Banded Tulip Shell and Egg Case

banded tulip egg case on the beach
tidepool mystery

Here’s an interesting find in a tidepool from this morning.  It had the same texture as a whelk egg case, but a different shape.  The whole cluster was only about 2 inches long, and was resting right at the edge of a tidepool.  This is a banded tulip egg case: fasciolaria hunteria.  According to Rupert and Fox in Seashore Animals of the Southeast: A Guide to Common Shallow-Water Invertebrates of the Southeastern Atlantic Coast

…they are carnivores which prey on other mollusks, including oysters. The thick sculptured tip of these snails is used to chip a hole in the prey’s shell, through which the proboscis is inserted.

This egg case has several perfectly circular openings through which the young snails emerged. (look at the lower right end of the top photo.) Each cluster is made up of individual egg cases which are joined together. Almost all of the banded tulips we have found have been inhabited by hermit crabs.

tulip shell with egg case and individual egg capsule
banded tulip egg case


banded tulip with hermit crab

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Pam Mashman Venn

    These are beautiful!

  2. Marion cotton

    Wow! Wish we were there! Thanks for sharing your knowledge! Fantastic!

  3. Jason Dufair

    That is so cool!

  4. Melinda Nutter

    cannot wait to visit Dewees and check out the tidal pools

  5. Dershie

    What a font of wisdom U R. Callahan knows it sll now

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