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!
That’s also why I love to use them in art projects like this one I made with over 1000 WORM SHELLS…
And for locks of mermaid hair in our Anshellina sculpture.
And for smaller frames (CLICK HERE to learn how I made this one and more)…
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
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.
These little cutie shellooties are the FLORIDA WORM SHELL – Vermicularia knorrii – (or KNORR’S WORM SNAIL). Look at those sweet little white tips!
Just so you can see the differences in size of the FARGOs and FLORIDAs…
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.
These are THE cutest!!!
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.
The wonderful, whimsical world of WORM SHELLS. Be still my heart.
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.
Superb photographs Pam!
I especially love the first one.
Who is David Hillegas who took that picture?
He is an amazing photographer who works for Coastal Living. He was on Sanibel shooting for another story and heard about my worm shell mirror. He did use a few shells for his article but the wormy mirror really did fit in with the story. It’s a beautiful shot, right? Here’s the issue- http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2013/12/15/coastal-living-visits-sanibel-and-captiva-for-christmas-boat-parade/
Thanks Pam, I remember. He really captured a great shot in your house; it looks like the ultimate in elegant “coastal living”!
Do you have a picture of what a live one looks like? I don’t understand how the animal lives in them!
I have never seen a live worm shell… grrrrr. I can’t wait for the day I do! But just think about what a sharks eye looks like- it starts small then coils around itself over and over to grow bigger… when the worm shell grows it just stretches out and doesn’t coil around itself. crazy!
Helen, a worm snail does not drag that crazy shell around with him (or her) like a regular sea snail would. No way.
Worm snails are sedentary: some species live cemented down to the substrate, others live in a tangled cluster where they are lightly cemented to one another.
They are filter feeders, so they stay put, and filter food from the water passing over them.
It’s a very different way of living than most snails have!
These are all great! Amazing
Thank you so much for sharing this information on worm shells.
I love shelling myself. Your mirror is absolutely beautiful!! I
also love the kitty..
Thank you Becky- thats my beautiful little DustBall. ;)
Pam: I am from Fargo, great to see we are known for something besides a movie! I was on FMB this weekend and I saw thousands of tiny, tiny sand dollars. They were probably anywhere from a quarter of an inch to an inch! The beach looked like it had polka dots. Looking forward to going on a shelling cruise with you in July!
The Blue bead board wormie mirror is STILL my very very favorite thing of all time!!!
You are so sweet Clair!… if I only had time I’d love to make you one. :)
Yowza! You have SOOOO many wormies, Pam! Looks like a big bowl of fusilli! :-)
It will take me a lifetime to find enough worm shells for a mirror. I love, love, love the one you made. We have mostly variable worm shells here on the east coast (Boynton Beach) hence the coral reef.
Worm Shells are my favorite! I get so excited when I find one! Love your creativity with them….. I will probably ‘copy’, or try to copy what you have done. Is that okay??? Thanks Pam…… I love wormies!!
Of course you can! They are so much fun to make. my friend Jane even uses the broken ones and they look amazing too. Good luck!
A Fargo Worm Shell?? I wonder how it got that name? (I live in Fargo, ND.) Maybe the person who named it was named Fargo.
I’m curious, how to you glue or affix the wormies to mirrors or frames?
I use hot glue because it dries so fast…. trying to get them to stand up with any other glue takes way too long for me. So i burn a few fingertips and still smile. hahah
How do you find so many worm shells? For me finding a nice worm shell is like finding a cone. Are the more plentiful on some beaches?
Hi MEM, Clark and I found the mother load after Hurricane Charlie in 2004 so to find them now is far and few besides at Big Hickory where we take the shelling cruise with Sight Sea-R. They aren’t the big long ones but they the size of the ones in the 4th pic down… and lots are tanish color- i love those. i want to make a frame with those as soon as I have enough but I don’t keep any of them on the cruises- i like to show other people how to find them- thats way more fun for me now!!!!
Thanks for the lesson on wormies! I knew about worm rock but not the difference between the other two. I think I love coming to Sanibel and Captiva because there is something new to learn all the time, something new to see or collect and of course the sun. I do miss your videos though. The sounds of Sanibel along with the pictures get me to the next year. Don’t forget to feed our souls with videos!
I know!!! I need to do more videos! i have done some but never got them downloaded. I need to get someone to look at my internet speed- they have been taking waaaaaay too long to upload so its a time issue- not that i haven’t videoed on the beach. but i miss them too- I’m gonna get that fixed- I promise!
I’m holding you to that! :)
LOVE THE PICS and explanation about different types of Worm Shells Pam. Never knew the different names. I love to find them and would love to make a few things like you did but never find very many. Where did you find all of yours (Fargo is my favorite) or can they be purchased on line ? Love the other woman’s question about seeing a live one as that would be cool as I don’t know a lot about them either. Thanks so much for sharing and educating all of us. Love your stories and pics !!!
I don’t think you can purchase them online or anywhere that I’m aware of. sorry! i don’t don’t any shells because i like to show people how they can find their own… which is way more special to me.
I like them too but now I know some things to do with them..thanx by the way there was something about a pink feather and that it meant something,do you happen to know what by any chance,i found one on the beach -r.g.stein
Ah, lucky you r.g. stein, that’s a feather of the beautiful Roseate Spoonbill. You don’t find those very often.
Pam, I love your artwork. The large worm shell mirror is amazing! I always love the posts where you show us the difference between similar types of shells. Have a happy day!
This is so cool!Ii knew the difference between the fargo and floridas, but I didn’t know that the worm rock was related. I love the plaques, i wish I had enough wormies to make one :) The mermaid is adorable!
What fun after a long day at work to see that beautiful mirror you created!! I have a long way to go in collecting worm shells….. Maybe some day a “smaller” version of that mirror !! Thanks for the inspiration Pam.
I love the worm rocks! Our first time to Sanibel several years ago, we were finding the bits of worm rocks. I didnt know what they were. I had told the family they looked like bacon bits. The name stuck, so now when we find any size, we say we found “bacon.” Sometimes its bacon bits and sometimes its a big slab.=)
Totally in love with your mirror and DustBall, both are absolutely beautiful! It must have been amazing finding all those wormies after the storm.
I love, love, love the mermaid!!!