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Junonia found on Sanibel

By Staff | Nov 24, 2020


Fort Myers resident Maggie Ciufo found a junonia on Nov. 5 near the Sanibel Inn on Sanibel during low tide. She reported that her mother, Linda Ciufo, was visiting and they ventured out to the beach as both are avid shellers. After about an hour of walking and not finding anything noteworthy, Ciufo caught a glimpse of something orange sticking out of the sand. She “Sanibel Stooped” to dig out the object and it was a Florida fighting conch. Suddenly, Ciufo had the urge to dig around the spot and felt an oblong shape a few inches below the surface, completely buried. To her surprise, as the sand fell back into the ocean off of the shell, Ciufo realized that she had found an intact junonia. She shouted in excitement for her mother to come see and both were shell-shocked. They spent the next hour digging in the area, unearthing fighting conchs, lightning whelks and even a large alphabet cone. A recent transplant to Florida, Ciufo noted that the day before they had spoken to a local who told them, “You don’t find the junonia, the junonia finds you.” She added that she is now a firm believer in that and that her find is a sign she is where she is meant to be.