Florida Horse Conch (Pleuroplaca gigantea Kiener, 1840)

A young Florida Horse Conch.
Pleuroplaca gigantea Kiener, 1840

Florida Horse Conch:
Tiny “Foal,” Big Horse

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

The Florida Horse Conch is the official state shell of Florida. The adult shell is orangish, cream, or brown on the exterior, with a thin brown periostracum (or scaly covering). The spindle-shaped shell has an orangey-red aperture (opening). The snail inside is a brick-red color. It feeds voraciously on bivalves and other snails.

The Florida Horse Conch and another snail, the Australian Trumpet (Syrinx araunus) share the honor of being the two largest univalves (or gastropods) in the world. The Florida Horse Conch can be as tall as 2 feet, and is very heavy. It is found from North Carolina shores to Florida, and west to the beaches of Mexico.


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