Slight Baby Ear Shell, Frail Ear Shell, Bull’s Eye Shell
Caracol Oreja del Bebé Ligero
(Sinum debile)

Slight Baby Ear Shell, Sincum debile: The Slight Baby Ear Shell is white and stained with rusty yellow and beautifully sculptured with fine rays crossing the lines of growth. They are very flat and delicate. They have small spires and very large apertures. They vary in size from 1.5 cm (0.6 inches) to 2.8 cm (1.1 inches).

They are found in all Mexican waters of the Pacific on tidal flats at extreme low tide and offshore to depths of 150 feet.

The Slight Baby Ear Shell is a medium sized member of the Naticidae family, the moon shells which are predatory operculated sea snails. They are found intertidally over and within sand and mud bottoms plowing through substrate seeking prey.

When on the prowl, the body extends well outside its shell; when threatened it can quickly withdraw into its shell ridding its body of large amounts of water through its foot. However, they cannot stay in these confined quarters for long because they drown.

They feed mainly on bivalve mollusks by generating a large amount of mucus to confuse their prey and then drill a neat beveled hole in the shell with its radula and feed on the organisms soft flesh. The females deposit eggs, that number in the thousands, in a collar-shaped structure made of sand grains cemented together with mucus which is molded into shape and attached over the margin of the aperture. The have short spires and large body whorls.

There are 44 global members of the Sinum Genus, all of which have sculpture with fine spiral groves, they vary in color from brown to white, and the animals are too big to fit into the shells.

Slight Baby Ear Shell picture

Slight Baby Ear Shell picture

Slight Baby Ear Shell, Sincum debile: Provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in April 2011. Size 2.6 cm (1.0 inches) x 1.9 cm (0.75 inches). Description and photos courtesy of John Snow.