The lightning whelk seashell is a pretty commonly found shell along Florida’s gulf coast, but it can be found on just about any Florida beach – and also in the Carolinas and Texas.
It’s a pretty shell and can be up to 16 inches in length! It has a long opening down the entire side and shells that have a similar look are the knobbed whelk, channeled whelk, and pear whelk, but there is one big difference.
The lightning whelk is sinistral, which means it’s opening is on the left side when you hold the shell from the pointed bottom with the whorls, or spirals, at the top. Most other shells that are shaped like this will have their opening on the right side. So if you are shelling and find a shell and you are not sure if it is a lightning whelk – see if it is left-handed and then you will know for sure. (Free coloring page.)
- Thursday’s treasures from the Sanibel Lighthouse Beach (mymobileadventures.com)
- Special Places: A lot more than just sand dollars to collect, enjoy at Sand Dollar Island (naplesnews.com)
- Identifying Your Seashells, Where to Start? (seashellsbymillhill.com)