top of page
  • José H. Leal

The Nutmeg

The elegant Nutmeg, Cancellaria reticulata (Linnaeus, 1767), is one of the most coveted local species, always representing one of the “best finds” at the end of a successful shelling day. The species name evokes the reticulated shell sculpture and, although the Nutmeg’s food and feeding mechanisms remain unknown, the arrangement of the alimentary system suggests a diet of soft tissue or fluid. The Nutmeg belongs to the family Cancellariidae, a group of marine snails known to feed suctorially, “sucking” soft tissue, fluids, or blood with the assistance of specialized feeding organs.

The Nutmeg: shell photos by José H. Leal; photo of live animal taken by Amy Tripp in Collier County.

bottom of page