Shell of the Month – July 2022

Terebra areolata (Link, 1807) by diver 20m in sand, Palawam Island, Philippines

Terebra pertusa (Born, 1778) hand dredged 4-8m, Olango Island, Cebu, Philippines 

Terebra nebulosa (Sowerby, 1825) hand dredged 4-8m, Olango Island, Cebu, Philippines 

The Terebridae are a very large family composed of over 400 species. They are world-wide in distribution and live in tropical waters. They prefer a sandy bottom where they feed on sea worms using a harpoon like attachment to poison their prey. They are commonly called Augers, named after a drill bit.

Most augers are small  growing to a maximum size of3 2-3” with many species much smaller then that.  There are a dozen or so species that reach 5+6”, one of which we have here.  And then there is the heavy weight Marlin Spoke, Terebra maculata in a class bu itself. This sold, massive shell reaches 10”.

The Augers a re a colorful lot with an amazing amount of variety. One needs a magnifying glass to identify the smaller species and it would probably take an expert o do so.

The pretty rose colored Terebra nebulosa came out of a dealers lot of 30 that had a few others species mixed in..

All shells were acquired by Richard Kent from a dealer based in Cebu, Phillips.

When shelling in Florida waters, keep an eye open, we have augers here, though all are bland whitish in color.