Although the Smooth Atlantic Tegula, Tegula fasciata (Born, 1778), may be commonly found in other parts of Florida and of the western Atlantic Ocean, it is rarely found on Sanibel. Its shell may be almost an inch long, with a depressed ("flattened") spire, smooth, and about six whorls (shell “turns”) in fully grown specimens. The shell base is smooth, with a deep umbilicus (the “hole” under the shell). The color in this species is extremely variable, with many combinations of mottled stripes, spots, lines, with alternating streaks of reds, browns, cream, bluish hues, and white. The shell illustrated for this column is an immature specimen, found at Blind Pass on Sanibel. The spire is relatively taller in more mature specimens.
A young Smooth Atlantic Tegula, Tegula fasciata. Photos by José H. Leal.