I’ll be doggone- it’s a DOG HEAD! Gary from Kentucky found a perfect DOG-HEAD TRITON ( Ranularia cynocephalmm) on Sanibel Island about a half mile west of Gulfside City Park Beach this past week. Gary worked like a dog shelling every day last week to find some other great finds but his wife Kris was thrilled for him on this one… and I am too!


This shell, my friends, is a very rare find for Sanibel.


These shells are found in the Atlantic, Caribbean (we found them in Bahamas and Cuba) as well as Indo-Pacific areas where they are also known to be a fairly commonly find… but it’s not common in Southwest Florida.


But then…. do you remember the first time I saw a FULGURATOR OLIVE wash up and I thought it may be a Wedding Shell? Well, it started a wonderful discussion about that beautiful brown olive shell and learned other people had found one too but didn’t know its identity. Now we know the FULGURATOR OLIVE is a Southwest Florida local species we can look for without thinking it’s a Wedding Shell (CLICK HERE for more on wedding shells).

Now I’m hoping someone else might recognize this shell as one found on one of the beaches in Southwest Florida. If you think you’ve found one in southwest Florida on the Gulf Of Mexico, take a photo of your shell and the date you remember finding it then post it to my Facebook page at iLoveShelling – We’ll see if you are a lucky dog too!

Gary and Kris have been shelling on Sanibel for 8 years and knew right away this was a special find so Gary took it to Dr Jose Leal at the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum to get his opinion on the identification (I guess you could say “he went to see a man about a dog” haha). So Dr Leal gave him the A-OK that is was a legitimate find and asked to take photos of it since they only had one other DOG-HEAD TRITON specimen found in the area (which was very worn) so gracious Gary donated this amazing shell to the museum. Wow!

Shellzam to you Gary! You are definitely top dog this week!

PS- if you think you might need to see this shell again for identifying purposes at a later date…. you should dog-ear this page. just saying’ ;)