We’ve been enjoying walking along the shore at Sanibel’s Bowmans Beach this summer since we’ve had our best luck finding shells no matter which direction we comb the beach. Clark had an eye for the cutie mini shells this time. As soon as he found that little DUSKY CONE (on the tips of the horsies/candy/candy corn/mac n cheese…. errrr… those juvie HORSE CONCHS) I remembered that on one of my latest shelling adventure cruises I tried to show how one can tell the difference between those and the ALPHABETS and FLORIDA CONES.
So let me try to show the difference of the shells to you too. Here is a handful of the DUSKY CONES to show you how big they are and the different colors and patterns. Also, check out that each one of them has spiral ribs along the body of the shell. If you run your thumb over the shell, it won’t be smooth, you will feel all of the the little ridges.
Here’s the difference between a random ALPHABET CONE, FLORIDA CONE and the DUSKY that I pulled from our collection of Sanibel shells to see the different patterns and the normal adult size of each.
In this view, you can really see those ribs on the DUSKY compared to the other two that are mostly smooth. Cool, huh?
So next time you find a small little cone shell, look a little closer to see which one you’ve found. Maybe it will be a DUSKY CONE like Deseray found years ago that I showed in my post Rainbow Of Miniature Shells that we compared to her sweet little ALPHIE.
UPDATE: Ive had a few people ask about the difference between the Duskys, Stearns and Jasper Cones. I used to call some of them Jasper Cones but I was corrected a few years ago (can’t remember who told me- MurexKen maybe?) that the Shell Museum says that Jaspers and Stearns aren’t found in our area- only Dusky Cones. So I guess Ive gotta go with with that too unless they add them to the list. Im def no scientist ;0
you were talking about the dusky cone on our big hickory island cruise a couple of weeks ago. so fun that clark found one – great timing! beautiful pic of the shells. love those mini’s!
we’re missing sanibel already and we’ve only been home a week.
Amy! Exactly! Hahaha as soon as he showed me that little dusky, that cruise popped in to my head and had wished I had been able to show everybody. I’m so happy you saw this!! :) love that u added john and steamboat to ur name- I’ll always remember that day
i look at your site multiple times a day. was so excited to see this post.
have a great weekend in paradise!
p.s. my turtle bracelet like yours is on the way to me today – had to have one after i saw yours. alex at congress jewelers was sooooo nice about talking to melissa to make sure we had the right size turtle. can’t wait!
Wow!! Those shells are amazing!!! My personal favorite shell of all time is the mini horse conchs. When I was visiting sanibel I found two of them and was so excited!
How do the Stearn’s & Jasper cones differ from the Dusky cones?
We are counting down the days until our Oct trip! Thanks for the preview. We will head over to Bowman’s beach to see if you left us anything good behind!
Is there an easy way to tell the difference between a Dusky and an immature fighting conch?
I was just looking at Pam’s “Seashell Identification” link at the top right of this page. She has great photos of both immature fighting conchs and a Dusky cone!
they’re called “juvenile” fighting conchs, i think!
Soooooo very pretty!!
I’m certainly the happiest CONEHEAD
in ARIZONA :)
that’s so much fun finding any treasure mother nature gives us and you two seem to find treasures when ever and where ever you go then you share with everyone these were just shell-lacular i’m so glad I love shelling and I get to see so many treasures r.g. stein
Nice site. BreNda and I are going to spenD the winter in the Caribbean aboar our 47′ sailboat Pandora and are interested in learning more about the shelling. We have enjoyed shelling in the Bahamas and are wondering about the islands in the Caribbean. I too keep a blog and will link to you at http://www.sailpandora.com.
Thanks for sharing the difference. Now I’ll have to look through mine and see what I have, it makes me feel like I did when I collected them on Sanibel!
Ive had a few people ask about the difference between the Duskys, Stearns and Jasper Cones. I used to call some of them Jasper Cones but I was corrected a few years ago (can’t remember who told me- MurexKen maybe?) that the Shell Museum says that Jaspers and Stearns aren’t found in our area- only Dusky Cones. So I guess Ive gotta go with with that too unless they add them to the list. Im def no scientist ;0