Nerita peloronta is one of the iconic Florida shells, mostly due to splash of red color on the parietal shield, which, combined with the tooth-like projections on that area, gives the species its common name. The Bleeding Tooth can reach 47 mm (about 1.9 inches), has a thick, globose shell with sculpture of low spiral cords, and white color with grayish or dark-gray streaks. The operculum is hard, calcified, with pustules on the attachment surface. The species is found on the intertidal (between tides) zone of rocky shores of the Caribbean, East Florida, and the Keys.
Shell of the Week: The Bleeding Tooth
Nerita peloronta, from Coral Cover, Palm Beach County, Florida. Illustration by James F. Kelly.