Washington Oaks Gardens State Park - Flagler County, Florida

    Located two miles south of Marineland on State Road A1A in northern Flagler County, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park is primarily known for its formal gardens. However, probably of more interest for shell enthusiasts is the fact that the park provides access to both the Matanzas River and the Atlantic Ocean beach that has a unique shoreline lined with coquina rock formations. Both offer shelling/photographic opportunities. Florida State Parks are managed as natural systems. All plant and animal life is protected. Do not remove, deface, mutilate or molest any natural resources.

Shelling:  The park is at the very northern end of the range of Melongena corona (Gmelin, 1791) (Crown Conch) and both live specimens and empty shells can be found along the shoreline in the Matanzas River. Thus far, live specimens have not been recorded north of this location but their range probably extends further northward to at least the Matanzas Inlet area of southern St. Johns County. Additionally, unusual color variants of Cinctura hunteria (G. Perry, 1811) (Eastern Banded Tulip) (see image below), much coveted by collectors, can also be found in the river. The rock formations on the ocean beach shelter a large population of Stramonita haemastoma floridana (Conrad, 1837) (Florida Rocksnail) in a variety of colors as well as a other much smaller rock dwelling species.

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park Beach Looking North 1/23/2008

Washington Oaks Gardens State Park Beach Looking South 6/23/2005

Unusual Color Variant Of Cinctura hunteria From The Matanzas River

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