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Central and South Florida Gastropod Seashell Identification Guide: Melongenas

This guide should serve to teach the public how to identify local Central and South Florida gastropod seashells.


(Family) Melongenidae

Distinguishing Characteristics: The Melongenas have a broad siphonal canal, almost as wide as the aperture.  They often have spines that wind around the shoulders and down the body whorl.

Habitat:  These snails prefer to live on intertidal mudflats near mangroves and can survive in brackish water.

Diet:  This family feeds on oysters, tulip snails, and will scavenge on carrion.

Scientific Name:  Melongena corona

Common Name:  Crown Conch

Distinguishing Characteristics:  Often possess large, partly hollow spines traveling up the body whorl to the shoulders and spire.  Species with missing spines may be the result of a dietary deficiency.  Broad dark brown and white stripes predominate the body.  Maximum size 5 inches.

Interesting Facts:  Also known as the King's Crown or Florida Crown Conch.  Two other forms, Melongena bicolor and Melongena altaspira were recently found to be just variants of Melongena corona.

Melongena corona

Crown Conch