Worm Shell Cluster

worm shells
Worm Shell Cluster

I picked this up this little grouping of shells on a Florida beach somewhere.   A lot of my nature finds such as shells and pretty stones are used to decorate the dirt in my potted plants.  

It’s an unusual looking thing, with lots of ridges and holes.  Finding this bit of shell prompted me to learn more about the creatures who made it.


worm shell cluster
Many Worm Shells

Worm shells are made by snails, not worms, and are given the name only because their coiled shells resemble worms.  This group is called a variable worm shell and lives attached to rocks or other shells in colonies.  When they are living, the color is brown to purplish brown, but once the cluster is washed up on shore, the sun bleaches it.

Worm shell cluster tube openings
Openings in the cluster

My piece is small, only about 2.5 inches long, but large specimens, measuring 2 feet across, have been found living off the western Florida coast.



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Alhana says:

    I was Recently in San Diego and think I may have found a worm seashell…mine only looks like the round part though. It’s about an inch across, white, with a hole in the middle. No website has a picture of it and I would love to know what it is. Can you help me? Thanks!!:)


    1. Dustytoes says:

      You can try looking it up by the scientific name – Vermicularia, but it sounds like it might be a limpet. Search for keyhole limpets or Fissurella or Diodora. Good luck.


  2. Peter says:

    We found a small piece of this kind of shell at Island Beach State park in NJ. We had a few hurricaines lately and I bet that’s how the shell made it all the way up here.


  3. katy says:

    i was woundering if u would know out about small red/purple worms that would come out off a queen conch shell ? cant seem 2 find an answer


    1. Dustytoes says:

      I don’t know anything about them. Never heard of it.


  4. So neat…, these also remind me of the driftwood carved by worms!


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