Buccinidae - True Whelks

Buccinidae, the true whelks, have a variety of shapes. They are usually characterized as having strong sutures, a smooth spiraling surface and can reach up to 26 cm (10 in). However, most of the ones found in Texas are smaller (<5 cm or 2 in) with strong radial nodulose ribs and a strong spire. Habitat is also variable, some living on soft substrates while others are adapted to hard substrates. They are carnivorous and opportunistic scavengers, eating other invertebrates, carrion and sometimes detritus. Many will use the flared lip of their aperture to pry open the shells of bivalves to prey on. There are 8 species of Buccinidae in Texas.