Melongenidae - Whelks and Crown Conchs

Melongenidae contains the busycon whelks and crown conch. Their shells typically have a broad body whorl with a long and narrow or short and wide siphonal canal. They are carnivorous and feed mostly on bivalves. They use their massive foot to cover the bivalve and pry the shells apart. They then wedge their shell between the bivalve shells and extend their feeding apparatus (proboscis) inside the clam. There are 4 species found in Texas, including the lightning whelk, the state shell of Texas.