Sinistrofulgur sinistrum

Sinistrofulgur sinistrum is an edible species of large predatory sea snail in the family Busyconidae, the busycon whelks.[1] This species is often confused with Sinistrofulgur perversum, and with Busycon contrarium, which is now considered an exclusively fossil species.[2]

Sinistrofulgur sinistrum
Busycon sinistrum (lightning whelk) on marine beach (Cayo Costa Island, Florida, USA) (23700747493).jpg
On Cayo Costa Island, Florida
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
Subclass: Caenogastropoda
Order: Neogastropoda
Family: Buccinidae
Genus: Sinistrofulgur
S. sinistrum
Binomial name
Sinistrofulgur sinistrum
(Hollister, 1958)
  • Busycon (Sinistrofulgur) aspinosum Hollister, 1958
  • Busycon (Sinistrofulgur) sinistrum Hollister, 1958 (basionym)
  • Busycon perversum sinistrum Hollister, 1958
  • Busycon sinistrum Hollister, 1958 (original combination)


Museum specimen of the egg capsules

The size of the shell varies between 20 to 45 cm (7.9 to 17.7 in).

This species normally has a sinistral (left-handed) shell, thus the scientific name. (When the shell is held with the spiral end up, the opening is on the left side.) The spire is low and the siphonal canal is long. There is a distinct shoulder where the spire meets the body whorl; knobs of small to moderate size are found at the shoulder. The base color of the shell is variable but is usually pale, and the shell is marked with dark stripes that run down its long axis.


This marine species occurs in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the North Atlantic Ocean.[3]


  1. ^ Bouchet, P. (2015). Sinistrofulgur sinistrum (Hollister, 1958). In: MolluscaBase (2015). Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2015-12-03
  2. ^ J. Wise, M. G. Harasewych, R. T. Dillon Jr. (2004). Population divergence in the sinistral whelks of North America, with special reference to the east Florida ecotone Archived 2012-08-24 at the Wayback Machine (PDF; 673 kB). Marine Biology 145, pp. 1167–1179.
  3. ^ "Sinistrofulgur sinistrum (Hollister, 1958)". Retrieved 3 July 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  • Hollister S.C. 1958, A review of the genus Busycon and its allies - Part I: Palaeontographica Americana IV(28): 48-126, pls. 8-18.
  • Petuch E.J., Myers R.F. & Berschauer D.P. (2015). The living and fossil Busycon whelks: Iconic mollusks of eastern North America. San Diego Shell Club. viii + 195 pp.

External linksEdit