An unnamed wentletrap shell found locally was named for Jose Leal, the curator director for the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum on Sanibel. The shell was named Epitonium Leali.

One of the special attractions at the 2024 Sanibel Shell Show will be an opportunity to meet Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum & Aquarium Science Director and Curator, Dr. Jose Leal, and renowned shell expert Kevan Sutherland.  Both men are judging the very competitive Scientific Division and will be available during the show to help attendees identify their own shells.


Attendees are welcome to bring unusual shells or shells they can’t identify, for them to examine.  A specialized microscope will be on hand, so tiny shells are welcome! Be sure to stop by their table and say hello to these world-renowned experts in the field of conchology and malacology.


The 2024 Sanibel Shell Show will take place at the Marriott Sanibel Harbour, just before the Sanibel Causeway, on Friday and Saturday, March 8th and 9th, from 9am – 4pm.  There is a $5 cash donation requested, and each attendee will receive a bag of locally collected shells.


The Sanibel-Captiva Shell Club awards grants from the proceeds of the annual Sanibel Shell Show.  Grants are given towards education and research in the fields of conchology and malacology, as well as for conservation and water quality projects, primarily in Southwest Florida. For more information about the 2024 Sanibel Shell Show, or to join the club, please visit the website at