The bubble shell is immediately recognizable by the wide open curl at the bottom of the aperture. The shell I found was very bleached and worn, and the top was broken. The Bubble is not a rare shell, in fact they can be found all around the state of Florida, according to my reference book. I had never seen one, so this was and exciting find.
I have never found a bubble shell in all my years of beach-combing in Florida, at least not that I can remember. This one just happened to be sitting in the sand at the boat ramp. I casually perused the beach while I waited for my son to park the trailer and there is was.
Usually I don’t see much of interest at the little local boat ramp, but I snatched this shell up right away. I believe it is too wide open to be of use to a hermit crab or one would have been inside.
According to my ID book, bubble shells found in Florida are from the family Bullidae. It is known as a Striate bubble (Bulla striata) and would have been a mottled brown color (see a photo at Bailey-Matthews) before it was bleached white by the elements.
Bubble shells grow to be about an inch long and can be found all around the state. I’m wondering why I never see them, but they are “fragile” and maybe the waves over here on the east coast are the reason.
The Striped Pink Bubble Shell
In the Pacific regions, there is a beautiful little bubble shell which has pink stripes. The creature inside is pretty interesting too. Follow this link to Beachcombing Magazine – Bubble Shells to see it.