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Southwest Florida Shells with Emphasis on Sanibel & Captiva

By José H. Leal

Family Terebridae

Terebra dislocata

(Say, 1822)

Eastern Auger

Shell size to 65 mm; shell slender, with small body whorl. Sculpture of 20-25 axial ribs. Whorls constricted below suture by relatively deep spiral line. Columella with two folds. Color very variable, from pale cream to almost black, but more often grayish with brown accents. Intertidal on sandy beaches and sand flats. This is the most abundant of the four species of auger snails living on the sandy shores of Southwest Florida. Augers are found in the sand close to the water edge, in medium- to coarse-sand habitats, where they feed on marine worms, using their teeth modified as tiny harpoons, in the fashion of cone snails, to inject venom into their prey. Photo of the live animal taken by Amy Tripp on Kice Island, Collier County, in 2014.