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US Official State Shells Designations

Official State Shells, Seashells or Sea Shells

This is a list of official state shells for those States of the USA that have chosen to select one as part of their state insignia.

These are seashells, the shells of various marine mollusks including both gastropod and bivalves. Each one was chosen to represent a maritime state, based on the fact that the species occurs in that state and was considered suitable to represent the state, either because of the species commercial importance as a local seafood item, or because of its beauty, rarity, exceptional size, or other features.

Seashells have been used by humans for many different purposes throughout history and pre-history. However, seashells are not the only kind of shells; in various habitats it is possible to find shells from freshwater animals such as freshwater mussels and freshwater snails, and it is also possible to find the shells of land snails.

Official State Shells Designations

State Symbols

Shells - Species - Designation - Adopted

Alabama Scaphella junonia johnstoneae
(Scaphella junonia johnstoneae)

Alabama State Shell - 1990
Connecticut Eastern oyster
(Crassostrea virginica)

Connecticut State Shellfish - 1989
Delaware Shell of the channeled whelk
(Busycotypus canaliculatus)

Delaware State Shell - 2014
Florida Horse conch
(Pleuroploca gigantea)
Florida State Shell - 1969
Georgia Knobbed whelk
(Busycon carica)
Georgia State Shell - 1987
Massachusetts New England neptune
(Neptunea lyrata decemcostata)
Massachusetts State Shell - 1987
Mississippi Oyster shell
Mississippi State Shell - 1974
New Jersey Shell of the knobbed whelk
(Busycon carica (Gmelin, 1791)
New Jersey State Shell - 1995
New York Bay scallop
(Argopecten irradians )
New York State Shell - 1988
North Carolina Scotch bonnet
(Semicassis granulata granulata)
North Carolina State Shell - 1965
Oregon Oregon triton
(Fusitrition oregonensis)
Oregon State Shell - 1989
Rhode Island Quahaug
(Mercenaria mercenaria)
Rhode Island State Shell - 1987
South Carolina Lettered olive
(Oliva sayana)
South Carolina State Shell - 1984
Texas Lightning whelk
(Busycon perversum pulleyi)
Texas State Shell - 1987
Virginia Oyster shell
(Crassostraea virginica)
Virginia State Shell - 1974
State Shells
State Shells
A seashell or sea shell, also known simply as a shell, is a hard, protective outer layer created by an animal that lives in the sea. The shell is part of the body of the animal. Empty seashells are often found washed up on beaches by beachcombers. The shells are empty because the animal has died and the soft parts have been eaten by another animal or have rotted out.
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