til the 30th. :-(
We were just there last week and didn’t have great winds but found wonderful shells just west of Sanibel Inn. We went to Cayo Costa and the shelling was great there as well. Hope you have a great time.
Thank you, Cindi.
We’re here and finding a good mix of shells but nothing much at the lighthouse. Still hoping to find the elusive wentletrap