Skip to main content

Knobbed Whelk

New Jersey State Shell

Live knobbed whelk; photo by f_iodinea on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution).

Official State Shell of New Jersey

New Jersey designated knobbed whelk (Busycon carica gmelin) as the official state shell in 1995. Knobbed whelk shells can be found on all beaches and bays of New Jersey. All State Fish, Shells & Aquatic Life

Knobbed whelk is also the official state seashell of Georgia (Texas and Delaware also recognize whelk shells as a state symbol; lightning whelk and channeled whelk, respectively). 

Commonly called a conch shell, the shell of the knobbed whelk is large, solid, and pear-shaped, coiling from left to right (as seen from its apex). The knobbed whelk is yellowish-gray in color, with brownish purple axial streaks in juveniles.