Shell of the Week: The Girdled Triton
Linatella caudata (Gmelin, 1791) reaches 70 mm (about 2.75 inches), and has a shell sculptured with rounded spiral cords, sometimes with small knobs on the periphery (the angled part) of the last whorl. The color is light-brown, sometimes with broad spiral bands of lighter color. Tritons have extremely long pelagic (open-water) larval stages. These can be transported by ocean currents into areas farther away from where the mother tritons deposited their eggs. Girdled Tritons are not common in Southwest Florida, but may occasionally show up in our coast after a long, current-driven larval excursions from other parts of the Gulf of Mexico.