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Delaware State Shell

Shell of the Channeled Whelk

Delaware State Beverage

(Busycotypus canaliculatus)

Adopted on May 6, 2014

On May 6, 2014, Governor Jack Markell signed House Bill No. 199, making the shell of the channeled whelk (Busycotypus canaliculatus) the official state shell of the State of Delaware. The bill states that the channeled whelk shell, also known as a conch, "contributes to the beauty of our seashores, as well as to the marine economy of the State of Delaware."

Louis L. Redding Middle School sixth-grader, Allyson Willis, a Delaware resident and a member of the Girl Scouts of the USA began petitioning the state more than a year before the adoption, working with state Rep. Quinn Johnson, D-Middletown, on the bill. It was Willis who lobbied state lawmakers to secure the bill's passage.

"The Department of Natural Resources really did some research with Allyson to ensure we have the correct shell,"said Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, D-Middletown, co-sponsor of the bill

Delaware State Shell: Shell of the Channeled Whelk

Delaware State Shell: Shell of the Channeled Whelk

The channeled whelk, Busycotypus canaliculatus (formerly known as Busycon canaliculatum) is a large snail that reaches 5 - 8 inches in length. The shell is generally pear-shaped, with a large body whorl and a straight siphonal canal. There is a wide, deep channel at the sutures between whorls. There are often weak knobs at the shoulders of the whorls. Finely sculpted lines begin at the siphonal canal and revolve around the shell surface. Body color is typically a buff gray to light tan, with darker brown to brown-red vertical banding. The shell aperture is located on the right side, with left-handed specimens being rare.

Habitat:
Channeled whelks prefer sandy, shallow intertidal or subtidal areas and can be common in these habitats.

Range:
Channeled whelks range from Massachusetts through eastern Florida, and have been introduced into San Francisco Bay, California.

Delaware House Bill No. 199

Passed unanimously by the Delaware Senate.

SPONSOR: Rep. Q. Johnson & Sen. Hall-Long
Reps. Baumbach, Spiegelman, Smyk, Viola, Wilson;
Sens. Ennis, Lopez, Sokola

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
147th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 199

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO STATE SHELL.

WHEREAS, the channeled whelk is a beautiful sea creature integral to the ecology and economy of the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the warm estuarine waters and sandy sediments of Delaware Bay provide excellent habitat for the channeled whelk and our beaches are graced by their unique shells; and

WHEREAS, whelks are harvested every year all along the east coast, including thousands of pounds by Delaware watermen, and whelk is exported every year to other countries;

NOW, THEREFORE

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 3, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by inserting a new section 324 as shown by underlining as follows:

? 324. State shell.

The shell of the channeled whelk (Busycotypus canaliculatus) shall be the official shell of the State.

Delaware Law

The law designating the channeled whelk as the official Delaware state shell is found in the Delaware Code Title 29, General Provisions, Chapter 3, Section 324

TITLE 29
State Government
General Provisions
CHAPTER 3. STATE SEAL, SONG AND SYMBOLS

§ 324 State shell.

The shell of the channeled whelk (Busycotypus canaliculatus) shall be the official shell of the State.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Channeled Whelk

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Gastropoda
(unranked): clade Caenogastropoda
                   clade Hypsogastropoda
                   clade Neogastropoda
Superfamily: Buccinoidea
    Family: Busyconidae
Genus: Busycotypus
Species: B. canaliculatus

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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