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Good and Plenty! ~ Black Tegulas ~

Posted by Jody on March 29, 2012

Black Tegulas (Tegula funebralis) are extremely common finds along the Pacific coast of the United States.  Also known as Black Turbans, they live along the shoreline and rocks of the upper and middle intertidal zones from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to the central Baja California peninsula. These little beauties are often found packed tightly into neat and tidy clusters on rocky surfaces and in crevices.

Black Tegulas in a Cluster

A beautiful deep purple-black, the Black Tegula has a sturdy, top shaped shell.  The very tip, or apex, of the shell is usually worn away, revealing a pretty, pearly white layer just beneath the outer smooth, black surface. The inside of the shell is also a pearlescent white. Members of the Top Shell Family (Trochidae), Black Tegulas are herbivores, feeding on seaweed and algae. These plentiful marine snails grow to ¾” – 1 ¾” high.

Black Tegulas -Tegula funebralis- pictured with anemones in upper intertidal zone.

Black Tegulas are an especially fun discovery in their typical tide pool environment.  Get close, be patient, and watch carefully. What is really living in those shells? Are you actually seeing legs?  Could be! You’ll surely discover that some of these strong, solid shells have become comfortable (and, extremely affordable) housing for hermit crabs!

Picking up vacated Black Tegulas on the beach is the best way to collect these rugged, beautifully colored seashells.  As beach treasures, they are the perfect addition to any beachcomber’s treasure trove!

Have a great day at the beach!

~~~~~

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