Busycon contrarium is a large gastropod in the family Melongidae. The shell of the lightening whelk is usually very recognizable because it spirals toward the left instead of the right like other gastropod shells. Juvenile shells have lightning bolt shaped stripes on the shell hence the common name lightning whelk. The interior of juvenile shells can be white, yellow or pale blue. Adults, on the other hand, are gray with a few vertical violet-brown streaks (Magalhaes 1948). The aperature of the adult shells can vary from white, pale yellow to orange or bright red.
- Boudreax ML, Stiner JL and LJ Walters. 2006. Biodiversity of sessile and motile macrofauna on intertidal oyster reefs in Mosquito Lagoon, Florida. Journal of Shellfish Research 25:1079-1089.
- ITIS Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Available online.
- Kent BW 1983. Natural history observations on the busyconine whelks Busycon contrarium (Conrad) and Busycon spiratum (Lamarck). Journal of Molluscan Studies 49:37-47.
- Magalhaes H 1948. An ecological study of snails of the genus Busycon at Beaufort, North Carolina. Ecological Monographs 18 (3): 379-409.
- Ruppert E and R Fox. 1988. Seashore Animals of the Southeast. University of South Carolina Press 429 pp.
- The Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience Left Handed Whelk, Lighting Whelk (Busycon contrarium). Available online.
- ZipCodeZoo.com Busycon contrarium. Available online.
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