North Captiva Rose Petal Tellin
Rose Petal Tellin

North Captiva Zigzag Scallop
Zigzag Scallop

North Captiva Turkey Wing
Turkey Wing

North Captiva Florida Cone
Florida Cone

North Captiva Sunrise Tellin
Sunrise Tellin

North Captiva Lettered Olive
Lettered Olive

North Captiva Pecten Ravenelli
Pecten Ravenelli

North Captiva Lightning Whelk
Lightning Whelk

North Captiva Calico Scallop
Calico Scallop

North Captiva Fighting Conk
Fighting Conk

North Captiva Lion's Paw
Lion's Paw

North Captiva Shelling

These are examples of shells that you'll find on the beach at any given time. For the most part, there are an abundance of them but there are a few things you need to know.

Hot Tip!!!

You may be wondering about sand dollars, there's none on the beach. Well there's an abundance of them too, but there's a trick to finding them. You heard this from me! You need a diving ma sk or swimming goggles and what you do is wade into the water chest deep. Be careful of stingrays (shuffle lightly, don't step). Now dive to the bottom and get as close to the bottom with your mask as possible. Look for tiny wholes in the seafloor, in groups of three, and start digging. You're guaranteed to find sand dollars and lots of them.

North Captiva Sand Dollar

North Captiva Sea Urchin

In additition to shells and sand dollars, you'll also find an abundance of sea urchins and driftwood and the occasional man'o'war. Take what you please but remember that it is illegal to take living shells. Please don't be greedy and take everything that you see, just take what appeals to your eye. Don't forget, start early! And, if you're feeling adventurous, try a day on Cayo Costa.

Beachcomber's Checklist

For more information about the variety of shells to be found on North Captiva and the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast Barrier Islands, visit The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum Online.