Maria’s Turret Shell
(Turritella mariana)

Maria’s Turret Shell, Turritella mariana: Maria’s Turret Shell is characterized by having two heavy spiral ribs just above and just below the suture and the area between is sculptured with several finely beaded spiral ribs.

The shell has buff coloring mottled with brown..

They reach 6.2 cm in length and 1.25 cm in width.

They range from Cedros Island south along the west coast of Baja, throughout the Sea of Cortez, and south to Panama.

Maria’s Turret Shells are used to make decorative jewelry and are also sold for shell collections. However they are exceedingly rare.

Maria’s Turret Shell is a member of the Turritellacea Family, the Tower Shells which are commonly known as Turret and Screw Shells. The Tower Shells have thick shells with several whorls, a round apature and a multispiral horny operculum.

When present, they reside in large colonies just below the surface of the sea floor. They are found beyond the low tide line and up to depths as great as 120 feet and consume detritus the majority of which is broken bits of seaweed

Maria’s Turret Shell picture

Maria’s Turret Shell picture

Maria’s Turret Shell, Turritella mariana: Collected by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in June, 2011. Size 8.8 cm (3.5 inches) x 1.7 cm (0.7 inches); diameter 5.1 cm (2.0 inches). We believe that this shell extends the known maximum size for this species. Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.