Some common long shells found on the beaches I frequent are the pen shell, jackknife clam and stout tagelus.
Pen shells often have an iridescent shine and the ones I find are usually just pieces. An unbroken shell can be close to a foot in length.
According to my Seashell Book, there are three types of pen shell: the sawtooth, stiff and half-naked. Pretty weird names. Contrary to what you might think, the sawtooth is the smoothest looking. The other two have vertical ridges going the length of the top “fan” part of the shell.
The Minor Jackknife Clam Shell
This long, whitish shell is the Minor Jackknife clam. My kids used to call it a fingernail shell. It is also a razor clam.
The longish and wider shells shown below next to my eye glasses are stout tagelus. These are also known as “short razor” clams.
Pen shells are related to mussels which are not the prettiest of shells. I have one in my photo below along with a tagelus.
Photos of a living horse conch living in the shallows of the Indian River Lagoon.
Camping review of our two day trip to Hillsborough River State Campground near Tampa.
A hot and beautiful day on the boat took us to a remote river island, a stop in the ocean, and then to Ponce Inlet.