The Pear Whelk
For the last two weeks this column covered the renowned Lightning Whelk, Sinistrofulgur sinistrum. Today I want to introduce its smaller, right-handed cousin, the Pear Whelk, Fulguropsis spirata (Lamarck, 1816). Pear Whelks can reach 15 cm (about 6 inches). The shell is thin, with a long anterior canal and short, flattened spire. The color shows variations around the theme of a cream background with axial (“longitudinal”) brown streaks. The egg cases in this species resemble those of the Lightning Whelk, but are smaller, thinner, and bear “spikes” around the edges.
The Pear Whelk, Fulguropsis spirata, and its egg capsules, from Sanibel. Photos by José H. Leal.