top of page

Junonia Research

at Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum

video by Rebecca Mensch

Why are Junonia shells so rare?

The types of shells that can be readily found on the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva come from animals that live close to shore. The Junonia sea snail lives miles offshore, in water between 30 and 130 meters deep! So it’s very rare for the waves to roll them all the way to the beach without being damaged.


Why are Junonia shells spotted?

We don’t know for sure, but their mottled coloring probably helps them camouflage.


What else is distinctive about Junonias?

Junonia snails lack an operculum, but they do have an epipodium covered in small papillae. They also have a short siphon which does not protrude out of the sand when they bury themselves.


How did the Museum acquire live Junonias?

In February 2018, Museum Marine Biologist Rebecca Mensch set out to collect a live Junonia snail during a four-day research cruise with former Museum Board Member Dr. Gregory Herbert, funded by the Florida Institute of Oceanography and the University of South Florida's School of Geosciences. She came back with three! Dr. Herbert has graciously loaned them to the Museum for Rebecca’s research.


What will your research reveal about Junonias?

We are studying what Junonias eat, how much they eat, and how frequently they feed. Our ultimate goal is to better understand how these animals live so that the scientific community and policy makers are better informed about Florida’s conservation needs and priorities.


Are the live Junonias on display at the Museum?

Live Junonia snails are now on display in the Museum's new Living Gallery!

bottom of page