The casual seashell collector gathers whatever looks good as they stroll along the shore, but some people are die hard searchers for that all elusive and fairly rare shell. Here are three to keep in mind if you visit the Gulf Coast area.
The Junonia (Scaphella junonia) is unmistakable with it’s ivory colored background that is covered with somewhat rectangular spots and splotches. According to my reference book, roughly one Junonia is found each day on Sanibel Island, Florida. This species lives in deep water on coral reefs off shore.
The Lion’s Paw shell (Nodipecten nodosus) can be as large as 6 inches across. It’s a scallop shell with bumpy ridges and bright coloring of deep orange or reddish orange.
The pretty little Scotch Bonnet shell (Phalium granulatum) is shaped somewhat like a ball and is light colored with a thick “lip”. At it’s largest, it can be around 3.5 inches.
The “i love shelling” blog lists these three shells as the Elite Three Shells to find on Sanibel and the writer should know – she lives there – and does a lot of shelling and blogging about her finds.