A Living Horse Conch in the Shallows

Photos of a living horse conch living in the shallows of the Indian River Lagoon.

Another beautiful day out on the water brought some nice finds. This beautiful living horse conch was crawling along the sandy flats. I picked it up briefly to get a few photos. It was a gorgeous orange snail. The shell was muddy and not so pretty, as is usually the case.

  • living horse conch
  • living horse conch
  • living horse conch
  • living horse conch
  • living horse conch
  • living horse conch

This is the area where this mollusk lives. The water temperature was around 86 degrees F. Air temperature was close to 100. Very few boats came by and we were all alone.

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Pretty Gray Banded Tulip Shell

A quick little share of this pretty gray banded tulip shell found on a recent boating trip.

  • gray banded tulip shell
  • gray banded tulip inside shell
  • hermit crab in gray tulip
  • gray tulip shell on the beach

Read more shelling stories on the blog

Never Get Tired of Finding The Living Horse Conch

Today we went out on the boat. It’s been a while since we’ve gone out because the weather has cooled off. We weren’t out for long, and stopped at some favorite beaches because the tide was out.

There wasn’t much to see, and then … there it was! A living horse conch. The bright orange snail was hanging out of the shell and I could see the operculum – the hard part that covers the opening when the conch goes back into it’s shell.

Click on the photos and they will enlarge.

Low tide is the best time to search for interesting sea life, but on Three Sisters there wasn’t much. Also the ground was very muddy and slippery. Water temp is only 67 degrees now (January) so we don’t swim this time of year. It was sunny and warm because there wasn’t much of a breeze.

It’s not the first time I’ve come across a living horse conch out on these muddy flats. I never get tired of seeing them and admiring their beauty. This one was only around 10 inches long. They can grow to be twice this size!

The snail did not move at all as I approached, and I hoped it wasn’t dead. After I took a few photos, I gently lifted the back end and sure enough it began to move, so I left it alone.

living horse conch
Alive horse conch next to a pear whelk.

The shell of the conch was encrusted with barnacles and other things. When the tide comes back in, he will be just underwater, I suspect. This little island is off the beaten path, but there were markings of boats pulling up.

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