Connecticut Audbon Society


The Answer for the June 1 Mystery is……

If you guessed jingle shells, mermaid’s toenails, Neptune’s toenails, toenail shells, gold shells or saddle oysters, you are correct!!












  1. Jingle shells are shiny mollusks that got their name because they produce a bell-like sound when several shells are shaken together.
  2. The shells are thin and often translucent, they will grow following the shape of the surface they are on.
  3. They are bi-valves and related to mussels, clams and scallops
  4. They are not eaten by humans, the “meat” of the bi-valve is bitter in taste.
  5. Often times you will see a small hole at the bottom of the shell, where the byssal threads are secreted by a gland located near the jingle shell’s foot. The byssal threads attach themselves to a hard substrate to secure it in place.
  6. They live in relatively shallow water less than 30 feet deep.
  7. Jingle shells are filter feeders. They eat plankton by filtering water through their gills, where cilia remove the prey.
  8. They are usually male and female, but sometimes can be hermaphroditic. They reproduce by spawning. Gametes are released into the water column and will live there until they settle on the bottom of the ocean and attach themselves to a hard surface.
  9. Most jingle shells are washed up on shore during a storm and it is not often you see a live jingle shell.
  10. Many people use jingle shells for crafts and jewelry.
  11. If you collect the jingle shells enjoy them at the beach, then leave them where you found them for others to enjoy!









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