Horse Conch

Range: Carolinas to Mexico. Often found around Florida

Size: maximum length is 24-25”

Status: common

Identifying Features:

  1. long siphon canal
  2. several “bumps” lining each whorl
  3. pointed apex
  4. oval shaped aperture
  5. shells in good condition have a dark brown, flaky overcoat covering most of the shell
  6. shells in good condition also have a tan/orange aperture and siphon canal
  7. horse conchs have a spindle-like shape
  8. shells that have been worn down by the waves may be dirty white all over.
  9. Soft parts (living snail) are orange

Other names: none

Did you know? Even though horse conchs have the word “conch” in their name, they are actually in the tulip family. Horse conchs like to feed on other gastropods and bivalves. A horse conch’s favorite food is live pin shells.

Shelling tips: like lightning whelks, large horse conchs can also be buried in the sand and may be uncovered after a storm. Because a horse conch’s favorite prey item likes to live in shallow seagrass beds, horse conchs are often found in seagrass beds. Horse conchs can also be found around docks and pilings.