|More Ocean Resources
Many large, coiled shells found along the beach are called conchs. However, a more exact use of the term refers to sea snails in the family Strombidae.
Strombidae members are often medium to large sized sea snails, and species in each of the five genera are recognized by their distinct looking shells.
Spider Conchs (genus Lambis), for example, are a groups of Indo-Pacific species with large, thin spines extending from their shells.
Species in the Strombus genus are the most common native species, with six found in Southeastern and Gulf Coast Waters. Florida is the Strombus hot spot.
The top picture shows a Florida Fighting Conch (Strombus alatus) with a Giant Hermit Crab in residence.
Found near shore, from coastal North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico, they tend to live in large colonies, and contrary to the name, are not known to pick fights with one another.
Their shells grow to an average length of four or five inches. Smaller species are popular aquarium species.
© 2009 Patricia A. Michaels