Busycon caricais a member of the family Melongenidae and one of roughly fourteen known species of the subfamily Bucyconinae. Members of the genus Busycon are the largest marine gastropods along the eastern coast of the United States (Ram 1977). Juvenile whelks have small beads on their shells, while adult whelk shells are thick with spines on the shoulder. Knobbed whelk shells are right-handed and have a long siphonal canal. The outer shell is grayish white to tan and may have some dark brown streaks. The brown streaks are more prominent in juvenile shells. The inner shell ranges in colors from pale yellow to orange and even dark red.
- Anderson WD, Eversole AG, Anderson BA and KB Van Sant. 1985. A biological evaluation of the knobbed whelk fishery in South Carolina. National Marine Fisheries Service Publication. 2-392-R 76 pp.
- Anderson WD. 2005 Busycon carica. Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy; SC Department of Natural Resources. Available online as a pdf file.
- Bruce DG. 2006. The whelk dredge fishery of Delaware. Journal of Shellfish Research 25:1-13.
- Carriker MR. 1951. Observations on the penetration of tightly closing bivalves by Busycon and other predators. Ecology. 32(1):73-83.
- Castagna M and JN Kraeuter. 1994. Age, growth rate, sexual dimorphism and fecundity of knobbed whelk Busycon carica(Gmelin,1791) in a western Mid-Atlantic lagoon system, Virginia. Journal of Shellfish Research. 2(2): 581-585.
- Hardy's Internet Guide to Marine Gastropods. Available online.
- Magalhaes H. 1948. An ecological study of the genus Busycon at Beaufort, North Carolina. Ecological Monographs. 18(3): 377-409.
- Ram JL. 1977. Hormonal control of reproduction in Busycon: Laying of egg capsules caused by nervous system extracts. Marine Biological Laboratory. Biol. Bull., 152: 221-232.
- The Georgia Shell Club Whelk Page. Available online.
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