The Assateague
Naturalist

Picture
Picture
The Channeled Whelk (Busycon canaliculatum)
up to about 7 inches

The channeled whelk has five to six whorls with very small "beads" along the whorl edges rather than the knobs found on lightning and knobbed whelks. As with the knobbed whelk and most other whelks, the channeled whelk's opening is on the right side.

Indians once used the beads cut from the whorls around the central axis of the shell as ornaments and money.

Channeled whelks live in the sand just below the level of the low tide. As with the lightning and knobbed whelks, the females lay strings of egg capsules, attaching one end in the sand. Each capsule can hold up to 100 eggs, and a small hole at the top allows the larvae to escape.

The channeled whelk is found from Massachusetts to northern Florida.

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