Visitors to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum can now get a rare glimpse at not one … not two … but three live Junonia snails on display in the Museum’s new Living Gallery!
The Junonia shell has been prized by collectors for generations. The Junonia sea snail lives miles offshore, typically in waters between 100 – 425 feet deep, so it’s quite rare for waves to roll them all the way to our beaches without getting damaged.
Until 2018, not a single video and only two photos of live Junonia existed. That’s when Museum Marine Biologist Rebecca Mensch set out to collect a live Junonia snail during a research cruise … and came back with three!
Rebecca is now studying them to determine what Junonias eat, how much they eat, and how frequently they feed. Her ultimate goal is to better understand how these animals live so as to help improve conservation policy.
For more information on the Shell Museum’s Junonia research program, click here. And be sure to add a visit to their new Living Gallery next time you’re on the island!