Incredibly Rare Sinistral Queen Conch Sighted!

Check out the picture of the Queen Conch on p.34 of the November/December 2008 Florida Wildlife magazine. It shows the incredibly rare sinistral form of this gastropod. Most gastropod shells have a turn to the right, or dextral, form. A well-known species of gastropod in Florida that typically has a turn to the left, or sinistral, form is the Lightning Whelk, a very common inhabitant of Florida’s bays and inshore waterways. But the Queen Conch doesn’t go to the left that often. One can only imagine the trouble Florida Wildlife photographers had to go through in order to find not just a sinistral Queen Conch, but a live sinistral Queen Conch. The conch page at the website shows the normal, dextral form.

Either that, or the editor “flopped” the photo. Rembrandt famously did the same thing, although carving a whole etching is rather more involved than flopping a photo.

Queen Conchs are a protected species, so please leave them where they are when you visit Florida.

Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Data scientist in real estate and econometrics. Blogger. Speaker. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.