Anyone who has ever walked on a beach has come across a shell or two. We have small collection ourselves, but my favorites are the tiniest ones.
These pictured are all common around the Mediterranean, but several are species that I had not seen before. The jingle shells and the patella shells are the ones that most fascinated me the first time we came across them on the beach.
I have since learned that jingle shells are common the world over. I had never come across a translucent shell on a beach before and find these shells to be very pretty. The variety of colors are also amazing, we have seen clear, tan, bronze, pink, lots of yellow and one lavender. The tiny one that I have is about 1/4″ in diameter.
The patella shells continue to surprise me. We have come across several in different sizes from the tiny one pictured here (about 3/8″ in length) to some that are 30 mm (roughly 1 1/4″). My favorite are the ones that look like they have the Spiderman emblem on the top.
Having never seen either of these shells before prompted an entire afternoon of research. There are so many great sites available for shell identification but there is an Italian site that I have found helpful on several occasions, Conchiglie del Mediterraneo. It takes a while to go through each family of shell, but there are lots of photos to help with identification. I think I have correctly identified the ones in our little collection, but if you happen to be an avid shell collector and see any errors, please comment below and let me know!