North Carolina State Size Records for Marine Mollusks


It has been more than 30 years since Hugh Porter discontinued keeping record sizes of shells found in North Carolina waters and now the NC Shell Club will resume this popular feature. The Club has formed a Records Committee comprised of Doug Wolfe, Everett Long, John Timmerman and Ed Shuller to which shells must be submitted for consideration as new state records.

So check your collection for any shell(s) you believe to be a contender and get them to one of the Committee members. Include as much collection information as you know. At least two members of the Committee will verify shell identification and measure the size. Shells will be returned to the owner.


1. To be eligible for listing, specimens must have been found initially in North Carolina (if from scallop shell piles, piles must be of North Carolina caught shells).

2. Records will be kept ONLY for live taken specimens unless a dead taken specimen is larger than the live record.

3. For all specimens the collector must state whether they were dead or live collected. Gastropods submitted as live taken should include the operculum if possible.

4. Measurements must be verified by at least two members of the North Carolina Shell Club's Records Committee.

5. A single valve of a bivalve may be submitted for consideration.

6. Broken valves will be accepted but the measurement will only be of the shell remnant present.

7. For specimens submitted for consideration as new records the measurement will be of the same dimension as recorded for the current record holding specimen.

8. For species not previously in the record list the Committee will verify that the species can be found in North Carolina; then they will determine the dimension of greatest length and accept that dimension as the record.

9. A dead specimen is included in the published listing only if it is larger than the published live collected specimen.

Direction of Measurement and Condition:


H = height of a bivalve (hinge edge or apex to ventral edge in a perpendicular direction)

L = length of a bivalve (maximum anterior to posterior measurement)


L = Length of a gastropod from apex to tip of siphonal canal.

W = "wide" gastropods such as sundials, angarias, slippersnails, some topsnails, etc are measured on maximum diameter instead of height or length


A = live taken

D = dead collected

Nomenclature is based on the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) listings as of June 2016.

It would be hoped that upon the dismantling of a collector's collection, recorded record-sized specimens would be offered to a well-known collection of North Carolina shells whether it be amateur or museum.


A Current List of North Carolina Marine Mollusks Size Records: Microsoft Word Format

A Current List of North Carolina Marine Mollusks Size Records: Adobe Acrobat .pdf Format


March 25, 2017 Updates to North Carolina Marine Mollusks Size Records:


Size (mm)



Fasciolaria tulipa


On ship wreck off Ocracoke

Ann Sommers

Mercenaria campechiensis


Cape Lookout Bight of Shackleford Banks

Brady Semmel

Atrina serrata


Lee Houtaf Island, Pender County

Brady Semmel

Busycotypus canaliculatus


Bald Head Island, East Beach

Brady Semmel

Anadara secticostata (Reeve, 1844)

Formerly Anadara floridana Conrad, 1869


Shackleford Banks

Brady Semmel

Trachycardium muricatum


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Noetia ponderosa


Intracoastal waterway, Wrightsville Beach

Brady Semmel

Crepidula fornicatum


Shackleford Banks

Brady Semmel

Anadara ovalis


Shackleford Banks

Brady Semmel

Chione cancellata


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Anomia simplex


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Epitonium humphreysi


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Littorina irorrata


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Donax variabilis


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Martesia cuneiformis


Cape Fear River

Brady Semmel

Phrontis vibex


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Anachis avaria


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Prunum roscidum


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Olivella floralia


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Trita alba


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel

Gyoscala rupicola


Masonboro Inlet

Brady Semmel





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