Burnt Dove Shell
(Columbella fuscata)

Burnt Dove Shell, Columbella fuscata: The Burnt Dove Shell is a chestnut-brown shell that is dotted and irregularly spotted with white. Just below the suture are a band of triangular white markings.

The shell is covered with a smooth, light olive periostracum and the aperture is lavender in color fading to white. The callus of the posterior part of the inner lip is weakly developed and the denticles on the anterior part of the inner lip are few or of uneven size.

Burnt Dove Shells are found in and around the low-tide line under rocks. They reach a maximum size of 2.0 cm (0.8 inches) and 1.2 cm (0.5 inches) in diameter.

In Mexican waters the Burnt Dove Shell is found south of Magdalena Bay along the west coast of Baja, in the lower third of the Sea of Cortez and along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala.

This shell is sold at a significant level by shell collectors.

The Burnt Dove Shell is a member of the Columbellidae Family, which are the Dove Shells, with about 400 individual global species. The members of the family are very small with few exceeding an inch. They have strong shells that can resist crushing by crabs, their predator, and empty shells make excellent homes for hermit crabs. Most are nighttime carnivorous scavenging carnivores that feed on ascidians, crustaceans, molluscs and worms. They have eyes at the base of the tentacles.

Burnt Dove Shell picture

Burnt Dove Shell picture

Burnt Dove Shell, Columbella fuscata: Collected off the beach at Cero Colorado, Km. 24, in the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in May 2010. Size 2.0 cm (0.8 inches) by 1.3 cm (0.5 inches). Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.