The Florida rock snail is part of the murex family. This is only the second rock snail shell I’ve collected, so they are not seen regularly by me, although they are a fairly common mollusk found all around the coast of Florida.
They tend to live on jetties, where they have rocks to cling to. And this shell was found on the shore near the jetty at Ponce Inlet. It makes sense that it would have washed up there.
My shell shown here is a little less than 2 inches long. My go-to reference book claims that their max length is 3 inches. When I picked it up and saw the orange inside I knew what it was. Not all rock snails (Stramonita haemastoma) have to be orange inside, but the two I have collected do have this coloring.
Here I have taken a photo of my shell sitting on the page where the writers have shown a photo of the same type of shell. You can see they look very similar.
The shell is gray and brown and not super colorful. Mine had some barnacles which chipped off when I cleaned it.
I am only guessing, but I think that this little shell is a Florida Rock Snail (Stramonita haemastoma). Because it has a pretty orange color inside and horizontal stripes, I think my guess is correct. It measures 1 1/8 inches in length. I picked it up on Sanibel Island many years ago.
I’ve always thought that some of the prettiest seashells are the smaller ones. Everyone seems to be looking to collect big, fancy shells, but look closer – tiny is sometimes just as fun to find.
I miss the beaches of Florida, but I may be living back down that way soon. With walks along the beach in mind, I plan to keep my eyes open for some fun treasures to collect.
I won’t be living on expensive, high class Sanibel Island, so I won’t have piles of shells to dig through. On the east coast shells are not nearly as abundant. And that is why finding them is so darn fun.
Not many people can afford to live on the beach, but living close enough to make a short drive there is good enough. And living in the state of Florida means there will be a good variety of beaches to visit, and waterways to travel. I see a nice boat in my future!
If you know what this shell is called, and it’s not a rock snail, please leave your comment below. Thanks for reading!