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Mrs. Walter E. Garrey 

39 Orchard Avenue 
Waban, Massachusetts 


> = 12 lines 

I inch (English) 

I pouce (French) 

I pollex (Latin) 

I ZoU (German) 

I Ligne (French) =2.25 mm. 

I line (English) = 2.11 mm. 

I linie (German) =2.18 mm. 

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I inch = 25.37 mm. 

I fathom = 6 feet 

I meter = 39.37 inches 

I nautical mile = 6,080 feet 

I statute mile = 5,280 feet 

degree latitude = 60 nautical miles or 

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V = female 

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Director Emeritus, Depart?7ieut of Tropical Research 
New York Zoological Society 


Smithsonian Institution 


Chairman, Department of Birds, 
American Museum of Natural History 


President, New York Zoological Society 
President, Conservation Foundation 






Pilsbry Chair of Malacology 
Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 



United States National Museum 
Smithsonian Institution 




D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 250 Fourth Avenue, New York 3 


D. Van Nostrand Company (Canada), Ltd., 25 Hollinger Rd., Toronto 


Macmillan & Company, Ltd., St. Martin's Street, London, W.C. 2 

Copyright, 1954, by 

Published simultaneously in Canada by 
D. Van Nostrand Company (Canada), Ltd. 

All rights in this book are reserved. Without 
written authorisation from D. Van Nostrand 
Company, Inc., 250 Fourth Avenue, New 
York 3, New York, it may not be reproduced in 
any form in whole or in part {except for quota- 
tion in critical articles or reviews), nor may it 
be used for dramatic, motion-talking-picture , 
radio, television, or any other similar purpose. 

Library of Congress Catalogue Card No. 54-5780 

First Printing, March ig^4 

Second {Prepiiblication) Printing, March ig$4 

Third Prifiting, May /pjj 

printed in the united states of AMERICA 

To my children 
Bobby, Carol, and Cindy 


This book wrote itself in response to the many hundreds of inquiries on 
seashells and other mollusks that have been sent to such museums as the 
Smithsonian Institution. Our natural heritage of seashore treasures has always 
been of keen interest to Americans, and in recent years there has been such 
an increase in shell collecting and biological investigations of mollusks that 
the need for a book like this has become apparent. 

American Seashells belongs to the amateurs, for it is their enthusiasm in 
searching beaches and bays and their limitless curiosity into the ways of mol- 
luscan life that have dictated the contents of this book. How do shells grow? 
How do they form their color patterns? How do they breed and what do 
they eat? are the kind of questions asked. But the greatest demand has been 
for a reliable and up-to-date identification work. This need has been felt 
not only by private collectors, but particularly by students of marine biology 
and those undertaking research in fisheries and ecology. In meeting these re- 
quirements, there has been an attempt to strike a balance between the palat- 
able, popular accounts and the more technical material. The illustrations, the 
standardization of popular names and the natural history accounts will be of 
particular interest to the beginner, and it is hoped that the monographic re- 
views, identification keys and the bibliographies will adequately serve the 
serious student. 

There are over 6000 species of mollusks living in North American marine 
waters, and a thorough treatment of them all would call for a book many times 
the size of this. The conchologist will find that the 1500 species discussed or 
illustrated within these pages include every kind of shell likely to be found 
in shallow waters, whether collecting is done in Labrador, Florida or along 
the western shores from Alaska to Lower California. 

While considerable original research went into many parts of this book, 
it should be kept in mind that a popular book covering such a vast fauna is 
merely an expression of the present state of knowledge of our science and 
that time and research by others will inevitably render sections of it obsolete. 

I would like to express my thanks to Dr. Leonard Carmichael, Secretary 
of the Smithsonian Institution, for granting permission to publish on and illus- 
trate specimens housed in the United States National Museum. Although the 
efforts involved in this project did not encroach upon official time, I would 


viii Preface 

like to record my good fortune in being able to consult the National Museum 
collections on holidays and during after hours. Austin H. Clark stands fore- 
most as spiritual guide and counselor in the many intricacies of preparing a 
book for the public. Dr. Harald A. Rehder, curator of the Division of Mol- 
lusks, with whom I have been pleasantly associated for several years, has kept 
a weather eye on this project and in not a few instances has made valuable 
suggestions. I have gratefully and heavily leaned on the Minutes of the 
Conchological Club of Southern California which represents the work of 
John Q. Burch, A. Myra Keen, A. M. Strong, S. Stillman Berry and many 
others. A4r. Gilbert Voss kindly helped me with the section on squid and 
octopus. This is also true of ]ohvsonia, a magnificent work produced by 
William J. Clench, Joseph Bequaert, Ruth D. Turner and others. I would 
also like to thank my friends in the National Museum for constant encourage- 

The heaviest debt is to the countless amateur collectors of American 
mollusks. Were it not for their enthusiastic pursuit of shells and their un- 
selfish desire to share their treasures with our leading museums, our scientific 
collections undoubtedly would be half their present size. It is my sincere 
hope that this book, by its usefulness, will measure up to their kindnesses and 

Illustrations make the book, and American Seashells could not have been 
successfully completed without the aid of Frederick M. Bayer, Associate 
Curator in the National Museum, who is responsible for the colored plates, 
including the lovely paintings of western Atlantic nudibranchs. Most of 
the other photographs were also taken by him. Special thanks are due William 
J. Clench who made available all the photographs and drawings that have 
appeared in Johnsonia. The colored paintings of Pacific coast nudibranchs 
are taken from F. M. MacFarland's "The Opisthobranchiate Mollusks from 
Monterey Bay, California, and Vicinity," which appeared in 1906 in the U. S. 
Bureau of Fisheries Bulletin 25. All of the exquisite pen drawings of shells, 
unless otherwise noted, were executed by the U. S. Army Surgeon, John C. 
McConnell, in connection with researches done by W illiam H, Dall of the 
U. S. Geological Survey. Our photographs of Florida Thorny Oysters are 
from specimens kindly sent on loan by Leo L. Burry of Pompano Beach, 

Notable credit is due Chanticleer Company of New York City which took 
such pains in the preparation of the colored plates, and to the printer who 
retained with such remarkable fidelity the beauty of the original photographs. 

R. T. A. 

Washington, D. C. 
September 15, 1953. 



Preface vii 

List of Plates xi 

Foreword by H. A. Pilsbry xiii 

Part I — The Natural History of Seashells 

I Man and Mollusks 3 

II Life of the Snails 16 

III Life of the Clams 31 

IV Lives of the Other Mollusks 46 

V Collecting American Seashells 56 

VI How to Know American Seashells 70 

Part II — Guide to the American Seashells 

VII Class Gastropoda (Periwinkles, Conchs and Other Snails) 

VIII Class Amphineura (Coat-of -mails and Other Chitons) . 

IX Class Scaphopoda (Dentaliums and Other Tusk-shells) . 

X Class Pelecypoda (Scallops, Oysters and Other Clams) 

XI Class Cephalopoda (Squid, Octopus and Cuttlefish) . 

XII Guide to the MoUuscan Literature 

Index to Subject Matter and Common Names . 
Index to Scientific Names 






List of Plates 



1 The Five Classes of Mollusks 

2 Pacific Coast Abalones 

3 Turbans, Top-shells, Star-shells 

4 Nerites, Purple Sea-snails, Sun-dials 

5 Conchs, Tritons, and Moon-shells 

6 Cowries 

7 Sea-whip snails 

8 Living Flamingo Tongues on the Rough Sea-whip, Miiricea 
muricata Pallas 

9 Bonnets, Tuns, and Frog-shells 

10 Murex Shells and Royal Tyrian Purple 

1 1 Spindles, Dwarf Olives and Marginellas 

12 Olive Shells 

13 Atlantic Tulips, Spindles and Volutes 

14 Atlantic Cones 

1 5 New England Nudibranchs 

1 6 Pacific Coast Nudibranchs 


17 Atlantic Coast Univalves — Limpets and Arenes 

1 8 Pacific Coast Univalves — Limpets and Tegulas 

1 9 Atlantic Coast Univalves — Periwinkles and Ceriths 

20 Pacific Coast Univalves — ^Periwinkles and Nassas 

2 1 Atlantic Coast Univalves — Worm-shells and Trivias 
2 2 Atlantic Coast Univalves — Wentletraps and Cones 


xii List of Plates 



2 3 Atlantic Coast Univalves — Conchs and Whelks 

24 Pacific Coast Univalves — Purpuras and Neptunes 

2 5 Atlantic Coast Univalves — Rock-shells and Doves 

26 Atlantic Coast Univalves — Miters and Bubbles 

27 Atlantic Coast Bivalves — Scallops and Arks 

2 8 Atlantic Coast Bivalves — Oysters and Astartes 

29 Pacific Coast Bivalves — Mussels and Semeles 

30 Atlantic Coast Bivalves — Lucines and Tellins 

3 1 Pacific Coast Bivalves — Cockles and Venerids 

3 2 Atlantic Coast Bivalves — Venus and Macomas 


33 Large Scallops 

34 Small Scallops 

35 Pearl Oysters and Mussels 

36 Thorny Oysters 

37 Jewel Boxes 

38 Atlantic Oysters, Lucinas and Venus Clams 

39 Venus Clams and Cockles 

40 Semeles and Tellins 


Shell collecting is now taking its place as one of the major outdoor 
diversions. It has advantages over such pursuits as bird watching or fishing, 
for you may have even more pleasure in studying your catch at home than 
in the time spent afield. The thrill of finding a shell new to you, or of watch- 
ing some rare snail going about its watery aff^airs, is ample reward for the 
sunburn and stifi" neck you may have from wading around too long with a 
water-glass. Hours sieving dredgings are counted well spent if a fine volute 
or turrid turns up in the seaweed and rubbish. 

American Seashells gives a comprehensive and well-rounded view of the 
Mollusca in nontechnical language. It is easy reading for the beginner, but it 
contains also material indispensable to the advanced malacologist. The chap- 
ters on nudibranchs and pteropods are especially welcome, for these beautiful 
animals have always been slighted in American books. In chapters on the 
life of the snail and the clam, with the author we "listen in" to the current 
of molluscan life. The shells become living things, moving and breathing, 
feeding and mating. 

One perplexity of the novice is that different books may give different 
names for the same shell. The causes of this diversity are explained on a 
later page. With the facilities of the largest museum in America, the author 
has been able to speak with authority in those matters of nomenclature. 
When the problem is zoological and still to be solved by further collections, 
or by the study of living moUusks, then the cooperation of the keen collector 
may give the answer sought. Professional malacologists are few. Their work 
is largely in museums with dead animals. The interesting but long task of 
collecting from a thousand miles of coast, and observing mollusks alive, has 
always been in large part a labor of love by private naturalists. Our science 
owes nearly as much to them as to the work of professional zoologists. 

The author belongs to the younger group of malacologists, but he has 
cultivated the society of mollusks in many lands, from East Africa, the 





of all of us who hunt the elusive moUusk. 

Henry A. Pilsbry 
Curator of Mollusks 
Academy of Natural Sciences 
of Philadelphia 


The Natural History 
of Seashells 


Man and Mollusks 

Seashells and man were closely associated even before the dawn of civiliza- 
tion when primitive man gathered snails, oysters, and other kinds of mollusks 
along the seashore for food, implements, ornaments, and money. The many 
kitchen-middens and burial sites in nearly every comer of the world reveal 
the great extent to which early peoples were dependent upon mollusks. On 
some coral islands, as, for instance, Barbados, where there was no available 
stone, nearly all domestic utensils, including knives and axes, were made from 
seashells. As civilization became more complex, specialization in the use of 
mollusks increased. From them were obtained dyes, inks, textiles and win- 
dowpanes. In the Mediterranean region there was a long period when an 
entire commercial empire owed its origin and continued success to the Tyrian 
purple obtained from a seashell. Later, in Roman times, the farming of 
oysters and edible snails became a major enterprise. 

Today the uses of moUuscan shells are legion. Jewelers, artists and but- 
ton manufacturers; biologists, geologists and archaeologists; bird and aquarium 
dealers; all daily use mollusks or their products. In recent years there has 
flourished m Florida a five-million-dollar-a-year seashell industry. Through- 
out the country, the hobby of shell collecting is enjoyed by countless thou- 
sands, and it now rivals the popularity of coin collecting. Local and federal 
agencies arc investing millions in research directed toward the more efficient 
cultivation and utilization of commercially important mollusks. 

From another standpoint of perhaps even greater importance mollusks 
have influenced the activities and welfare of man. Some are extremely de- 
structive to wooden structures in the sea, and others are a serious menace to 
health, mostly as intermediate hosts to dangerous parasites or as carriers of 


4 American Seas hells 

poisonous micro-organisms. Prior to the advent of ships with metal hulls no 
vessel on the seas was safe from the borings of molluscan "shipworms." 
Many ships have disappeared at sea as a result of being weakened by the 
attacks of these creatures. Even today damage to the extent of millions of 
dollars is done every year to wharf pilings, small craft, and hemp lines by 
these bivalves. In many parts of the world the health of millions is seriously 
menaced by mollusks. It was not until the turn of the century when modern 
research was directed toward tropical diseases that the full importance of 
snails as carriers was appreciated. Six major parasitic diseases have been 
shown to be transmitted by fresh-water mollusks. Thousands of people die 
each year in China and Egypt from the blood-fluke disease alone. No fatal 
snail-borne disease is present in North America proper, but visitors to the 
West Indies and northern South America are warned to keep out of ponds 
and flooded ditches in these regions. 

In other respects, mollusks are of minor medical importance. A number 
of parasitic diseases of sea birds and fish are carried by marine shells, such as 
the periwinkles Littorina and Tectarius and other shore species. During cer- 
tain seasons of the year, usually in late summer, these snail hosts shed thou- 
sands of microscopic larval worms into the sea water. Although normally 
destined to penetrate the skin of birds, these tiny creatures sometimes attack 
man and cause an uncomfortable rash or "swimmer's itch" which is often 
mistaken for jellyfish sting. 

Among the most dangerous inhabitants of the coral reefs in the tropical 





\ / 

\PR060StlS . 

\ I 


Figure i. The large cone shells of the Indo-Pacific, and possibly those of the 
Atlantic, can inflict a serious, and at times fatal, sting. The venom leaves the poison 
sac and, together with the tiny, harpoon-like tooth, is ejected from the snail's pro- 
boscis and stabbed into the skin of the victim. 

Man and Mollusks 5 

Indo-Pacific are the cone shells {Conns), the sting of which is as powerful as 
the bite of a rattlesnake. Although the beautiful cone shells are among the 
commonest of Indo-Pacific mollusks, the total number of authentic cases of 
death from their sting is surprisingly small. No American species have been 
recorded as harmful to man but, because all cones possess the necessary 
apparatus, it would be wise to be careful in handling American specimens 
over two inches in size. 

The number of cone stings is few because of the shy nature of the ani- 
mal. Invariably a snail will withdraw into its shell when disturbed and, unless 
the cone is held quietly in the palm of the hand for some minutes, there is 
little likelihood of the collector being stung. The apparatus for the injection 
of the venom into the skin of the victim is contained in the head of the 
animal. Bite, rather than sting, is perhaps more descriptive of the operation. 
The long, fleshy proboscis or snout is extended from the head and jabbed 
against the skin. Within this tube are a number of hard, hollow stingers, as 
long and slender as needles. These are actually modified radular teeth, com- 
monly used in other snails to rasp their food. Under a high-powered lens the 
teeth of the cone shell resemble miniature harpoons. As the teeth are thrust 
into the skin, a highly toxic venom flows from a large poison gland located 
farther back in the head, out through the mouth, and into the wound through 
the hollow tube of the tooth. In some cases, death has taken place in four to 
five hours after the patient was stung. Not all cases are serious. Andrew 
Garrett, a famous shell collector of the latter half of the nineteenth century, 
reported that he was stung by a tulip cone that caused a "sharp pain not un- 
like the sting of a wasp." 

While in recent years the cone shells have received perhaps an undue 
amount of notoriety as dangerous creatures, they are best known as an aris- 
tocratic family of beautiful shells which have been favorites for years among 
the most discriminating of collectors. For hundreds of years the sound of the 
auctioneer's gavel has been heard at the sale of valuable collections of sea- 
shells, but no shell has created such fevered interest as the Glory-of-the-Seas 
cone. Its present-day value is in the neighborhood of $400 to $600. This 
species seems to possess the ideal combination of features which brings high 
prices — beauty, size, rarity and, above all, mystery or legend. Although the 
legends connected with the Glory-of-the-Seas are for the most part untrue, 
the mere mention of its name will invariably cause the blood pressure of shell 
collectors to rise. 

The first published reference to the Glory-of-the-Seas was in 1757. 
Today the whereabouts of each of the twenty-three specimens is known. 
The most famous finding was made by the renowned shell collector, Hugh 
Cuming, in 1838 when he found three specimens at low tide on the reefs at 
Jacna on Bohol Island in the Philippines. The myth has often been repeated 

6 American Seashells 

that Cuming returned for more only to find that the reef had sunk during an 
earthquake, and that since then no other specimens have been found. How- 
ever, the species is apparently widespread throughout the East Indian region. 
Specimens have turned up since Cuming's day at Cebu in the Philippines, Am- 
boina Island, and Piru Bay in the Dutch East Indies. A four-inch specimen 
was found on the shore at Wahaai, Ceram Island, after a storm in 1896. In 
addition to the existing twenty-three specimens, three were destroyed during 
World War II and eight, formerly known to exist, are missing. A search in 
grandmother's attic or along some East Indian beach will doubtless bring 
others to light. 

Collectors of fancy seashells are constantly in search of specimens of 
outstanding qualities, and although a number of species are well-known for 
their high value or unusual beauty, the standards by which we judge their 
rarity and attractiveness are considerably varied. The differences in our 
appreciation of beauty are natural enough, for the colors, forms and textures 
of seashells are numerous enough to offer appeal to almost any type of aesthetic 
appreciation. The man who covets a brilliantly patterned Olive shell of rich 
golden-red colors may see little in a tiny white shell which another collector 
treasures for its intricate snow-flake sculpturings. 

For many conchologists rarity is gauged by the top price that a specimen 
may bring; for others the important judging point is the scarcity of the spe- 
cies in nature or perhaps the rarity of specimens in collections. Left-handed, 
double-mouthed or distorted specimens, like misprints in stamps, are highly 
valued by many veteran collectors. There are literally hundreds of truly rare 
species, but most of these are deep-sea shells, some of which are known only 
from a single specimen. Most of these are small and not particularly attrac- 
tive. The high-priced shells are found among the showy genera, like the 
cones, Pleurotomaria slit-shells, volutes, murex shells, scallops and cowries. 
The Golden Cowrie is the most popular among the so-called rarities, the 
present-day price ranging from $20 to $60. Some species may be considered 
rarities for years and command very high prices, until they are collected in 
large quantities. The Goliath Conch (Stromhus goliath) is worth about 
$200 today, but collecting in northern Brazil would undoubedly bring them 
to light in great quantities and hence would lower the price to a few dollars. 
The Precious Wentletrap Shell {Epitonium seal are or pretiosum) of the 
western Pacific was in such demand years ago that Chinese found it profit- 
able to make counterfeits out of rice paste. The species is now considered 
reasonably common and is low-priced, but genuine rice counterfeits are now 
rare and equal in value to the price of the first-known shell specimens. 

Some of the most interesting threads of man's early history have been 
woven around the trade routes of primitive peoples and their dispersal of 
shells. The discovery by archaeologists in 1895 of the Red Helmet Shell 

Man and Molhisks 7 

(Cypraecassis rufa) in a grave of the prehistoric Cro-Magnon man in the 
caves of France was of considerable importance in tracing former trade 
routes. This species is found only in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its pres- 
ence substantiated other archaeological evidence that extensive trade routes 
for great distances existed among early European man. The Tiger Cowrie 
{Cypraea tigris), another Indo-Pacific species, has been found in a prehistoric 
pit-dwelling at St. Mary Bourne at Hants, England, and the Panther Cowrie 
(Cypraea pantherina) , a Red Sea species, has been found in Saxon women's 
graves, excavated in several localities in Kent, England. 

The seashell with perhaps the widest dispersal by the ancients and 
modern man is the small, yellow Money Cowrie {Cypraea moneta) which 
was for many centuries the accepted currency in many parts of the world. 
Although its natural biological distribution is hmited to the vast areas of the 
Indian Ocean, the East Indies and the islands of the tropical Pacific, its use 
as currency or for ornamentation has been almost worldwide. The three 
most unusual records are those located in North America. 

When the aboriginal sites along the Tennessee River were being investi- 
gated at the beginning of this century, five Pacific Money Cowries were un- 
earthed from one of the graves of the Roden Mounds in Alabama. Evidence 
points to the fact that these burials had been made before the mound makers 
had any intercourse with white man. The shells were sent to the United 
States National Museum by their discoverer, and Dr. William H. Dall wrote 
the following interesting reply: — 

I should incline to the belief that the cowries were imported in or 
about the time of Columbus' voyages. Bound, as they supposed, for the 
Indies, where the cowry was formerly (like our wampum) a staple article 
of barter, the exploring vessels would have undoubtedly carried cowries 
as well as other articles of trade we know they carried. It would not have 
taken them long to find out that cowries did not pass as currency with 
American natives, and reporting this on their return to Spain later traders 
would not have carried them for barter. The necklace or bracelet you 
obtained may have passed from hand to hand as a curiosity (as I have 
known such things to do) until it reached a people who knew nothing 
of whites 'till much later. In fact your cowries may have come off one of 
Columbus' own vessels. 

If not from one of Columbus' ships, these shells more than likely were 
brought over from Europe soon afterward by early Spanish explorers. It 
does not seem so plausible to assume, as some ethnologists do, that these shells 
were brought by migrating tribes from eastern Asia to America via the Bering 
Straits lonsr before the time of Columbus. 

The Lewis and Clark Expedition brought back in 1 805 a handsome dress, 
possibly of Cree origin, which was adorned with four dozen Money Cowries. 


American Seashells 

Another Money Cowrie was unearthed near the so-called Onatonabee Ser- 
pent Mound of Peterboro County in Ontario, Canada. It is most hkely that 
in both of these cases the shells were the remnants of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany's shell stock which was bartered with the Cree and other Indians well 
before the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. 

A hvely trade in marine shells took place for centuries among the pre- 
Columbian peoples of southwestern United States. Archaeological studies in 
that area have been able to confirm the existence of trade routes which then 
existed from three principal geographical areas, one along the coast of south- 
em California, a second from the Gulf of California, and the third on the 
Atlantic side from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Figure 2. Major sources of trade shells used by the early American Indians. 
a, tusk-shells. Dentalium, used for money; b, abalone shells, Haliotis, and the neck- 
lace shells, Olivella; c, Glycymeris clams for bracelets; d, olive shells, helmet shells, 
Cassis, and many others; e, large whelks, Biisyco?i, and Venus clams; f, wampum 
from the Venus clam, Mercenaria mercenaria. 

Marine shells were used primarily as ornaments. Beads of glossy 
Olivellas and Olive shells were by far the most popular throughout the esti- 
mated 1000-year span of trading. Pendants, bracelets, rattles, trumpets and 
carved shells were popular in that order. Pacific Coast shells were passed on 
from settlement to settlement to a limited extent by the early Basket Makers 
(?-50o A.D.) and, with the rise of the late Basket Makers (500-700 A.D.), 
trading increased from both the Pacific Coast and the Gulf of California. 

Man and Mollusks 9 

It was not until Pueblo times that the Atlantic trade reached the southwest 
when the Pacific trade was also at its zenith. 

For years archaeologists were puzzled by the absence in New Mexico 
of residue shell material which ought to be present wherever bracelets of the 
Gly cymeris clam appear. Not until 1930 were the hundreds of ancient manu- 
facturing centers discovered along the Sonora coast of the Gulf of California. 
There the early Indians sawed out patterns and ground down the clams to a 
smooth finish. The existence of this industry in the areas where the clams live 
illustrates one of the fundamental problems of prehistoric trade where beasts 
of burden were unknown and all goods were carried on men's backs. The 
finished product was not only much lighter, but also brought a better price. 

The Mohaves used a trade route from the Pacific Coast in the vicinity 
of Los Angeles across the mountains into Nevada and Utah, and they perhaps 
have the rightful claim to the title of the "Phoenicians of the West." Several 
routes extended from the Sonora coast of the Gulf of California up to the 
Gila basin to Pecos in northwestern New Mexico. Around this area there is 
evidence that the Pacific and Atlantic trade converged during Pueblo times. 
It is quite likely that Pecos was a trading pueblo between the southwestern 
peoples and the plains tribes. 

In the midwest of the United States an entirely separate trade route ex- 
isted from the Mound Builders of Illinois (Cahokia group) south to the Gulf 
of Mexico. Among the mounds of these prehistoric people the Cameo Hel- 
met Shell {Cassis), the Fighting Conch {Strombus) and the Apple Murex 
Shell have been discovered — all species from southern Florida or the warmer 
waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

In recent times, the dispersal of mollusks has been little short of spec- 
tacular, particularly so if we may mention in this connection the many large 
collections that have been assembled in natural history museums. For the last 
200 years there has been a steady flow of specimens to these study collections 
from all lands. Probably the largest mollusk collection in existence, that 
housed in the United States National Museum in Washington, contains over 
9,000,000 specimens and represents about 45,000 kinds. This collection is 
the result of a century of labor on the part of thousands of ardent enthu- 
siasts who collectively have stooped to pick up mollusks in over 100,000 
localities throughout the world. 

Added to the scientific traffic of material among dozens of natural his- 
tory institutions, is the constant and spirited exchange of specimens among 
thousands of private shell collectors. It is little short of miraculous that in a 
small Connecticut town one can find in an amateur collection a rare, ivory- 
like Thatcheria shell from 200 fathoms in Japanese waters or a 200-pound 
valve of the giant clam from the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. In a small 
cabinet of land mollusks in Boonton, New Jersey, you may find a giant Afri- 

10 American Seashells 

can snail from the Belgian Congo or a tiny ground snail, no larger than a 
grain of rice, from the Himalaya Mountains of India. The locaHty labels 
attached to many of the shells in museums are milestones in recent history — 
Tobruk, Bizerte, Anzio — Port Moresby, Guadalcanal, Leyte Gulf — Pusan, 
the Han River, and Peking. 

Accidental dispersal of marine shells, even in large quantities, is not un- 
common, and many unusual cases have been recorded in newspapers and 
scientific journals. In the days when the beautiful ear shells or abalones of 
the Cahfornian coast were used extensively for cabinet inlays, a sailing vessel 
bound for New York with a cargo of these shells went down in a storm just 
off Santiago on the south coast of Cuba. For several years, these magnificent 
shells were being cast ashore on the beaches, much to the delight of local 
collectors and small children. 

A similar case occurred in 1873 when the "Glendowra," a four-masted 
vessel, homeward-bound from the Philippine Islands on a cowrie expedition, 
was wrecked off the coast of Cumberland, England. She had on board more 
than 600 bags of Money Cowries destined for use in the African trade and, 
during a heavy fog, ran ashore near Seascale. For years these shells were 
picked up in excellent condition on the nearby beaches. Many collectors, 
unaware of their history, regarded them as native to the British Isles. 

The necessity of taking on ballast to make up for light cargoes on return 
sailing voyages has been responsible for many introductions of exotic shells 
to United States ports. The Money Cowrie has been picked up on one of 
the beaches of Cape Cod and was presumably jettisoned there by a sailing 
ship returning from the Indian Ocean. Ballast Point in San Diego was years 
ago a fairly good place to collect Hawaiian shells and, during World War II, 
a dozen or more species of British marine shells brought in ballast could be 
found in the vicinity of Long Island, New York. 

Wliolesale dispersal of marine shells has been carried out purposely by 
man on several occasions. With malice toward none, it may be said that con- 
siderable competition for the tourist trade exists between the Atlantic and 
Gulf coasts of Florida. Lackinq- the abundance of attractive seashells which 
are now considered prime tourist bait, the Atlantic coasters have made up 
for it by their aggressive ingenuity. It is reported that some Miami hotel 
owners have sent trucks to the rich beaches of the Gulf Coast, loaded them 
with molluscan spoils and brought them back to dump on their o\mi relatively 
shell-less beaches. 

Mollusks have been used extensively in art and literature, and through- 
out history we find numerous uses of shells as symbols. In many parts of the 
world, and especially along our motor highways, the scallop shell is a familiar 
trademark to motorists. The "Shell" Transport and Trading Company had 
its origin in London, England, during the middle of the last century when 

Man and Molhisks 11 

shell ornaments on boxes, screens and frames were popular in Early Vic- 
torian drawing rooms. The founding brothers, Marcus and Samuel Samuel, 
traded in shells from all parts of the globe, but as a side line they began to 
deal in the sale of kerosene. With the advent of the new "parafine oil" lamps 
and, later, the combustion engine, it was not long before they were market- 
ing oil exclusively. Soon afterward their company was merged with the 
Royal Dutch interests. Until 1904 they used a trademark emblem patterned 
after the Sun-rayed Tellin (Tellina radiata of the West Indies), but this was 
later replaced by the now world-famous emblem of the European Jacob's 
Scallop {Fecten jacobaeus) . The scallop on the letterhead of the company's 
stationery is a fossil species from California. 

The 200-odd oil tankers of the Shell Oil Company are named after 
various genera of mollusks, the first ship launched being christened the S. S. 
Murex. Aboard each vessel, a specimen of her namesake mollusk is mounted 
in a glass exhibit case. Naming and securing shells for the first hundred ships 
was comparatively easy, but recently the choice of new names has resulted 
in the unfortunate selection of obscure genera based on rare and, in some 
cases, microscopic species. Some ships bear names based on the same genus 
— nautical synonyms! 

The use of the scallop is a very ancient one. As a source of food and 
as an eating dish it was used in prehistoric times. It is pictured on the coins 
of the early Phoenician outpost of Saguntum (now Murviedro, Spain) . All 
through the middle ages the scallop shell was used as a religious symbol, espe- 
cially in connection with pilgrimages to the shrine of Saint James at Com- 
postella and the crusades to the Holy Land. Three different popes granted 
a faculty to the Archbishops of Compostella to excommunicate all who sold 
scallop shells to pilgrims anywhere except in the city of Compostella. Today 
many of the family shields of England bear scallop shells, indicating that 
their ancestors made pilgrimages to the Holy Land. 

It is interesting to note that one of the earliest shell collections known 
to us contained a Jacob's Scallop. This was unearthed from the ruins of 
Pompeii, together with Comis textile and the Pearl Oyster of the Indian 
Ocean, in what appears to have been a natural history collection. It is not 
beyond the realm of possibility that this was the remains of the Natural His- 
tory Society of Pompeii, of which the distinguished naturalist, Pliny, was 
probably a member. It was Pliny who first recorded the swimming activ- 
ities of the scallop, and he observed that it was able to dart above and skip 
along the surface of the water. 

In our modem age of synthetic dyes and highly mechanized textile 
industries, we little appreciate the part played by dye-producing mollusks 
in the history of the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean. The power 
and fame of the Phoenicians, who were the great traders, navigators and 

12 America}! Seashells 

colonizers of that region as early as 1500 B.C., were largely due to their 
monopoly of the Tyrian purple dye. The ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon 
(now Souro and Saidi in Lebanon) became great banking centers and the 
crossroads of commerce between Asia, Africa and western Europe. Although 
archaeological findings indicate that purple dye from species of Murex was in 
use in Crete as early as 1600 B.C. and in Egypt by 1400 B.C., these two 
Phoenician cities had managed to monopolize the industry and to expand 
their prosperous enterprises by 1000 B.C. The continual search for new beds 
of Murex is probably one of the reasons for their later colonization of Malta, 
Sicily, Utica, Carthage and Gades (now Cadiz). These ports served as trad- 
ing stations and, as evidenced by the great piles of unearthed Murex shells, 
as subsidiary purple dye factories. The imperial coins of grateful Tyre bore 
for many years the imprint of the Murex shell. It is interesting to note that 
the name Phoenicia comes from the Greek phoenix, "red," which may well 
allude to the red or magenta color variations of the molluscan purple. 

It is now the general consensus that three species of marine snails were 
used in the Mediterranean. Although all three were present in many areas, 
the city of Tyre employed in the main Murex brandaris, while the great 
banks of shells discovered near Sidon in recent times were almost exclusively 
made up of Murex trunculus (see plate 10, figs, i and j). The "buccinum" 
of the Roman naturalists probably was Thais haemastovm. 

The high cost of the purple dye was largely due to the long and arduous 
process of manufacture. A recent experimenter used about 12,000 specimens 
of Murex brajidaris before obtaining 1.5 grams of pure dye, and he estimated 
that one pound of dye in ancient times was worth from $10,000 to $12,000. 

The dye-producing fluid is exuded from an elongate gland which is 
situated on the inner wall of the mantle between the rectum and the gills. 
The fluid is colorless to milky-white when first produced, but when exposed 
to direct sunlight, it changes immediately to bright yellow, then passes 
through shades of pale-green to bluish and finally red-purple. During this 
photochemical process a strong odor is given off which resembles rotting 
garlic. The Tyrians collected vast quantities of living snails and ground up 
the smaller specimens in caldron-shaped holes in the rocky shore. Larger 
specimens were cracked open and the gland-supporting mantle ripped off 
and thrown into the holes. Salt was added to this juicy mass to prevent excess 
rotting, and then the sun was allowed to act on it for two or three days. 
This material was transferred to vessels of tin or lead and then diluted with 
five or six times its bulk in water. A ten-day period of moderate boiling fol- 
lowed, during which time the scum was constantly removed. Test pieces of 
wool were allowed to soak for five hours to ascertain if the desired strength 
of dye had been reached. 

Our modern concept of purple is quite different from that of the 

Man and Mollusks 13 

ancients. They understood it as several colors ranging from dull crimson 
and magenta to violet-purple. The most expensively dyed cloth was made 
in Tyre and was more on the order of a dull red. In Sidon, where Miirex 
trunculiis was mainly used, the color was closer to our modern idea of purple. 
The wide range in hues of Tyrian purple was brought about by different 
strengths of, and varied techniques in making, the dye, including the double- 
dip system of dibapha in which the first bath consisted of extracts from Thais 
and the second dip taking place in Murex dye. The type of cloth and weave 
also produced wide variations. 

There is no question that cloth dyed with Tyrian purple was extremely 
valuable and at times vied in value even with gold. Hence it was reserved 
for the use of the wealthy and the hangings of temples. The Babylonians are 
said to have used it for the dress of their idols. A few of our museums pos- 
sess small pieces of Egyptian mummy wrappings which were dyed with 
Tyrian purple. However, it is necessary to make a chemical analysis to prove 
the presence of this dye, for the ancients were able to produce a similar color 
by double dyeing with indigo and madder. 

The Bible makes several references to this valuable purple. Moses used it 
for the works of the tabernacle, as well as for the clothing of the high priest. 
Among the presents which the Israelites made to Gideon were purple rai- 
ments that belonged to the kings of Midian. Much later, according to Acts 
1 6, verse 14, a seller of purple from Thyatira was converted by St. Paul at 

Aristotle and Pliny both gave fairly detailed accounts of the industry 
widespread throughout Asia A4inor. Plutarch records that when Alexander 
took possession of Susa he found among the treasures of Darius 5000 talents 
in weight (290,000 pounds) of purple cloth. Athenaeus states that the dye 
was extensively used as a cosmetic and was applied as a lipstick and rouge 
in Rome. At the fateful battle of Actium, the ship of Marcus Antonius and 
Cleopatra was distinguished from the rest of the fleet by having sails solidly 
dyed in Tyrian purple. It is difficult to believe, as many authorities claim, 
that the Tyrians kept the process a secret even for a short time, for we find 
that factories existed throughout most areas in the Mediterranean. 

In Rome only senators were allowed to wear a broad purple stripe (latus 
clavus) around the opening of the tunic. Laws were finally introduced by 
Nero and again by Theodosius (379-395 A.D.) prohibiting the wearing of 
Tyrian purple except by the Emperor himself. Except for its later use by 
the Christian church, especially in cardinal cloaks, the crimson color ceased 
to be worn or manufactured after the fall of the Roman Empire and the con- 
quest of Tyre by the Arabs in 638 A.D. It would scarcely pay to revive the 
industry except perhaps as a novelty item for tourists. The color is not par- 
ticularly exciting to the modern eye, and, in addition, it may be synthetically 

14 American Se ash ells 

produced at low cost, so that one has no assurance that a souvenir textile is 
actually dyed with molluscan purple. 

The Mediterranean area and the west coast of Africa were not the only 
regions where mollusks were used for dyeing. In the British Isles the art 
seems to have been known from very early times. The Celts of England and 
the Lake Dwellers of Ireland (about looo B.C.) used the common Thais 
Japilhis which is also abundant on New^ England shores. As late as the eight- 
eenth century this species was used for marking linen in England, Scotland, 
France and Norway. The French used molluscan purple to dye the parch- 
ment of rare books, some examples of which are still bright after 800 years. 

Had the Phoenicians possessed the compass and ventured to the West 
Indies, they would have marveled at the abundance of our Wide-mouthed 
Purpura, Fiirpura patuJa, and its large production of rich violet dye. Collec- 
tors who have put live specimens in a cloth bag will recall the bright, durable 
stains that have appeared soon afterward in the fabric. Many shell collections 
contain this species in which specimens still retain purple stains on the out- 
side of the shell. The subspecies, pansa, was used in prehistoric times for 
dyeing cotton on the northwest coast of South America and the west coast 
of Central America. Even today the Tehuantepec Indians of Mexico use the 
Pansa Purpura for dyeing cotton threads. The natives have put into effect a 
plan of conservation and, instead of crushing the shells, they carefully "milk" 
the living specimens by pressing in the animal to squeeze out the juice. They 
then return the mollusks to the rocks and revisit them at a later date. The 
cotton threads are individually drawn through the liquid to obtain the fast 

In 1 7 1 1 Reaumur accidentally discovered that the t^g capsules of Thais 
lapilhts were a simpler and more abundant source for the purple dye. As 
Miirex egg capsules mature, they take on a characteristic purplish hue. It is 
possible that this was the secret, if such existed, that the Tyrians guarded so 
jealously. Latest experiments indicate that the purple dye is a derivative of 
indigo containing bromide. 

Probably most, if not all, species of Murex, Thais, P^irpiira and other 
members of the Muricid family produce this bromide, dye-giving secretion. 
It has been suggested by some workers that this secretion serves as an anes- 
thetic on various oysters, clams and chitons upon \\'hich they prey. How- 
ever, the presence of purpurase in the Qgg capsules does not favor this view. 
In addition, the dye-producing gland is closely associated with the reproduc- 
tive system and not with the salivary glands or any other organs of the 
proboscis. Many other carnivorous families which attack other living mol- 
lusks in a manner similar to that of the A4uricids do not produce this dve. 

Inks and dyes are produced by many other mollusks, the Sepia cuttlefish 
being an outstanding example. Purple dye has been recorded in the Purple 

Ma7J and Mollusks 15 

Sea Snails, ]anthina, in the Wentletraps, Epitonium, in some of the Mitras 
and Olive shells and in the sea hares, Aplysia. These substances are known 
to be irritating to fish and other would-be predators, and its purpose as a 
defense mechanism seems most likely. Probably future experiments will show 
that the egg capsules of Mjirex, loaded as they are with purpurase, are dis- 
tasteful to fish and have an unusually high survival value. 


Life of the Snails 

The private lives of the snails, or gastropods as they are more correctly 
called, are almost as varied as the different kinds of seashells that are found 
along our beaches. More than half of the 80,000 species of existing snails live 
under marine conditions, the remainder being air-breathing land species or 
inhabitants of fresh water. In their evolutionary struggle for existence, they 
have shown an amazing diversity in adapting themselves to nearly every con- 
dition found in the sea. There are snails that creep, jump, swim, burrow, 
some that are permanently anchored to rocks and a few that live inside other 
marine creatures. In a few cases, as in some conchs and top shells (Troclms), 
the snail may play host to small fish and tiny crabs. 

Gastropods have experimented in all manner of forms, colors and sizes. 
In size they vary from the two-foot-long Horse Conch of Florida {Pleuro- 
ploca gigantea) to the microscopic Vitrinellas that scarcely exceed the size 
of a grain of sugar. Some species display unusual ornamentation and, as in 
the Murex shells, produce long, delicate spines. There are few objects in 
nature that can vie in beauty with the glistening sheen found in the shells of 
the ohves and cowries. On the other hand, the beautiful sea slugs or nudi- 
branchs may entirely lack a shell. The Carrier Shell, Xenophora, has ac- 
quired the strange habit of collecting shells, bits of coral and other hard 
objects, and cementing them to its own shell. 


From the high levels of the coastal cliffs to the canyons of the ocean's 
bottom, a thousand kinds of habitats have been adopted by marine gastro- 


Life of the Snails 17 

pods. A few species of nerites and periwinkles are known to ascend trees 
near the seashore, although tree-dwelling is best known among certain tropi- 
cal land snails. In the tropics, the Tectarius prickly-winkles habitually live 
in or near splash pools along the rocky coast where spray from the waves and 
drenching rains are constantly changing the temperature and salinity. When 
the pools are dry the snails are often able to withstand weeks of hot sun 
and parched conditions. 

Three kinds of snails in American waters are forever destined to wander 
at large on the surface of the open ocean. The purple Janthina snails are 
born, live and, in most instances, die at sea. These pelagic snails live upside 
down and remain at the surface by means of a small raft of bubbles. Small 
bubbles of air are entrapped in a special mucus secreted by the animal. This 
clear fluid congeals upon contact with salt water and air, and it adheres to 
the foot. The entire float has much the appearance of crumpled cellophane. 
The female attaches her small eggs to the underside of the float where they 
are partially shaded from the sun's rays. The Janthinas live off the coasts of 
our southern states, and during certain seasons they are commonly cast ashore 
in California, Florida and the Gulf States. Specimens have been blown off 
their Gulf Stream course and been washed ashore in New England and even 
the British Isles. 

As is the case with so many other pelagic creatures, the shell surface of 
Janthina which faces downward (the spire of this upside down shell) is 
colored a light, milky blue. This is probably a protective coloration which 
blends with that of the surface of the sea, which to an underwater observer 
is similarly colored. For some unknown reason Janthinas are completely 

Two other groups of gastropods live at the surface of the ocean and, 
like Jantlmia, live an upside down existence. These are the tiny brown 
Litiopa snails which adhere to floating sargassum seaweed by means of a 
silken thread of mucus, and the heteropods or fin-footed sea snails which 
remain afloat by paddling a wide, fin-shaped foot. The latter group includes 
the rare and highly prized Carinaria, the Atlanta shells and the shell-less 

Not all pelagic mollusks live solely at the surface. The transparent, 
delicate-shelled sea butterflies or pteropods (pronounced tero-pods) remain 
several fathoms below the surface during the daylight hours but move up- 
ward toward the surface at night. In many equatorial areas pteropods exist 
in great numbers, and the steady rain of the sinking shells of the dead mol- 
lusks litter the ocean's bottom many feet deep. Among the sea slugs, one 
species of nudibranch (Scyllaea) is always pelagic, while the small and beau- 
tiful Bat Sea Slug, Gastropteron rubrum, makes nocturnal trips from the 
bottom of the shallow bay to the surface. The two pancake-shaped lobes of 


A'tnerican Seashelh 

the foot of this snail are flapped up and down much in the manner of a bat 
in flight. 

However, the pelagic habitat and the ability to swim are the exception 
among the snails. The intertidal zone which is intermittently flooded and 
drained by the moving tides is well stocked with many kinds of creeping 
snails. Adany Nassarius Mud Snails live exclusively on the warm, flat mud- 

FiGURE 3. a, The Nassa Mud Snail, Nassarius, crawling under the sand with its 

siphon extended into the water above; b, cutaway view of a prosobranch snail 

showing the direction of water currents (arrows) down the siphon, over the gills 

and out from the right side of the body. (After Ankel 1936.) 

bars of quiet bays. Among the carnivorous snails, we find that their ecologic 
stations are determined by the location of the worms or bivalves upon which 
they feed. One or two species of Terebra and Polinices Moon Shell are found 
burrowing in the sand of beach slopes where they are able to find their favor- 
ite clams, but the majority of these snail genera are found from low-tide mark 
to a depth of several fathoms. Since most marine gastropods are nocturnal in 
habit and shun bright sunlight, many species spend their time hidden in crev- 
ices under rocks. This affords protection to themselves and their eggs from 
predators, bright sun and violent wave action. 

A great number of species live in deep water, and frequently their verti- 
cal distribution is limited to relatively narrow ranges. From some 500 dredg- 
ing samples taken off southeastern Florida by the late J. B. Henderson's yacht 
"Eolis," Bayer's Dwarf Olive (Olivella bayeri) was found in depths ranging 
from 25 to 115 fathoms. On the other hand, the Greenland Moon Shell has 
been found from twelve feet to over two miles in depth. 

In their experimental search for new living places, a few gastropods have 
evolved strange associations with other marine animals. Tlie dwarf Cypho- 

Life of the Snails 19 

ma {Smtnia) lives on the latticed blades of seafans, while the root-like bases 
of the same seafans may be honeycombed with pockets of the Coralliopbila 
shells. Some species of Trivia cowries not only live with the compound as- 
cidians or sea squirts (Botryllus) but also feed upon them. Deep holes are 
eaten into the ascidian in which the female snail deposits her flask-shaped egg 
capsules (fig. 9). Among the Eulima and tiny Pyram snails there are many 
species which parasitize sea urchins and certain kinds of clams. Several spe- 
cies of Sty lifer live embedded in the flesh of starfish, and only a wart-like 

Figure 4. Three stages of parasitism, a, the Pyram Snails, Brachystoviia, make 
daily visits to tap the body fluids of the mussel, Mytihis; b, the adult of the 
Stylifer Snail becomes encased in the tissues of the starfish; c, the Entocolax Snail 
is embedded in the flesh of a holothurian sea-cucumber and has lost shell, oper- 
culum and mouth parts. 

swelling and a bit of shell spire projecting above the surface reveal their pres- 
ence. One species of Eulima lives inside the intestinal tract of the sea cucum- 
ber and obtains its food by tapping the nutritious juices of its host by means 
of a modified, syringe-like snout. 


In most cases the shell material in the snails is secreted by special glands 
located along the edge of the fleshy mantle of the animal. Within the aper- 
ture or mouth of the shell a certain amount of reinforcing material may be 
secreted by the roof of the mantle, especially in the case of the heavy trochid 
shells which are nacreous within the aperture. The foot is often the source 
of shell material, not only as the site of the formation of the hard trapdoors 
or opercula of the turban and natica shells but also as an important addition 
to the shell itself. The actual formation of calcium carbonate and the forma- 
tion of the various layers are discussed in more detail in the chapter on clams. 

In some groups of gastropods, particularly certain wentletraps and liotias, 
the mantle edge is capable of producing exquisitely fine filigree or porous 
shell structure whose intricate designs and overlapping layers can best be 
seen with the aid of a magnifying glass. In the cowrie shells, the mantle has 
two large extensions which are spread at will over the entire outside of the 


A77ierjca?i Seas he Us 

shell. This covering mantle continually adds thin paintings of shell material 
over the entire outer surface of the adult shell. In these groups, where the 
outside of the shell is protected by the mantle, there is no production of pro- 
tective, horny periostracum. This is a tough, mat-like and often hairy cover- 
ing to the shell which prevents acids and marine growths from doing damage. 

Figure 5. Four stages in the growth of the Keyhole Limpet, Fissiirella, showing 

how the spire gradually disappears and the marginal slit becomes an apical hole. 

a, b, c, highly magnified; d, natural size. (After Boutan 1886.) 

In contrast to the bivalves, many gastropods exhibit certain modified 
shell structures when they become reproductively mature. In many instances 
adulthood of an individual is accompanied by the formation of a thickened 
or flaring apertural lip. It is most pronounced in the Strombus conchs. Peli- 
can's Foot (Aporrhais) , marginellas, cowries and others. Such development 
is unknown in the cone shells, Busycon whelks, abalones and a host of others. 

Growth of the gastropod shell is more rapid in young individuals. Some 
species apparently continue to grow in size during their entire life span, while 
others cease once sexual maturity is reached. In the murex shells and frog 
shells (Cymatium) and certain Cassis helmet shells a strong varix or thick- 
ened rib may be formed at the edge of the shell lip at regular intervals regard- 
less of sexual or seasonal conditions. Each thick varix represents a resting 
period in growth. Collectors may have noticed that they seldom find murex 
shells in a growth stage between varices. This is because over ninety percent 
of the snail's life is spent in the varix stage and because additional growth 
between varices takes place in less than two days. 

The color pattern of shells is a graphic representation in time of the 
secretory activity of the pigment-producing cells located along the mantle 
edge. The ground color is produced by the whole line of cells; banding is 
produced by the special activity of groups of cells, often sharply localized. 
Where the activity of these groups is cyclical, blotching results; where the 
active focus moves up and down the mantle edge, or where activity spreads 
from a focus, there may be formed zigzag, V-shaped or circle patterns. A 

Life of the Snails 21 

review of the biochemistry of shell pigments has been made by Alex Com- 
fort (195 1 ). 

Rate of growth and span of life in gastropods vary according to the 
species and ecologic conditions. The maximum age of marine species is very 
imperfectly known. Undoubtedly many species live for only two, three or 
four years. The common European periwinkle {Littorina littorea) found in 
New England has been kept alive in captivity for twenty years. Large speci- 
mens of the Horse Conch, the Queen Conch (Strojnbus gigas) and the 
Cameo King Conch (Cassis) probably represent ten to twenty-five years of 
growth. The nudibranch sea slugs are believed to be short-lived, and Aeolis 
and Goniodoris have been shown to survive only into the second year. It is 
quite likely, though, that the Aplysia seahares and the Bulla Bubble Shells 
live for at least five years. 

The ultimate size of individuals in species in which the sexes are sepa- 
rate may be influenced by the sex of the individual. In many groups, such 
as the buccinid and Busycon Whelks, the Strombus conchs, periwinkles and 
others, the shells of the females are always considerably larger. In the Pale 
Lacuna Periwinkle (Lacuna pallidula), the females are from five to ten times 
as large as the males. 

Considerable variation in size results from the diet of mollusks. It has 
been experimentally shown that the Ovster Drill snails (Urosalpinx cinerea) 
eating My a clam and oyster meat show the greatest increase in growth, while 
those feeding on barnacles and Mytilus mussels show the least amount of 
growth. It has also been found that snails of this species living in brackish 
water grow to a larger size than those living in pure sea water. Colonies of 
snails exhibiting these ecologic characters have been erroneously considered 
new species by some workers. 


The gastropods are much more imaginative in their selection and man- 
ner of acquiring food than the bivalves and other mollusks. Unlike the 
clams, most snails travel in search of their food. A great proportion of the 
marine gastropods are carnivorous, but some are detritus feeders, others are 
vegetarians, and a few, like their bivalve relatives, are suspension feeders. 

Among the flesh-eating snails, there have been many modifications in 
the structure of the mouth parts, including the proboscis and the teeth. In 
some the snout has remained very simple, and the snail merely pushes the end 
of its mouth against its food and tears off bits with the tongue-like radula or 
row of teeth. But in others a remarkably long, tube-like extension is devel- 
oped which, when not in use, is retracted within the snout or head of the 
snail. When a living Melongena Crown Conch is quickly picked up, one can 

22 American Seashells 

frequently see the three-inch-long, tubular proboscis being withdrawn into 
the snail's head. This indicates that a clam or worm, upon which the snail 
was feeding, is located at that spot one or two inches below the surface of 
the mud. 

Figure 6. The open mouth of the Moon Snail, Natica, showing the radula ribbon 
and its teeth. X3. (Redrawn from Ankel 1936.) 

In the Natica Moon Shells, there is a muscular disk on the under surface 
near the end of this extensible proboscis, which serves as a suction disk while 
the radula is at work on the clam shell. No evidence of the presence of acid 
has been presented so far. Once the clam is perforated, the long proboscis is 
wiggled down into the flesh of the clam and the moon shell is able to remove 
most of the flesh without opening up the valves of the clam. Some Murex 
Snails and the Busy con Whelks open their clam victims by applying suction 
with the sole of the foot and by prying apart the valves with the edge of the 
outer lip of the shell. 

The large group of rachiglossate snails (those having three large teeth 
in each radular row) are for the most part predators. The Tun Shells and 
Cassis Helmet Shells feed upon live sea urchins. The Xancus Chanks, Busy con 
Whelks and others feed upon live clams. The Nassa Mud Snails, however, 
are purely scavengers, and their ability to detect the odor or taste of spoiled 
meat in the water is highly developed. Among the toxoglossate snails (those 
with tiny, needle-like, harpoon-shaped teeth as shown in figure i), the cones 
and Terehra shells have a highly developed poison gland and duct which are 
presumably used in quieting their prey. 

Vegetarians are found among the more primitive gastropods. All of the 
Hmpets, nerites, trochids and turban snails graze on seaweeds. However, many 
of the "middle-class" snails, among them the ceriths, Modulus, and some 
periwinkles, limit their feeding to swallowing mud detritus on the bottom 

Life of the Snails 23 

from which they obtain small algal cells and diatoms. The common Atlantic 
Shpper Shell feeds in the same manner as the oyster, and its stomach is found 
to contain the same diatomaceous food. Just as in the oyster, a food current 
of water is set up in the mantle cavity and the pectinate gill acts as a food 
sieve. The food particles are entrapped on the gills by a mucus secreted by 
an endostyle which is located at the base of the gill. Tiny cilia move the 
food along a groove on the side of the body to a pouch located near the 
mouth where it is then taken in up through the proboscis. Turritella com- 
rminis of Europe buries itself in mud and has a ciliary feeding habit. This 
snail remains for days in one spot just below the surface of the mud. An 
inhalant depression in the mud is made by lateral movements of the foot, and 
the action of thousands of cilia creates a current which brings food-laden 
water into the mantle cavity. There is a unique exhalant siphon constituted 
by two overlapping folds, and through this are expelled water and fecal 
pellets without disturbing the surrounding mud. 

The most extreme modifications in the entire molluscan phylum have 
occurred in connection with the feeding habits of certain parasitic snails. For 
years the Entoconcha snails found inside the Synapta sea cucumbers were 
thought to be some form of parasitic worm. The "head" of the mollusk is 
attached in leech-like fashion to a blood vessel of the host, and its worm-like 
body is embedded in the gonads of the sea cucumber. The adult parasite has 
no shell, sensory organs, nervous system or radula. It is little more than a 
tube adapted to absorbing the blood of the host and carrying on self-fertili- 
zation. Were it not for the tiny young found inside the adult with their 
small shell and operculum, it is doubtful if these creatures would ever have 
been thought to be mollusks. 

The passage of food from the buccal cavity, through the esophagus to 
the stomach is facilitated by muscular contractions of the wall of the alimen- 
tary tract and by saliva produced by the two salivary glands. The hind end 
of the esophagus may be modified into a gizzard, and in many Bubble Shells, 
especially Scaphander, there are several large, cucumber-shaped plates armed 
with hard corrugations which grind the food into small particles. The stom- 
ach proper consists of a simple enlargement of the digestive canal. Its wall 
may be smooth, furrowed, or lined with spines. As in most bivalves, some 
snails possess a jelly-like crystalline style which projects into one corner of 
the stomach and dissolves off digestive enzymes. The so-called "liver" of the 
snail which forms most of the upper part of the soft, coiled viscera is actually 
a digestive gland where food material is broken down and absorbed into the 
blood stream. 

24 American Seashells 


Breathing by most aquatic marine snails takes place through the gills 
where oxygen is obtained from the sea water and where the waste gases are 
dissolved. The numerous gill leaflets are usually located on the inner side 
of the mantle. Except in the primitive snails with a pair of gills, water is 
brought into the mantle cavity through the siphonal canal or through the 
region to the left of the head. It then bathes the gills and passes out on the 
right side of the body. The current of water is maintained by thousands of 
microscopic, lashing, hair-like cilia mostly on the gill leaflets. 

Like the bivalves, the snails display a wide variety of types of gills. The 
most primitive groups, such as some of the Keyhole Limpets, Slit-shells, 
Pleurotomarias and abalones have two pairs of gills. They are of equal size 
in the Keyhole Limpets, but in some others the right one is considerably 
smaller. In the higher groups of snails, the left gill is the only one remaining. 
In the Cerithidea snails, the gills are reduced to mere stumps, and respiration 
takes place in the mantle skin itself. The sea slugs have lost their ctenidia 
but have evolved very complicated and beautiful gill-like organs on the sides 
and back of their bodies. Many of these gills have taken on the shape of 
miniature shrubs and trees. 


The subject of reproduction among the gastropods is a fascinating study 
of many important phases of biology. Our final concepts of the formation of 
species, our understanding of zoogeography, distributional methods and the 
basis of sex determination are dependent on a fuller knowledge of reproduc- 
tion. The manner of assuring fertilization of eggs, the various methods of 
egg-laying and brooding of young and the interesting types of larval devel- 
opment are horizons of research that are now being expanded. 

The gastropods exhibit nearly every possible modification of sexuality. 
Two of the three orders of snails, the opisthobranchs containing the sea slugs 
and the land snail pulmonates, combine a complete set of male and female 
organs in the same individual. The gonad produces both sperm and eggs, 
but there are separate ducts for the products of each sex. Despite the dual 
sex life, all mature individuals experience the mating instincts of both sexes, 
and during copulation there is a mutual exchange of sperm. In some sea 
slugs, the tectibranchs, several individuals may form rows or a ring of copu- 
lating snails. In some fresh-water pulmonates, self-fertilization is sometimes 
practiced, and some experimenters liave bred over ninety generations, extend- 
ing over twenty years, without cross-fertilization between individuals. 

The marine gastropods contain representatives of several categories of 

Life of the Snails 25 

sexuality. Dual sexuality or hermaphroditism as found in the pulmonates is 
also known in some species of Acmaea Limpets, Janthina, Odosto7nia, Stilifer, 
Valvata and the Paper Moon Snail, Velutina. The sexuality of this type, 
however, is more of the consecutive type, in which the gonads at first pro- 
duce sperm and later in the season only eggs. 

Sex reversal is especially characteristic of the Slipper Shell family. The 
best known examples belong to the Cup-and-saucer Shells, Calyptraea and 
Crucibulum, and the true Slipper Shells, Crepidula. Individuals function as 

Figure 7. Sex reversal in the Slipper Shells, Crepidula. a to e, animal with shell re- 
moved to show the development of the verge in the male phase; f and g, atrophy 
of the verge and the change to the female phase; h, a group of attached Crepidula 
forjiicata, showing the smaller males ( (J ) at the top and the females ( $ ) below; 
i, Crucibidum spinosum with the small male attached to the female. (After W. R. 

Coe 1943.) 

the male sex when young and as females when fully grown. The change-over 
may be gradual with the individual being ambisexual for a short period, or 
the male phase may suddenly disappear with the loss of its associated organs, 
and the female organs may then quickly develop. The males are much 
smaller than the females. In most species, each young male tends to creep 
about until it finds an individual of the same species in the female phase, 
whereupon it attaches itself to the dorsal side of the female's shell in a posi- 
tion adjacent to the female copulatory organs (fig. yi). In other species the 


American Seashells 


Figure 8. Gastropod egg cases. 

Life of the Snails 




Figure 9. Gastropod tgg cases. 

28 American Seashells 

males usually occupy positions in the vicinity of the female and move to the 
mating position at night. Occasionally bachelors are found which either by 
chance or choice remain solitary throughout the entire male phase. 

Soon after hatching from the tgg, and in one species (Crepidula adunca 
Sowerby from Panama) even before hatching, a slender copulatory organ, 
the verge or phallus, grows out from the body behind the right tentacle (fig. 
7), As the female phase develops later in life, the verge begins to shrink and 
is finally absorbed as the female organs take form. Associated with these 
changes is a marked alteration in behavior, whereby the wandering individ- 
ual, which was so characteristically masculine when young, now becomes 
strictly sedentary. She receives her mate, lays her eggs in capsules beneath 
her foot and broods her young until they are prepared for their own inde- 

In our Common Slipper Shell, Crepidula fornicata, those individuals 
which live on muddy bottoms where there are no solid objects to which 
they can attach themselves, frequently pile up in groups of six to twelve or 
more. These groups continue from year to year, newly arrived young in the 
male phase attaching themselves to the top of the pile as the old, female- 
phase individuals die at the bottom. 

Most marine prosobranchs, however, are of separate sexes (dioecious or 
unisexual). While some species in which the sex products of both sexes are 
discharged freely into the water have no outward morphological features, 
there are a great number of gastropods in which the male has an external 
copulatory organ or verge. The shape and position of the verge are often 
used in classifying families, genera or species. 

Depending upon the species, and sometimes the genus, the females take 
care of their young in a variety of ways. In some there is no motherly 
instinct, and the eggs are liberated directly into the water where they float 
away on the chance of being fertilized by the free-swimming sperm from a 
nearby male. (See fig. 9 with Tectarms and Littorina.) In other types the 
eggs are fertilized and undergo development to the adult-like form in the 
uterine portion of the oviduct. Others have developed a kangeroo-like pouch 
in the tissues of their back where the young are allowed to develop to the 
adult form. Once liberated, however, the young do not return to the pouch. 
Viviparity or the giving birth to young alive (technically ovoviviparity) is 
known in Planaxis, Littorina saxatilis and a number of fresh-water species in 
several different families. 

The Egg Cases of Snails 

Among a large proportion of the marine gastropods, the females form 
special egg cases or capsules into which the eggs are placed, and where the 

Life of the Snails 29 

eggs may develop in an undisturbed, food-laden medium. Very frequently 
extra eggs (nurse eggs) are added which serve as food for the young that 
hatch first. The young may emerge from the egg cases as miniature replicas 
of their parents and commence a life of crawling and feeding, or they may 
escape as free-swimming larval forms. The latter are known as veligers and 
possess special organs for swimming. The larval shell is often quite different 
from the adult shell and, in some species, there may be an extra shell or 
echinospira encasing the entire veliger. 

There are many types of tgg cases, and some of these are illustrated in 
figures 8 and 9; others are briefly described under the generic or family 
discussions in the identification section. Several types of egg-laying may be 
found within a single family or even genus. 

1. Eggs Laid in Capsules and Attached to the Bottom: 

Rissoidae, Caecum, Epitomum, Thais, Miirex, Coins, Neptunea, Busy- 
con, Buccinum, MeloTigena, Nassarius, Bela, Mangelia, Voluta, Conus, Co- 
lumbella, Fusinus, Cancellaria, Marginella, Neritidae and others. Of these, 
some have nonpelagic development: some Murex, Cojjus, Natica and most 
Marginella; others have pelagic, free-swimming young: Nerita, some 
Murex, some Conus and some Natica. 

2. Eggs Laid in Gelatinous Masses or Strings: 

Acmaea, Gibbula, Fissurella, Lacuna, Littorijia obtusata, some Turri- 
tella, Bittium, Triphora, Cerithium, Capulus, Strombus, Aporrhais, Cassis, 
all opisthobranchs and heteropods. 

3. Eggs Laid in Capsules and Protected by the Female: 

Crepidula, Calyptraea, Janthina, Cypraea, Hipponix, Vermetus. 

4. Eggs Laid in Sandy Collars: 

Folinices and Natica. 

5. Eggs Shed and Developing Suspended in Water: 

Some Acn/aea, some Gibbida, Tectarius, some Littorina, Haliotis, and 
the heteropods, Atlanta and Oxy gyrus. 

In some groups of snails which are more or less sedentary, the tgg cap- 
sules may be protected by the female. In the cap-shell, Hippojiix, the under- 
side of the foot of the female has a tough, reinforced ridge of flesh to which 
she attaches her gelatinous tgg sacs. In some worm-shells, Verv^etus, whose 
shells are permanently attached to the rocks, the eggs are deposited on the 
inside of the female's own shell. 

The time and length of breeding differs among mollusks depending 
mainly on the geographical locality, the temperature of the water, phases of 
the moon and the inherent characteristics of the species. Some species spawn 
once a year for a few weeks only, while others may produce eggs half of 
the year as long as the temperature is suitable. 

The eggs, larvae and young have been described for many species by 

30 American Seashells 

famous workers such as Gunnar Thorson, Marie Lebour and others. The 
common European Periwinkle {Littorina Httorea) will serve here as an ideal 
example of the pelagic type of development. The female spawns two to 
twelve hours after copulation by the male. About 200 single q^^ capsules 
are shed during the night. During the entire breeding season of six months, 
the total number of tgg capsules per female is estimated at about 5000, and 
a half dozen copulations are necessary to ensure fertilization of all the eggs. 
The helmet-shaped capsules are shed freely and float about in the water. 
Each contains from one to nine eggs. The free-swimming young, called 
veligers, hatch on the sixth day and remain afloat for two weeks or more, 
depending upon temperature conditions, then sink to the bottom and begin 
an adult snail's life of crawling. They reach maturity on the second or third 
year and may live for five to ten years. 

In contrast to this mode of spawning, the Left-handed Whelk of Florida 
{Busycon contrarhmi) lays its horny strings of t'g^g capsules during a rela- 
tively short period of a few weeks. On the west coast of Florida egg-laying 
usually takes place in the spring. The female digs down well below the 
surface of the sand and attaches the first few capsules to a buried rock or 
broken shell. As the process of extrusion of the t^g capsules continues, the 
female moves toward the surface until its siphon can protrude into the water 
to allow easy respiration. As more capsules are made, the string may loop 
out into the water above the hidden adult. From five to fifteen cases may 
be formed each day, and a completed two-foot-long string may have nearly 
a hundred capsules. Within each case there may be two to twenty-five eggs 
which in a few weeks will develop to quarter-inch-long young. These minia- 
ture replicas of the adults eat their way out of the case at a special "door" 
and commence crawling and feeding immediately. The Left-handed Whelk 
begins spawning at a relatively early age, commonly when no larger than 
three inches. In such cases the capsules are only a half inch in diameter, 
while larger females may produce capsules about the size of a half dollar. 


Life of the Clams 

Of the approximate 15,000 species of existing clams or bivalves, four fifths 
live in the sea, while the remainder are inhabitants of fresh-water rivers, lakes 
and ponds. Throughout the seventy or so famihes of this class, the clams 
show an amazing diversity of ways of adapting themselves to almost every 
kind of aquatic environment. There are clams that swim, burrow, dangle by 
silken threads, others that are permanently cemented to rocks and corals, 
some that live a sedentary life of attachment to other marine creatures. In 
size, they vary from the 500-pound giant Tridacna clams of the East Indies, 
which reach a length of over four feet, to the pinhead-sized Amethyst Gem 
Shells {Gemma), which so heavily populate some of our intertidal flats. In 
ornamentation and coloration the clams are almost unexcelled in their wide 
range of beautiful hues and bizarre shapes. 


The bivalves have selected a wide variety of ecological stations in life. 
While many must live in strictly marine waters, a few have adapted them- 
selves to the brackish waters and estuaries and inland bays. One species, the 
'Coon Oyster of Florida and the West Indies, has "taken to the trees" and 
is able to withstand exposure to the air for several hours, or even days, 
between high tides. In its early, free-swimming stages, the oyster is carried 
by the rising tide in among the roots, trunks and overhanging boughs of the 
mangrove trees where it settles and attaches itself. Feeding, growth and 
reproductive activities take place only during the few short hours of high 


32 American Seashells 

tide. The Coquina Clam, Donax, is faced with much the same problem of 
making the most of high tides but, in contrast to the sedentary hfe of its 
oyster cousin, it leads a very active existence on the sandy beaches along the 
open ocean. It is an attractive sight when a scouring wave suddenly studs 
the white beach with dozens of brightly hued clams. The tumbling motion 
and sudden exposure to light act as a stimulus to the clam which instantly 
thrusts out its small muscular foot and rapidly pulls itself down into the 
sand again. During the three or four hours in which the waves are sweeping 
the middle and upper sections of the beach, the tiny clams may be uncovered 
and obliged to burrow down again several hundred times. 

While many clams prefer clean sand as a habitat, others are habitual 
mud-dwellers. The handsome Angel Wing, Barnea costata, is usually found 
in mud so soft and deep that Florida collectors find it extremely difficult to 
reach them. The Angel Wing is usually located one or two feet below the 
mud surface and maintains its connection with the bay's waters with its long 
siphon. Because of its popularity as a souvenir and collector's item, methods 
have been devised to collect them at high tide from a boat or barge. Power- 
ful jets of water are forced through hoses, the mud is swept away from the 
clams, and then hand-nets are employed to gather them. In more shallow 
regions where a mixture of sand in the bay bottom permits walking, the 
exposed Angel Wings are gathered by hand at the next low tide. 

The majority of marine clams live in a substrate of sandy mud, but a 
few have become specialized to the extent of making burrows in exceedingly 
compact clay, as in the case of the Arctic Saxicave, Hiatella arctica, and 
the False Angel Wing, Petricola. A few groups such as the Date Mussels, 
Lithophaga, and the Piddocks, Pholas, burrow into corals, other shells or 
soft rocks such as sandstone and limestone. The shipworms, Teredo and 
Bankia, are expert at drilling out their long, tube-like homes in wooden 
planks of ships, wharf pilings, and manila hemp. So too is the Wood Piddock 
or Martesia. 

A large proportion of bivalves are found in shallow water, but many 
others are typically deep-water dwellers. The bathymetric range for some 
species may be narrowly defined in the case of certain scallops. Dipper 
Clams {Cuspidaria) and astartes. On the other hand, some species found in 
a few feet of water may also occur in depths of over two miles. One species 
of Abra Clam, Abra projundorum E. A. Smith, has been dredged in the 
mid-North Pacific at a depth of 2,900 fathoms — over three miles! 


The shelly valves of clams are the product of the fleshy mantle. This 
thin, leaf-like organ covers the animal as the flyleaves cover the body of a 

Life of the Clams 3 3 

book and, by its physiological activities, secretes the hard valves of calcium 
carbonate, which thus come to occupy the position of the covers of the 
book. In the simplest form of mantle the edges are free except on the back, 
where the hinge of the shell is located, corresponding to the arrangement of a 
book. Sea water may enter the cavity enclosed by the mantle at almost any 
place. In many groups of bivalves, however, the mantle edges may be fused, 
not only along the back where the valves are joined together but along all 
or most of the lower margins. Openings are usually present to accommodate 
the foot and siphons when such organs are developed. 

Figure io. Structure and layers of a clam shell {Tellma tenuis), a, Diagrammatic 

representation of a small piece of shell; b, Cross-section of shell showing the loose 

end of periostracum around the margin of the shell. (After Trueman 1942.) 

From its food supply the clam absorbs minerals into its blood system 
which are then carried to the mantle. A certain amount of shell deposition 
takes place along the thickened borders of the mantle, although a small 
amount, including pearly or nacreous material in some species, is laid down 
by other parts of this organ. The liquid secretion of lime salts becomes 
crystallized when mixed in a colloidal albumen which is also produced by 
the mantle. Several types of shelly material are laid down in definite layers, 
and the structure and composition may vary depending upon the family or 
genus of mollusks. The structure of a layer may be prismatic (made up of 
tiny, individual, closely packed prisms), foliated (layers built up of over- 
lapping leaves), nacreous (mother-of-pearl), granular (like grains of sugar 
stuck together), crossed laniellar (a common type in which the long lamellae 
are rectangular), or it may be homogejieous with no visible structure. The 
mineral character of these layers may be calcite (2.7 times as heavy as water) 
or aragonite (2.9 times as heavy as water), both of which are forms of 
calcium carbonate. 

The shell of the tellin clam (Tellina), for instance, is made up of three 
layers of calcium carbonate and the horny periostracum. The latter con- 

34 America}! Seashells 

sists of a very thin layer of conchiolin, probably not more than 0.003 n^"^- 
in thickness. In other clams, such as Area, it may be many times as thick. 
It is normally secreted from a group of cells situated just under the tip of the 
mantle. The three shell layers are: (i) The outer layer of shell which 
consists of elongate radial prisms of calcite. These are arranged in concen- 
tric bands which are plainly visible on the outer surface of the shell. (2) The 
middle layer which is entirely composed of aragonite in the form of "crossed 
lamella." This specialized structure is peculiar to mollusks. (3) The inner 
layer which is a homogeneous layer of porcellaneous material. 

The Pen Shells of the genus Pi72na commonly found on the west coast 
beaches of Florida offer an excellent demonstration of prismatic structure. 
When the surface is examined with a high-powered lens, it appears to be 
honeycombed. What you see are the ends of the needle-like prisms of 
calcite which, although closely packed together, are separated from each 
other by a thin varnish of conchiolin. By examining the edge of the broken 
shell you can make out the prisms in side view. 

Most clams continue to grow in size during lifetime, but the greatest in- 
crease takes place during the first year or two. A species may show con- 
siderable variation in its manner of growth under different living conditions 
at various localities. Thus the Pacific Razor Clam (Siliqiia patula) in its 
southern range in California grows much faster and reaches a length of 
about five inches in three years. In Alaska, however, it grows more slowly, 
taking five to eight years to reach the same size. Yet the northern colonies 
continue to grow for a greater length of time, some living for fifteen to 
eighteen years and eventually reaching a length of over six inches. This 
is also true of the Pacific Cockle {Clinocardhmi nuttalli) which in ten years 
grows to three inches in length in California, but in Alaska it survives six- 
teen years to reach a length of five inches. 

The maximum age is known for a few species of clams. It is believed 
that the giant Tridacna clam of the Indo-Pacific lives for perhaps a hundred 
years, but this has not been confirmed by experiments or accurate calcula- 
tions. The average age of the Atlantic Bay Scallop {Aeqiiipecten irradians) 
is about sixteen months, its maximum age only two or three years. The 
average age of a five-inch Pismo Clam (Tivela stidtonim) on the Pacific 
Coast is about eight years, its maximum age twenty-five years. The Com- 
mon Blue Adussel (Mytilus edulis) grows to about two inches the first year, 
to four inches the second year but, beyond this, it grows very little although 
it may live for a total of seven or eight years. The Soft Shell Clam {My a 
arenaria) takes about five years to reach an edible size of three or four inches 
and may live for ten years. The AVashington Clam {Saxidounis imttalli) lives 
ten to fifteen years or longer, while Nuttall's Gaper Clam {Schizothaenis 
nuttalli) may survive for seventeen years. 

Life of the Cla?ns 



Normally one does not think of clams and oysters as being very active 
feeders and certainly, in comparison with the voracious methods of fish 
and squid, the bivalves are rather peaceful eaters. Yet in their characteristic 
way they are highly efficient and, in proportion to their size, possess a large 
and varied menu. Most clams feed on minute plants and, in a relatively short 
time, can filter from the sea water an extraordinary number of living diatoms 
and dinoflagellates — microscopic, swimming plants — and protozoa of the 
ocean. A few genera, such as the small Cuspidaria and Foromya clams, are 
carnivorous and feed upon small living or dead animals, usually crustaceans 
and annelid worms. 

Figure i i. Extended animals of some bivalves, showing various types of siphons. 

a, Mya arenaria Linne; b, Tellina agilis Stimpson; c, Tagelus plebeius Solander; 

d, Eiisis directus Conrad. (From A. E. Verrill 1873.) 

The bivalves fall into two general classes of feeders — suspension feeders 
which merely pump water through their mantle cavity and thus obtain free- 
swimming or suspended creatures from the water; or deposit feeders which 
suck up food from the muddy bottom with their long, mobile inhalant si- 
phons. Among the suspension feeders are the oysters, scallops, venus clams, 
cockles, the shipworms and many others. They may or may not possess 
siphons, but when present these are generally short. The deposit feeders 
include such forms as Tellina, Macoma and Abra which all have long siphons. 

Whether food is taken in through the inhalant siphon as in the tellins or 
through a slit in the mantle as in the scallops, it must pass over the gills. These 
filament-like organs are covered by a thin sheet of mucus. Food passing 
through the gills becomes ensnarled in the mucus which is transported by 
water currents and myriads of tiny, hair-like cilia. Mucus is constantly be- 


American Seashells 

ing secreted and carried to the food grooves bordering the gills, along which 
the food-laden strands are carried to the mouth. 

Our common Atlantic Oyster and those in France are frequently found 
with green gills. The "green oysters" of Marennes, France, are famous 
for their supposed medicinal qualities. Americans are incHned to shy from 
* 'green oysters," because they fear the color may be a sign of spoilage. 
Oysters feeding upon the small diatom, Navicula ostrearia, digest these single- 
celled plants and absorb from them large quantities of blue pigment. In the 
tissues of the oyster's gills the pigment appears in the form of a sickly but 
quite harmless green. Occasionally, however, our oysters may take on a 
general greenish tint, not due to diatoms but to an increase in the amount 
of copper in the tissues. Such oysters have a rather brassy taste. 

\ I 

Figure 12. Siphons of bivalves projecting above the sand bottom. Mya (b) is a 

suspension feeder, the others deposit feeders, a, Tellina and Macoma; b, Mya; c, 

Gari; d, Donax; e, Tr achy car dhim. (After C. M. Yonge 1949.) 

The clam has considerable choice in what it wishes to eat, and it can 
reject undesirable particles of sand or oversized pieces of food. The gills 
and the two fleshy palps, or flaps guarding the mouth, help in sorting out 
the right-sized organisms. Acceptable food is taken into the funnel-shaped 
mouth, passed through a short esophagus and enters the stomach. Inside the 
stomach, a further selection of food may take place with indigestible matter 
being passed on immediately through the intestine. The best food passes from 
the stomach into the digestive gland where it is broken down chemically 
and absorbed into the blood stream. 


Fi(;i!KK 13. Fecal pellets of niollusks are characteristic in shape and may aid in 
identification of genera and species. (After H. B. Moore 193 1.) 

Life of the Cla?ns 37 

Lying close to the stomach is a sac which contains a cucumber-shaped, 
jelly-hke crystaUine style. The end of this style projects into the stomach. 
It rotates clockwise and dissolves its enzymes in the stomach which aid in 
digesting the food, that is, in converting starch into sugar. The style, numer- 
ous ciha and the furrows on the stomach wall aid in churning the food. 

The fecal pellets of mollusks are often very distinctive for the various 
genera and species. Some are cylindrical rods, others elongated strings or 
ribbons, and a few consist of strands wrapped up in round balls. In cross- 
section, some rods are characteristically bi- or trilobed. 

Feeding is not done at all times, although a great part of a bivalve's life 
is spent in securing food. The oyster, for instance, spends from seventeen 
to twenty hours of each 24-hour period in taking in water for the purpose 
of feeding and breathing. Individuals living in the intertidal zone and left 
dry by receding tides or exposed to water heavily charged with silt spend 
considerably less time feeding. During cold periods, when the water tempera- 
ture falls below 40° F, the oyster goes into a state of hibernation, and it 
ceases to feed because of the lack of coordination of the ciliary motion along 
the surface of the gills. Under ideal conditions, the Giant Pacific Oyster 
(Crassostrea gigas) filters 5% quarts of water per hour at 77° F (i quart at 
34° F). In a year, the total amount would fill a 1 0,000-gallon tank car. 

Perhaps the most startling modification of obtaining food nutrients is 
exhibited in the giant Tridacna clams of the Indo-Pacific reefs. These clams 
literally "farm" colonies of brown-colored algal plants (Zooxajitbellae) in 
their huge, exposed mantle edges. Unlike most clams, the Tridacnas spread 
their valves open and expose their mantles to as much sunlight as possible 
for the benefit of these single-celled seaweeds. In addition, small, fleshy 
tubercles grow on the surface of the mantle in which are located lens-like, 
clear cells. Sunlight can thus penetrate down into the flesh and be diffused 
into areas which otherwise would not receive enough light for the algae. 
Surplus plant cells are engulfed by phagocyte blood cells of the clam and 
transported to the digestive gland for absorption as food. The giant clams 
also feed in the conventional gill-to-mouth manner and are therefore not 
entirely dependent on the algae. The algae, however, must have a clam 
as a host in order to survive. This peculiar symbiosis is found to a lesser 
extent in the Bear Paw Clam (Hippopus), the Heart Cockle (Corculum) and 
the nudibranch, Phestilla. This phenomenon is not to be confused with the 
pathologic entry of the parasitic blue-green algae in fresh-water mussels, 
Anodonta and Unio. 

While the gills are the main organs for catching, sorting and transporting 
food in the majority of clams, they are limited to respiratory functions in 
a few groups. The smallest and most inefficient gills are found in the primi- 
tive protobranchs {Nuctila, Nuculana, etc.) and in the small, highly evolved 

38 American Se ash ells 

septibranch clams (Poromya and Cuspidaria). In order to make up for the 
loss of efficient food-gathering gills, the palps near the mouth have become 

Figure 14. The pair of proboscides in the Nut Clams, Nucula, sweep up food and 
transport it to the mouth. The gills are not used in gathering food as in the majority 
of clams, a, X5; b and c, ends of the proboscides. Xio. (After K. Hirasaka 1927.) 

very specialized. In the Nucula Nut Clams, a pair of strong, muscular, con- 
tractile organs serve as food gatherers. These proboscides are very flexible, 
moving about freely in all directions. Food material is picked up by the tip 
and is carried swiftly down a large groove in the proboscis to a palp pouch 
and then to the stomach by means of minute cilia. E. S. Morse very aptly 
described the action of these appendages in our Atlantic Nut Clam, Nucula 

Without seeing the behaviour of these appendages it is difficult to appre- 
ciate the remarkable action of these feeding organs. The graceful move- 
ments of these beautiful and translucent appendages, exceeding the length 
of the shell, sweeping rapidly the bottom of the dish in which they are 
confined, or even turned back and feeding on the surface of the shell, are 
a most curious and interesting sight. 


Oddly enough, the gills of the bivalves are not primarily used for respira- 
tion, despite their conspicuous size. As has been noted, their main function 
is in connection with feeding. Some experts deny their role as respiratory 
organs entirely, claiming that the mantle with its extremely effective blood 
supply serves as the main place of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. 
It has been found that blood coming from the mantle to the heart is com- 
pletely charged with oxygen received from the sea water. Undoubtedly, 
however, the gills do absorb oxygen to some extent. Indirectly, the gills 
are extremely useful in respiration, since they produce the all-important 
currents which bring in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide dissolved in the 

Life of the Cla?ns 39 

A certain amount of respiration may take place even when the valves 
of certain bivalves are completely shut during exposure to dryness or to 
heat from the sun. What little air may be trapped within the mantle cavity 
of the animal is soon used up. Oxygen is then obtained anerobically (with- 
out contact with air) by cleavage of reserve glycogen substances stored in 
the clam's tissues. Carbon dioxide builds up and is dissolved in the fluid 
in the mantle cavity, and the resulting increase in acidity may dissolve or 
etch away portions of the shell. Shells of oysters and the Patella limpets 
vv^hich are kept dry on the rocky coast for unusually long periods show 
considerable etching on the inside. Shells of the Date Mussels {Lithophaga), 
which live in a small volume of water in their rock burrows, are etched in 
this manner, while those specimens which live in the same volume of well- 
aerated water are not etched. 

Bivalves can be forced to cease respiration for several days without 
succumbing, but they are very susceptible to polluted waters and excess 
amounts of silt. The "red tide" caused severe destruction to the marine fauna 
on the west coast of Florida in 1946, and for several years afterward the 
"shelling" on famous Sanibel Island was little better than it is on Coney 
Island Beach, New York. "Red tides" have occurred from time to time in 
California, Washington State, Japan, Austraha and elsewhere. They are caused 
by an unusual increase in the numbers of single-celled dinoflagellates, Gony- 
aiilax. It is believed that billions of these organisms not only deplete the 
oxygen supply but also clog the gills of fish, moUusks and other animals which 
die in vast numbers and further befoul the ocean. Fortunately, these "red 
tides" spend themselves out, and the coastal waters return to normal in a 
few years. 

Another species of Gojiyaulax (G. catanella) may be ingested by mus- 
sels and clams and, although it does no harm to the mollusk, it is highly toxic 
to humans who may eat the infected shellfish. A number of deaths have 
occurred on both of our coasts from this type of mussel poisoning. There 
is no way of distinguishing poisonous from sound mussels by their appear- 
ance, and heat does not destroy the poison. Mussel poisoning occurs along 
the California coast from May 15 to October 15. There is another such 
center in Nova Scotia. 

Among the various schemes of classification of the bivalves, the type 
of gill structure has been used by many students of phylogeny (the study 
of molluscan ancestral trees), such as Lankester, Pelseneer, Ridewood and 
others. Opponents to this system, such as Neumayr, Munier-Chalmas, Dall, 
Cotton and others, have based their classification on the hinges of the shell 
valves. Neither system is without its weaknesses, and in some modern schemes 
the two systems are employed together. 

There are four main types of gills: (i) Protobranch, in which the gills 


American Se ash ells 

are flat, plate-like, unreflected lamellae and are regarded as the most primi- 
tive (Nucula, Yoldia, etc.); (2) Filibranch, in which the gills are long 
curtains folded back against themselves and held close to each other by the 

Figure 15. Diagrammatic cross-sections of clams showing the major types of gill 
structure, a, protobranch; b, filibranch; c, eulamellibranch; d, septibranch. 

interlocking of the tiny cilia on the surface of the gill filaments (arks, mus- 
sels, scallops, etc.); (3) Eulamellibranch, similar to the filibranchs except that 
the gill curtains are united by cross-channels (astartes, cardiums, venus clams, 
tellins and many others); (4) Septibranch, which have very degenerate gill 
structures consisting of two pallial chambers with only gill slits or very 
reduced gill filaments acting as windows to the chambers (Cuspidaria and 


The staid bivalve has made his share of contributions to experiments in 
sex and reproduction, and throughout the class we find varying degrees of 
sexual differentiation, as well as all manner of ways of insuring proper fertili- 
zation, protection of the young and thus the continuation of the species. 

The pelecypods have no copulatory organs or other external sexual 
characteristics, with the exception that in certain species of fresh-water 
mussels, the marine astartes and a few other genera, the two sexes can be 
distinguished by the shape of the adult shell. The majority of the bivalves 
as a group are predominantly of separate sexes, but at least four percent of 
those adequately studied are known to deviate from the strictly dioecious, 
or unisexual, condition. 

A few species are true hermaphrodites in which the same individual 
contains both female and male sex organs which may produce eggs and 
sperm simultaneously. In this group are found certain species of Pecten, 
Tridacna (the Giant Pacific Clam), Kellia, Dinocardiwn, Gemma, Tivela 
(the Pismo Clam), Tlyracia, Porojnya, the shipworm Teredo diegensis and 
the fresh-water genera Anodonta, Pisidium and Sphaeriwn. In some of these 

Life of the Clams 41 

the eggs are fertilized within the mantle cavity, and the young complete 
development to the adult form in brood pouches on the gills of the parent. 
Usually self-fertilization does not occur, for in the majority of these species 
the sperm is discharged before the eggs are mature in the same individual 
(protandric hermaphroditism). 

Other kinds of bivalves are accustomed to practicing sex reversal in 
which the early part of their lives is spent as males and their "adulthood" 
as females. In the Quahog {Mercenaria mere en aria), nearly all individuals 
experience a male phase in which functional sperm is produced while the 
clam is only a few months old. Following this initial male phase, about half 
of the population turns female to produce eggs, while the other half remains 
male. No further sex change takes place. 

Sex reversal is apparently very popular among some of the oysters, 
such as our native Pacific Coast Ostrea liirida. In this species there is a series 
of male and female phases. There may be three changes within a single 
year. Usually the male phase comes on first. Alternating sexuality also 
occurs in our Atlantic Oyster {Crassostrea virginica), but the early sex organs 
are capable of turning toward either male- or femaleness. It is not known, at 
present, to what extent environmental conditions determine the direction 
of sex chan^-e. It has been shown, however, that under unfavorable circum- 
stances, when circulation of water is poor and the food supply low, there are 
more female oysters in a colony. When conditions improve, the percentage 
of males increases considerably. 

Thorough studies have now been made to show that normally no sex 
reversal occurs and that the sexes are separate and of equal numbers in a 
given colony in the following species: Modiolus deviissiis, Mytihis calif orni- 
anus, Septifer bifurcatus, Anomia sivtplex, Mytihis edtilis, Fetricola pholadi- 
forfnis, Donax goiildi, Mya arenaria (Soft-shell Clam) and the Angel Wing, 
Barnea costata. 

The number of eggs produced by the female bivalve may vary consider- 
ably depending upon the species and environmental conditions. Species 
which retain the fertilized eggs within their bodies for further development 
invariably produce fewer eggs than those species which discharge them into 
the water. The oysters are probably among the greatest molluscan producers 
of eggs. C. R. Elsey estimates that one female Crassostrea gigas of Japan 
and our northwest Pacific Coast may discharge into the water each year 
eggs numbering looo to the eighth power. If all survived in five generations, 
the aggregate would be large enough to make eight worlds like ours. Need- 
less to say, enemies and unfavorable conditions kill off most of the young. 

In contrast to this prodigious eflFort on the part of the oyster, the Dwarf 
Turton Clam (Turtonia iimmta) deposits only 12 to 20 eggs which are 
neatly encased in oval tgg masses of gelatinous material. While most species 


American Seashells 

of Nucula Nut Clams discharge their eggs freely into the water, one New 
England species, N. delphinodoiita, deposits from 20 to 70 tiny, opaque 
brown eggs in a gelatinous sac which is attached to the posterior end of the 
valves of the shell. Small bits of debris and mud stick to the outside of this 
sac, which probably serve as a camouflage. Many bivalves keep the develop- 
ing young within the mantle cavity or in the meshes of the gills until the 
tiny shells are quite well advanced in development. With the aid of a high- 
powered lens one may readily see tiny juvenile clams inside the translucent 
adult shells of such genera as Gemma, Fardstarte, Psephidia, Transennella, 
Kellia, Lepton and Lasaea. The odd Dwarf Milner Clam of California {Mil- 
Jieria minima) incubates about 50 young in a peculiar external pouch. The 
valves are indented on the ventral margins to form a neat exterior pocket. 
To prevent the young from dropping out, a sheath of periostracum is 
stretched over the entrance. When the small clam shells have grown suffi- 
ciently to fend for themselves, the sheath is "unzipped," and all tumble out 
into the free world. 

Figure 16. The shipworm, Bavkia goiildi, in the act of fertilizing its neighbor. 
The spotted siphons are shown projecting from the wood in which these bivalves 
live. Arrows indicate the direction of water currents. X5. (Redrawn from W. F. 

Clapp 195 1.) 

In practically all cases, the sperm from bivalves is liberated into the 
water where it comes in contact with unfertilized eggs that have been pre- 
viously released. In cases where eggs are retained by females, the sperm is 
sucked in through the inhalant siphon of the mother. Only one instance of 
pseudo-copulation is known. In 1951 workers at the W. F. Clapp Labora- 
tories observed Gould's Shipworm {Teredo) placing their exhalant siphons 
down into their neighbors' inhalant siphons and discharging what is pre- 
sumed to have been sperm. 

Life of the Clams 43 


Bivalves are the least "brainy" of the moUusks and, although the central 
nervous system forms a rather complicated latticework throughout the body, 
its three pairs of "brains" are merely swellings or ganglia in the larger nerves. 
The pair of so-called cerebral gangUa control the actions of the lip palps 
near the mouth, parts of the mantle, and they also receive "nerve notices" 
from the tiny organs of balance, the otocysts. The second major pair of 
ganglia are the pedals which supply the foot. This pair is large in the clams 
that use the foot for digging or burrowing, but it is extremely small or 
aborted in the oysters in which the foot is not used. The third pair, or vis- 
ceral ganglia, is usually the largest and supplies the adductor muscles and 
the visceral mass. The remarkable eyes of the scallops are connected with 
this pair of visceral ganglia. 

Many of the bivalve larvae possess true paired eyes, but in all cases these 
are lost when the animal transforms into the adult stage. The adults of a 
number of clams and mussels have developed pigment spots sensitive to 
changing light, but in the scallops true eyes are well-developed. When the 
shell of a scallop is open there can be seen just within the margin of each 
valve a line of small, brilliant, emerald-like dots on the mantle, each of which 
is a small eye fully equipped with cornea, focusing lens, receptive retina and 
conducting nerves. 


There are bivalves that swim, leap, crawl and burrow deeply in mud, 
sand or clay, and some that bore into wood, rock and even lead casings of 
submarine cables. Even the rock-bound oyster and the stuck-in-the-mud 
clam have their days of wandering about as free-swimming lan^ae before 
they settle down to a life of permanent attachment or clumsy crawling. 

The habit of swimming among adult bivalves is rare. The scallops and 
the Lima File Clams not infrequently swim. Only under the abnormal condi- 
tion of finding themselves "unearthed" do the Eiisis Razor Clams and the 
Solemya Veiled Clams practice jet propulsion through the water. The Razor 
Clam swims backward in quick, short jerks by first extending its long cylin- 
drical foot out from the shell and then suddenly withdrawing it with great 
force. This action, together with the closing of the shell valves, quickly 
forces the water within the mantle cavity out through the openings at the 
anterior or foot end. Thus the razor clam darts through the water with its 
pumping foot to the rear. In Solemya, the foot is in front of the animal 
as it swims. In this case the water is admitted around the foot but is ex- 
pelled from the opposite end through the siphons. 


American Seashells 

The highly developed swimming ability of the scallops accounts for 
the migratory powers of the great schools of these active bivalves. One 
would normally expect the direction of swimming taken by a scallop snap- 
ping its valves together to be "backward" in the direction of the hinges. 
Although that type of movement is on rare occasions used as an escape 
measure, the typical swimming movement is in the opposite direction with 
the free edge of the shell going in front, so that the animal appears to be 
taking a series of bites out of the water. This odd action is made possible 
by the vertical, curtain-like edges of the muscular mantle. When the valves 
are snapped shut by the powerful adductor muscle, water is driven out, not 
past the mantle curtains but through the regions around the hinge or ears of 
the shell. By manipulating these curtains, which can be extended or with- 
drawn locally, the scallop is able to vary the amount and position of exodus 
of water and hence can direct its course. If accidentally turned over onto 
the wrong valve, the scallop can execute a neat flip and regain its normal 

While the scallop always swims with its valves in a horizontal plane, 
the Lw/^ File Clams most frequently progress edgewise, that is, with the 
breadth of the valves vertical or slightly oblique. The long, colorful tenta- 
cles of the Lifna keep the animal momentarily suspended in water while 
the valves are being opened in preparation for another "bite" forward. The 
Li7na is a poor swimmer and, because of its habit of building nests under 
rocks, apparently has no incentive to undertake migrations as is done by 



Figure 17. The mode of locomotion in tlie bivalve, Yoldia Intiatnla. a, the foot is 

thrust forward; b, the muscular flaps are spread apart to form an anchor; c, the 

foot is withdrawn, thus pulling the animal forward; d, by closing the flaps together, 

the foot is made ready for another thrust forward. (After Drew 1900.) 

Life of the Clams 45 

the scallops. Scallops of the genus Chlamys are equally poor swimmers and, 
unlike adult Pecten, spin small byssal threads for attachment to the bottom. 

Burrowing in sand and mud is accomplished by the foot of the bivalve. 
The principle is the same in all digging clams. The foot is slowly protruded 
with the pointed tip wriggling down into the mud. During this extension 
the end of the foot is kept small, but when it reaches its greatest extension 
the end is suddenly swelled into a great bulb and the whole foot becomes very 
rigid. This is accomplished by injecting blood into the foot. The bulbous 
end serves as an anchor while the clam withdraws the foot and pulls its 
entire shell deeper into the mud. In the case of the Razor Clam, this action 
is accompanied by a jet of water against the mud ahead. The dislodged mud 
is washed up the sides of the shell and out the burrow. The action is similar 
to the pile driver that opens a way for the pile by a somewhat similar stream 
of water. 

Because of its long, powerful foot the Razor Clam is capable of leaping. 
Generally, when this clam is lying on the surface of the mud, the foot is 
bent back under the shell and is then suddenly made rigid with the result 
that it is straightened out with great rapidity. In some cases the animal 
may turn itself end over end. 

Many types of clams are especially adapted to boring into hard clay, 
shale, sandstone and concrete. The Date Mussels, Lithophaga, possess acid- 
secreting glands as an aid to penetrating limestone. The shell of the clam 
would of course be dissolved by this acid were it not for the thick, protective 
covering of periostracum. The Saxicave Borers, Hiatella, may live attached 
by a byssus on surfaces that they cannot penetrate, or they may bore into 
soft rock. The boring of the adults is wholly mechanical and is accomplished 
by rubbing the edges of their shell valves against the rock. Hiatella stays near 
enough to the surface to allow its siphons to protrude just outside its cone- 
shaped burrow. In three years the burrow is only three fourths of an inch 
in length and, after eight years of constant grinding and new gowth of 
shell, it is only one and a half inches in length. 

The shipworms burrow long distances into the wood but retain contact 
with the "outside world" by means of the long fleshy, tube-like extension 
of the body. Boring is accomplished by the two valves at the anterior end of 
the tunnel. The denticulated ridges of the shell are the cutting tools, and 
the foot and muscles aid in rotating the shells back and forth. Burrowing 
may progress at the rate of as much as four inches a month. In the genus 
Bankia, at the posterior end of the worm-like animal there are two tiny, 
feathery pallets. These are used to plug the entrance of the burrow, thus 
giving protection from enemies, changes in salinity or other adverse condi- 
tions. When the shipworm is undisturbed, the pallets are drawn inside 
and the siphons extended into the water for breathing and feeding. 


Lives of the 
Other MoUusks 

In addition to the bivalves and snail classes, the mollusks include three other 
groups which are not so frequently seen at the seashore and whose combined 
number of living species probably does not exceed two thousand. Two 
of these classes, the Amphineiira or Chitons and the Scaphopoda or Tusk- 
shells, are among the lowliest and most sluggish of the mollusks, but the 
third class, the well-known Cephalopoda, including the squid and octopuses, 
contains the largest, fastest and most ferocious of all backboneless animals. 


The octopuses and the giant squid have been spine-chilling characters 
in adventure tales from the days of the ancient Greeks to the undersea film 
thrillers of Hollywood. Nothing seems more appropriate for a horror scene 
then the sudden appearance of a tentacle-lashing, beady-eyed octopus just 
as the hero-diver finds the long-lost treasure chest. And few authors of 
strange sailing voyages can resist retelling the numerous instances in which 
gigantic squid have wrapped their arms about the riggings and dragged ship 
and hapless crew to the bottom. 

But despite the fanciful nature of most, if not all, of these stories, there 
arc enough scientific facts to convince the skeptic of the ferocity, speed 
and unusual intelligence of these creatures. Canadian and American fisher- 
men have long been familiar with giant squid and have often captured 


Lives of the Other Mollusks 47 

crippled individuals and used them for bait. A number of these giants have 
been brought into museums, and others, stranded on beaches after storms, 
have been measured and recorded by reliable observers. Architeuthis of the 
North Atlantic waters is know^n to reach a total length of 55 feet. The 
longest arms of this specimen are 3 5 feet, while the length of the body from 
tip of tail to the base of the arms is 20 feet. The greatest circumference 
of the body is 1 2 feet. Sperm whales which feed upon smaller squid have 
often been locked in battle with these giants. The skin of these whales is 
sometimes heavily marked with circular scars caused by the suckers of the 

The octopus does not reach a very large size. The largest known species 
occurs on the west coast of North America where, in Alaska, Octopus 
punctatus attains a length of 16 feet or a radial spread of nearly 28 feet. 
However, the arms are very small in diameter, and a specimen of such long 
proportions has a body length of not more than a foot. The octopus oc- 
casionally found in the Lower Florida Keys is usually less than three feet 
in radial spread. A dead specimen cast on a beach near Nassau, Bahama 
Islands, was reported to have an arm length of five feet, and it was estimated 
that the entire creature weighed about 200 pounds. This, however, is with- 
out verification. Recent reports of octopus holes 100 feet across seen in 
the Bahamas from the air were made by untrained observers. There is no 
satisfactory evidence that any of these species of Octopus has ever inten- 
tionally attacked man, or that any person has ever been seriously injured 
by one. The octopus is a rather sluggish and timid creature, seeking shelter in 
holes and crevices among the rocks, and is usually small. It feeds mainly on bi- 
valve mollusks but will also eat snails, fish and Crustacea. Its hideouts along the 
shore can usually be detected by the presence of empty shells. 

Locomotion among the cephalopods varies from a slow, "tentacle-walk- 
ing" pace, both in and out of water, to the rapid, jet-propulsion darts which 
are so characteristic of the squid. The so-called aerial "flight" of squid, like 
that of the flyingfish, is actually a gliding operation and largely depends 
upon the initial speed attained under water. Squid have frequently landed 
on the decks of ships a dozen or more feet above the surface of the ocean. 
When a school of squid is alarmed by an approaching ship or by marauding 
fish, the fleeing squid dart from the water simultaneously and all in one 
direction rather than individually fanning out in several directions in the 
manner of flying fish. 

The squid darts backward, forward, or in any other direction by means 
of the reaction of the jet of water which is ejected with great force from 
the siphon, and direction of movement is controlled by the bending of the 
siphon. Even when it is confined to a limited space, as in a fishpound, it is 
not an easv matter to capture it with a dip-net, so rapid is its movement. 

48 American Se ash ells 

When it is darting rapidly, the lobes of the caudal fin are closely wrapped 
around the body, and the arms are held tightly together to form a streamlined 
outline. Except when attacking or escaping, the squid swims less strenuously, 
using the caudal fin as a balancing organ. 

There are few sights as interesting as that of squid engaged in capturing 
and devouring young mackerel. During the summer this chase may be 
observed from certain wharves in New England. In attacking mackerel 
the squid darts backward among the fish with the velocity of an arrow, and 
then turns obliquely to one side and seizes a fish, which is almost instantly 
killed by a bite in the back of the neck by the squid's sharp beak. The bite 
is always made in the same place, cutting out a triangular piece of flesh, and 
is deep enough to penetrate to the spinal cord. The attacks are not always 
successful and may be repeated a dozen times before one of the wary fish 
can be caught. Between attacks a squid may suddenly drop to the bottom 
and, resting on the sand, change its color to that of the sand so perfectly 
as to be almost invisible. Ordinarily, when swimming, it is thickly spotted 
with red and brown but, when darting among the mackerel, it appears trans- 
lucent and pale. The schools of young mackerel often move close to shore 
where the water is shallow and offers more protection. In their eagerness 
to capture fish, the squid frequently force themselves up on the beach where 
they perish by the hundreds. At such times they often discharge their ink 
in large quantities. 

Many species of octopuses and squid possess an ink sac and, in moments 
of great excitation they may expel a large cloud of black or brown liquid 
through the siphon. The ink is of a caustic nature and, in addition to its 
use as a "smoke screen," it is believed to be distasteful to hungry fish. Two 
sources of sepia ink are a species of squid found along the southeastern 
coast of China and another found in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Many geologic eras ago the cephalopods possessed large and showy shells. 
Today, however, shells produced by this class are a rarity. The most spec- 
tacular shell is found produced by the Indo-Pacific Chambered Nautilus, 
Naiitihis p077ipiliiis. On our shores, the small, white, spirally coiled shell of 
Spirilla is frequently encountered on southern beaches. The three-inch-long 
Spirula squid which produces this shell is a denizen of deep water. In other 
squid the internal shell has been reduced to a simple slab of chalky material 
(the cuttlefish bone fed to canaries) or, in the case of the Loligo squid, to 
a thin, elongate shaft of transparent, horny material. 

By an odd turn of fate, squid are heavily preyed upon by adult cod, 
mackerel and other fish, and no doubt some young mackerel which have 
escaped by a tentacle's breadth have lived to devour later their would-be 
assassins. Squid are taken in large quantities in nets and weirs each year, and 
they constitute one of the main fish baits on the Grand Banks. They are 

Lives of the Other Mollusks 49 

frequently eaten by peoples of the Mediterranean area and the Orient but to 
a much lesser extent by Americans. 

In contrast to the speedy squid, the octopus is relatively a slow-moving 
creature, although it can swim away at a fairly rapid rate by using the same 
water-jet system of propulsion; it lacks the caudal fins of the squid. The 
underside of the eight arms of the octopus are studded along their entire 
lengths with cup-like disks or acetabula. When a sucker is pressed against 
any smooth surface, the center is withdrawn to create a vacuum which en- 
sures a powerful attachment. An octopus can "tentacle" along with remark- 
able agility and at night may even take to short excursions out of water. I 
have known of an octopus kept in a small aquarium in Bermuda to push the 
lid off the top, crawl down the table and off the veranda in an attempt to 
reach the ocean. It crawled more than a hundred feet toward the sea before 
it succumbed and was attacked by ants. There have been many authentic 
accounts of encounters with octopus on exposed tidal reefs, and a few ob- 
servers state that the octopus can keep up with a man in a brisk walk. 

Even more astounding than the locomotive powers of the cephalopods 
are their amazing displays of bright, glowing lights and color changes. The 
shallow-water species have embedded in their skin chromatophores whose 
expansion and contraction are controlled by the nervous system. Emotion, 
excitation or response to the color of surrounding objects will effect the 
color changes in the octopus. Among the deep-water squid, many of which 
are phosphorescent, gorgeous underwater pyrotechnics are frequently dis- 
played which far outshine the brightest of fireflies and glowworms. Specimens 
of Lycoteuthis brought up from considerable depths and kept alive in chilled 
water have had their photographs taken by their own light. The body looks 
as if it were adorned by a diadem of brilliant gems. The middle organs of 
the eyes shine with ultramarine blue, the lateral ones with a pearly sheen. 
Those toward the front of the lower surface of the body give out a ruby-red 
light, while those behind are snow-white or pearly, with the exception of 
the middle organ which is sky-blue. Some squid have astonishingly com- 
plex bull's-eye lanterns; others have mirrored searchlights. A species of Heter- 
oteuthis is able to spurt out a luminous secretion from its funnel and the 
jet of water following it draws out the bright globules into long, shining 

The sexes in the cephalopods are separate, except for two or three 
isolated examples. In most of the species females are much more numerous, 
the ratio of females to males being loo to 15 in some species of the Loligo 
squid and 100 to 25 in some of the Octopus. The most outstanding feature 
is the morphological differences between the two sexes. In the Argonauta 
or Paper Nautilus, the females are 10 to 15 times as large as the males which 
completely lack the beautiful shell used by females for storing eggs. The 

50 American Seashells 

female also differs in having its two dorsal arms enlarged at the end to form 
a veil or mold with which she secretes a shell. In a vast number of species, 
the males are characterized by having one of the arms modified to form a 
copulatory organ. This arm is known as the hectocotylus. In certain octo- 
pods, including the Argonauta, this arm is broken off and left in the female 
to fertilize the eggs. In all the other groups the hectocotylus is simply held 
inside the female until copulation is complete. It is interesting to note that 
more than 2000 years ago Aristotle recorded the presence of the hecto- 
cotylus arm in the octopus and correctly associated it with its sexual purpose. 

In the males the sperm is gathered into large sacs or spermatophores 
of several inches in length. These sacs find their way in some unknown 
manner into the hectocotylus arm. Each sac contains a tiny, coiled, spring- 
like filament which spews the ripe sperm out of the sac. 

The eggs of the cephalopods are laid in various ways. They may be 
single and floating in the pelagic species, such as Oegopsida, congregated 
together in a shelly nest as in Argonmita, laid in jelly tubes as in the Loligo 
squid, or anchored in grape-like bunches under rock ledges as in the Octo- 
pus. The embryo emerges from the tgg fully developed and does not have 
a free veliger stage. With the aid of a lens it is possible to see the beautiful 
splotches of bright chromatophores in the skin of the tiny young even before 
they hatch. About a hundred eggs are laid at one sitting by the octopus; 
the squid tgg strings from one female may contain over 40,000 eggs. Some 
species of octopuses take pains to watch over their brood of eggs and from 
time to time may carefully go over them with their tentacles to remove dirt. 


Amateurs and professionals alike have found the chitons or coat-of-mail 
shells an extremely interesting and fruitful field of study, and no collection 
is complete without at least three or four representatives of this strange 
group of mollusks. The chitons closely resemble the gastropods except that 
they bear eight shelly plates. For those who wish to excel in a more serious 
study of a relatively small class of mollusks, no more inviting series of species 
awaits the collector than our chitons of the rocky shores. They are dealt 
with in this book in some detail, for no popular shell book has hitherto at- 
tempted to open the doors to this supposedly "difficult and poorly known" 

There are nearly fifty species in our Atlantic waters and perhaps twice 
that number on the Pacific Coast, and yet this represents fewer species 
than are found in the single family of Wentletraps or Epitonium. Some 
private collectors, such as the late Dr. R. B. Bales, were able in a few years 
to make larg^er and finer collections of Florida chitons than are found even 

Lives of the Other Molliisks 51 

now in our leading museums. Hitherto unknown species await the enthusi- 
astic speciahst in chitons. 

Except for the more easily recognized and common species, such as 
the Pacific Coast Katherina tunicata and A7mcula stelleri, most identifica- 
tions require a simple understanding of the various parts of the shells and 
the patience to remove one or two of the eight valves for observation under 
a hand lens. Tourist collectors have little time to devote to the special but 
simple methods of collecting and preserving chitons, and unless they are 
willing to take to the shore a bucket, penknife, some thin slabs of wood or 
small glass plates and some soft twine, it w ould be best for them to concen- 
trate their searches on the olives and cowries. 

No one man has done more for the encouragement of chiton collecting 
in America than Dr. S. Stillman Berry of Redlands, Cahfomia, and we can- 
not do better than to follow his simple directions. Curled-up specimens 
in collections signify ignorance of methods or lack of time while in the 
field. The chitons are easily flipped from the rock surfaces by quickly in- 
serting a knife blade beneath the edge of the animal. If the chiton is then 
quickly transferred to the wet surface of a piece of shingle or glass of the 
appropriate width, it may be possible to flatten the creature before it curls 
into a ball. Wood and chiton should be tightly wound with twine or strips 
of cotton cloth, so that the animal will die in this flattened position. The 
bound chiton may be soaked in 60 to 80 percent alcohol for an hour or more, 
or in fresh water, for killing. Unbind, scrape the meat away from the under- 
side, being careful not to damage the outer rim or girdle. Rewrap on the 
wood and set in the hot sun or oven to dry thoroughly. If scientific study 
is to be done at a later date, it is best to keep a few specimens permanently 
in a jar of about 70 percent alcohol. When specimens roll up before they 
can be straightened against your piece of wood, they may be dropped into 
the bucket of sea water where they will eventually straighten out and allow 
a second attempt of transfer. 

Habitats of chitons are usually specialized for each species, some being 
found only on the underside of rocks between the tide levels, others on 
wave-dashed headlands, a few in tidepools, others only in deeper waters 
off-shore. Phiiia pen shells recently cast ashore often have tiny chitons at- 
tached on the outside of the shell. Those who do not have dredging facilities 
may acquire the latter species through exchange or by purchase from several 
of our excellent shell dealers. A watchful eye and variation in collecting 
localities will soon bring familiarization with the various habitats of most 
of the species. 


A7/ierica?i Seashells 

Identification of Chitons 

It is essential for accurate identifications to refer to one or more ot the 
ten technical terms used in describing the various parts of the chiton. A few 
minutes' study of figure i8 will prepare the reader for the photographs, 
identification drawings and descriptions of the species. Jumping to conclu- 
sions from the photographs instead of ascertaining the family or genus first 
will lead to discourag-ino- results. 




f^NTeRioR vAt-ve 

Rl^OlftLLY RtftftEO 

nEDiftN vftLvea 




Pleural tract 
central area 




5VJTU8R1. Pl_flr£ 

Figure i8. Parts of the chiton shell. 

All the chitons discussed in this book bear eight shelly valves which 
cover the body of the creature and are bound together by a leathery girdle. 
The chitons without valves (Aplacophora) are too rare to be conveniently 
included here. A view of the underside of a living chiton will show the 
rather small, separate head and its mouth and, behind this, the larger, ob- 
long foot. On each side of the foot is a straight row of closely packed gills. 
The head bears no tentacles or eyes, although the valves of many chitons 
bear numerous shell eyes. 

Each chiton possesses three types of valves: (i) the anterior valve at 
the head end, (2) six intermediate valves, and (3) the posterior valve at 
the hind end. The shape and ornamentation of these valves are used for 
identification purposes, and for this reason the various areas of the valves 
have been named. Removal of the last two valves by the soaking of dried 

Lives of the Other Mollusks 53 

specimens in warm water for five or ten minutes will usually afford sufficient 
information. The upper surface as well as the under surface of each valve 
has characteristic areas which aid in identification. 

In one family of chitons, the Chitonidae, the upper surfaces of the valves 
of some species bear microscopic eyes which consist of an eye capsule, 
cornea, iris, lens, retina and optic nerve, but they are probably useful only 
in sensing changes of light intensity and passing shadows. 

The girdle is the leathery rim which encircles the eight valves. In 
some species the girdle entirely or partially covers the valves. The surface of 
the girdle may be covered with beautiful little scales or with spines, hairs or 
tufts of bristles. Unfortunately these characters vary among individuals 
and cannot always be used to separate species, although the general types 
are fairly reliable in distinguishing genera. 

The radula or ribbon of teeth is very long, and is composed of thick 
and dark amber-colored teeth. There are usually about seventeen teeth in 
each transverse row, in the following order reckoned from the center: one 
simple, small central; flanked on each side first by a translucent minor lateral 
and then by a major lateral which bears a conspicuous black cusp; next, two 
boss-like uncinal plates; then a twisted spatulate uncinal; and, finally, three 
scale-like external uncini. The radula of the chitons have not been demon- 
strated as useful characters in separating species because of their great vari- 
ability, although some workers claim that the major laterals are useful. 

The sexes are separate in the chitons. Some species lay eggs in a glu- 
tinous, indistinct mass. There may be a free-swimming veliger stage in some 
species. In other species the young live under the mantle edge of the mother 
for protection. 


To our Northwest Pacific Indians and our early pioneers the tusk-shells 
were a familiar form of wampum, but today few Americans would recog- 
nize one on sight. The 200-odd known living species are for the most part 
inhabitants of deep water, although a few of our American species live in rela- 
tively shallow water and are frequently washed ashore. The shells resemble 
miniature elephant tusks open at both ends, and the sluggish creature lives 
embedded obliquely in sand and mud, with only the small end of the shell 
projecting above the surface of the substrate. 

Like many gastropods, the scaphopods possess a single shell and a set 
of radular teeth but, like the bivalves, they have a nonlobed velum in the 
larval or veliger stage, and in adulthood have a wedge-shaped foot and lack 
a definite head. They lack gills but absorb oxygen from the sea water 
through the tissues of the mantle. Water is first taken in through the small 


American Seashells 

posterior end of the tube-like shell. The water slowly builds up inside the 
mantle cavity of the animal over a period of about ten mmutes; then, after 
a short period of rest, the water is suddenly expelled in the opposite direction. 
As in the manner of feeding among the bivalves, ciliated ridges within the 
mantle ensure passage of food particles to the region of the mouth. How- 
ever, the primary method of feeding is by means of a number of long, ce- 
phalic filaments or captacula which are anchored to the two flattened lobes 
flanking the mouth. The club-shaped ends of these tiny filaments are tactile 
and prehensile and are capable of capturing Foraminifera and other similar 
minute organisms. These captacula project out in all directions from the 


Figure 19. a, Diagrammatic drawing of the internal anatomy of Deiitalmm; b, 
radular teeth of Dentalimn; c, the central tooth found in the radula of the 


larger, anterior end of the shell. Frequently, they are broken or torn off in 
the searchings through the sand but are soon regenerated. This accounts 
for the difference in length of the captacula in many specimens. 

The embryonic shell or prodissoconch of the scaphopods is cup-shaped 
and consists of two shelly valves, which subsequently unite to form a tube. 
They may still be seen at the initial end in some specimens of Siphonoden- 
talium, but are always absent in adult Dentalium. The adult shell is open 
at both ends. It is added to at the larger, anterior end by the mantle edge, 
while at the posterior end there may be a gradual loss of shell through wear 
and absorption. The tiny posterior slits or notches that are characteristic 
of some species are formed by reabsorption of the previously solid shell 
wall. The shell wall is made up of three thin layers of calcareous material; this 
is in contrast to the similar-appearing worm-tubes that have only two layers. 
In cross-section, the shell may be round, slightly elliptical, octagonal or 
polygonal in shape, depending upon the species. The presence or absence of 

Lives of the Other Mollusks 55 

microscopic longitudinal or concentric riblets and the nature of the apical 
slits are often useful for identification. Few of our American species, other 
than a few pinkish or yellowish forms, can boast of colorful shells; but in 
the East Indies such forms as Dentaliwn elephantinum Linne are brightly 
hued in various shades of emerald green and jade. Some species of Dentalium 
have a terminal pipe projecting out of the posterior end. 

There are only two families in the class Scaphopoda — the Dentaliidae 
and the Siphono dentaliidae. Both families are well-represented in our waters, 
the former by numerous species of Dentaliimt, the latter by members of the 
genus Cadulus. 

Dentaliidae: Shell tusk-shaped, increasing in size regularly with the greatest 
diameter at the mouth end. Foot conical. Central tooth of radula twice 
as wide as long. 

Siphonodentaliidae: Shell bulbous near the middle with the mouth end 
generally contracted. Foot vermiform, capable of expansion into a 
rosette-like disk at the end. Central tooth of radula almost square. 


American Seashells 

Instructions for collecting seashells are much akin to revelations of the 
secrets of good cooking. Everyone has his favorite methods and, despite 
the most expert advice one may obtain from books, experience is the surest 
path to success. There are, however, a number of fundamentals which will 
help guide the collector in obtaining a representative series of our seashells 
with the least trouble. The hints offered here are more in the order of how 
collecting problems may be solved than a revelation of how and where to 
find rare specimens. 

The most successful collectors mix together four ingredients to obtain 
what appears to most of us "unusual luck" in finding good shells. These 
are a knowledge of the habits of mollusks, a familiarization with the physical 
conditions of the ocean and the seashore, a sensible choice of collecting equip- 
ment and, perhaps most important, a large proportion of perseverance. The 
first three of these may be acquired, to some degree at least, from books and 
from the advice of veteran collectors, but only keen observation in the field 
and many hours of trial collecting will develop satisfactory techniques. It 
is true, of course, that strolling the more productive beaches at certain times 
of year will produce encouraging results, but soon the common species have 
been collected and more often than not the remaining specimens are far 
from perfect. The moment a collector ceases to be a beachcomber and begins 
to search for living mollusks in their natural haunts he has opened unlimited 
possibilities of acquiring a remarkably beautiful and complete collection. 


Collecting American Seashells SI 

It is most surprising how many treasures within arm's reach are lost to 
the uninitiated. A waterlogged board if kicked aside may be found to con- 
tain three or four kinds of interesting wood-boring clams; a rock unturned 
at the end of the beach may still shelter a pair of cowries or a nest of orange- 
tentacled Lima Clams; or the seafan momentarily admired and cast aside may 
be the holdfast for a colony of rare, purple Simnia snails. All mollusks have 
their particular ecological niches or favorite haunts, whether a very limited 
type of locality or more extensive areas such as mud flats, rocky shores or 
the open ocean. To be forearmed with a knowledge of where our species 
live will often bring rich rewards from salt marshes, eel-grass flats, mangrove 
trees, the backs of other marine creatures, the underside of boats or even the 
stomachs of fish. The tracks made by gastropods on sand or mud bottoms 
are characteristic for many species and can aid in hunting down live speci- 
mens. So, too, holes of certain shapes and sizes in the sand flat are a betrayal 
of the clam occupant deep below. At times it is worthwhile to know when 
and where gregarious mollusks gather to breed. Their appearance is often 
clocked not only by the seasons but often bv tidal conditions and the time 
of day. Most intertidal species reveal themselves more frequently about half 
an hour after the tide has begun to rise. A great number of species are more 
active a few hours after dark, while others are content to wait until early 
morning before starting on their foraging missions. 

Attention to tides, seasonal moods of the ocean and the effects of winds 
and currents is put to good use by the expert collectors. September seems to 
be the most favorable time, for instance, to gather shells on the Carolina 
strands. During late April and early May there is more likelihood of the 
Purple Sea Snail, JajJtbma, being washed ashore on the east coast of Florida. 
After winter gales, some New England beaches may be strewn with millions 
of large Surf Clams, Spisida. 

Low tide is obviously the best time to collect, and most collectors make 
long-range plans to catch the spring tides. Local newspapers publish the 
times of low and high tides, but many serious collectors prefer to use the 
Coast and Geodetic Survey Tide Tables to plan well in advance for the lowest 
tide of the month. Tide Tables for the Pacific and Atlantic coasts may be 
obtained for a fraction of a dollar from the U.S. Department of Commerce, 
Washington 25, D.C. 

As you may well know, the rise and fall of tides are caused by the at- 
traction of the moon, and to a lesser extent by the sun. Choose the time 
of the new and full moon for collecting, for that is when the sun and moon 
are uniting their forces to give the lowest or spring tides. Low tide lasts 
for about fifteen minutes, but profitable collecting may be done one hour be- 
fore or after. It is sometimes useful to know that the tides are about fifty 
minutes later the following day. Be aware of the dangers of rising tides, 

58 American Seashells 

especially if you have waded a long distance out to some small isle at low 
tide. Tidal currents can sometimes be extremely strong at the narrow mouths 
of inlets, and swimmers are urged to familiarize themselves with local condi- 

If one were to take into the field the collecting equipment which has 
been recommended by friends and books, one would certainly resemble 
a busy Christmas shopper in full knightly armor. Crowbars, bilge pumps, 
shovels, rakes, sets of screens, hammer and chisels, even water wings and 
miner's caps have been suggested. It is true that these and many other pieces 
of equipment are ideal for very specific and limited purposes, but for general 
collecting simplicity and lightness of gear are most essential. If at a later 
date you wish to collect a certain species which lives in rocks, take along that 
hammer and chisel. 

Streamlined collecting in the intertidal areas when it is calm calls for 
little more than a pair of canvas shoes, bathing suit and a few small cloth 
bags. Wear shirt and pants if the sun is bright and your tan still under- 
developed. Two or three cotton bags may be tucked under the belt until 
ready for use. Most shells may be picked up by hand, and the more fragile 
ones put in matchboxes or thumb-sized vials. When a breeze is blowing 
wrinkles on the surface of the water, it is impossible to see the bottom, and 
many collectors use a glass-bottomed bucket or merely a diving mask floated 
on the surface to clear a view. A square or oblong bucket about a foot each 
way and ten or twelve inches high may be made of light wood and the 
glass set in the bottom and held in place with a thin layer of white lead and 
strips of molding or quarter-rounds. If the inside is painted dull black reflec- 
tions on the glass will be held to a minimum. For a clearer view wet the 
inside of the glass occasionally. The water bucket is useful to those who 
enjoy diving for shells. It not only serves as a friendly support between 
dives, but may be used as a collecting receptacle. Diving masks or water 
goggles are indispensible for collecting many species which are normally 
found in waters down to twenty feet in depth. 

A fine-mesh wire screen bought in any kitchen utensil store can be put 
to excellent use in sandy or muddy areas where many interesting small shells 
live. Screening for mollusks is a favorite pastime with many collectors, and 
many types and sizes of screens have been designed. Copper mesh should be 
used if you plan to screen over a period of a few months. 

Forceps are sometimes useful in getting small shells out of rock crevices, 
but in general it does not pay to search individually for minute shells. Mass 
screening or taking a large bagful of bay bottom or beach drift home for 
leisurely sorting in the evenings brinos richer rewards. Shaking clumps of 
seaweed over the screen often gives encouraging results, for many uncommon 

Collecting A7nerican Seashells 59 

species are found nowhere else. Breaking apart coral blocks often reveals 
interesting rock-boring clams. 


There are few active shell collectors who have not given serious thought 
to trying their hand at dredging. This is especially true if one has spent sev- 
eral summers in one locality and acquired a large and representative collec- 
tion of the littoral and intertidal species. Over half of our American species 
prefer to live below the low-tide mark and, although storms occasionally 
cast up samples of this rich fauna on our beaches, trapping and dredging are 


OF TyJlNE oa STR\N& 

/a- INCH IftOM 





oa METAL SCReilNlNfe 




Figure 20. Dredging and collecting gear. 

60 American Seashells 

the only satisfactory methods of collecting deep-water species. In many 
instances larger and more perfect specimens of normally shallow-water spe- 
cies are found in moderately deep waters just offshore. 

Dredging, like fishing, is a science as M-ell as an art. It requires a basic 
knowledge of boats, equipment and bottom conditions. Firsthand experience 
is a necessity before satisfactory results can be obtained. It is also an expen- 
sive operation in which costs increase geometrically the deeper one dredges. 
Those who are financially willing to spend several hundred dollars in elabo- 
rate operations are urged to seek the advice of one of several of the Florida 
or California shell dredgers. However, very profitable collecting in depths 
less than loo feet may be undertaken from a rowboat at relatively little 

One of the prime prerequisites of safe dredging is a healthy respect for 
the ocean and her many moods. Limit rowing operations to calm inlets and 
bays. Sudden squalls, high winds, swift currents and blistering sun on the 
open ocean are serious adversaries to even the "saltiest" fisherman. Prepare 
for each trip with care, and back your operations with a knowledge of local 
tides, currents, the weather and bottom conditions. 

There are many types of dredges, and the larger your boat and engine 
the more elaborate may be your dredge. For rowboat operations the simplest 
type consists of a triangular or rectangular iron frame with a pair of iron 
bridles which are tied together. A fine-meshed fishino- net is sewn to the 

o o 

frame. The free end of the net is not sew^n but merely tied together, so that 
the contents can be removed from the back. A net of this sort is apt to be 
ripped on rough bottom, so that a canvas sleeve or tube open at the back 
end should be sewn to the frame and allowed to cover the outside of the 
net. The Burches of California, renowned for their west coast dredging, 
have had better luck with a triangular dredge and copper screen net. The 
leading edges of these smaller types, which are rarely more than two feet 
across, should be sharp and flare a little in order to dig moderately deep into 
the bottom. 

Very remarkable results over mud bottoms may be obtained by using 
a small trawl. This is a modified dredge whose leading edges are of lead- 
weighted lines. The mouth of the trawl is kept open by a small, slanting 
board at each end. This type has the advantage of not digging up large 
quantities of ooze and mud. 

In waters less than 150 feet in depth, the tow line may be of %" or 
%" manila rope, although the tendency for this to float in deeper waters 
necessitates the use of lead weights placed at intervals along the line. About 
300 feet of line will suffice for hauls not deeper than 100 feet. 

Only through trial and error will you learn the many tricks of dredging. 
The feel of the line will tell you whether the dredcre is cutting^ into mud or 

CollecMg American Seashells 61 

gravel or is skipping over the bottom. Sometimes it is next to impossible to 
dredge downhill, so try in the opposite direction if your dredge is failing to 
dig in. On dredges with iron bridles it is suggested that one arm be attached 
to the frame merely by a small cord, so that it will break loose and free the 
dredge should it snag on rocks or corals. 

When hauls are brought aboard they should be screened and washed 
to remove mud and sand. If this is not convenient, at least the extraneous 
material may be thrown away and the remainder put in sacks for home sort- 
ing. In tropical waters, gloves should be worn to prevent serious stinging by 
certain kinds of sponges. Be sure to make a record of the depth, location 
and date of haul. 

Fish and lobster men often bring up rare shells in their traps, and this 
suggests, of course, the possibility of setting one's own traps. Successful 
traps may be purchased or built M'ith a little ingenuity, if the entrances are 
made so that snails can easily enter. Dead fish or spoiled meat will attract 
the carnivorous gastropods, but to date no magical "catnip" has been found 
to lure the herbivorous species. Even simpler than the trap is the system of 
weighting a burlap bag of spoiled meat with rocks near the low-water line. 
Nassarius Mud Snails, Melongena Crown Shells and a host of other species 
may be collected nearby the next night. 

If you have yet to collect your first live Olive or Terebra shell, wade 
along the shores of a sandy bay on a quiet, moonlight night, and with the 
aid of a flashligrht follow aloncr the trails in the sand. A dozen daytime visits 


to the same locality will never compare to one hour of night collecting. Not 
only are sand-dwelling mollusks on the move, but in rocky regions the cow- 
ries, mitras and murex shells are out from under their hiding places and 
traveling along in full view. 

It is perhaps appropriate here to mention the dangers of over-collecting 
in certain localities. This is to be avoided particularly if certain species have 
taken several seasons to build up their populations even to a moderate size. 
By leaving at least most of the immature specimens and perhaps one or two 
adults, you will assure yourself of good collecting at the same spot at a later 
date. While it is unreasonable to expect people to roll back the rocks they 
have overturned, some collectors do this in order to obtain additional speci- 
mens on the next visit. Once destroyed by sunlight and air, protective algae 
and sponges need many months to grow back. However, the blame for 
extinction of many beautiful mollusks at Lake Worth, Florida, and in many 
other places rests not with greedy collectors but with super-drainage experi- 
ments, city pollution and construction work. 

Keeping accurate locality data with specimens you have collected is 
most essential. Many private collections are eventually left to museums for 
the enjoyment and use of future generations. Today's crowded museums 

62 American Se ash ells 

must rightfully dispose of specimens which have no data and are therefore 
of no scientific value. Large and beautiful collections representing much 
time and cost would have been of inestimable value to science had someone 
only taken the time to record where each specimen was collected. "Aus- 
tralia," "Hawaii" or "California" is not enough. An example of good data 
would be: "North end of Captiva Island, Lee County, Florida. Leo Burry, 
collector. July 4, 1952." Many careful collectors add interesting notes con- 
cerning the depth of water, type of bottom, abundance, and so forth. A rare 
shell in perfect condition, correctly identified and with accurate data, is 
almost worth its weight in gold. 


The beauty and value of a collection depends largely on the manner in 
which specimens are cleaned and the methods in which the shells are arranged 
and housed. The majority of snails and clams, whether they be marine, land 
or fresh-water, may be cleaned of their animal soft parts by merely boiling 
in fresh or salt water for about five minutes. The meat may be extracted 
with a bent safety pin or icepick, depending on the size of the specimen. 
Shells which have a highly glossed or enameled finish, such as the cowries 
and olives, should never be thrown directly into boiling water. Start them 
in warm water, bring slowly to a boil, and then let cool gradually. Any rapid 
change in temperature will crack or check the polished surface. Save the 
horny operculum or trapdoor of those species that have them. When the 
shell is dry, a plug of cotton will hold the operculum in the aperture. 

Many species are difficult to clean even when the boiling system is used. 
Usually the tip end of the animal's body remains in the shell of such genera 
as Terebra, Vasum and Xenophora. Vigorous shaking or syringing with a 
powerful blast of tap water will get most out. Filling the shell half full of 
water and setting it out in the shade for a day or so with an occasional syring- 
ing will help. If odors still persist a few drops of formaldehyde introduced 
into the shells, plus a cotton stopper, will eliminate the objections. 

In the Pacific Islands most collectors bury their shells alive a few inches 
under soft, dry sand. In a few weeks the specimens are dug up and washed. 
The sand must be sifted for smaller shells and the opercula. Some people 
who do not object to flies set their shells upside down in the sand and allow 
blowfly larvae or maggots to clean out the meat in a week or so. Vigorous 
rinsing of the shell is all that is necessary. 

Many delicate snails, including most land species and small fragile clams, 
may be placed in fresh water overnight and then syringed or picked clean. 
This system works well with Dentalium, Janthina, Marginella, OHvella, Trivia 
and Cyphoma, although the last four genera may require a two-day soak. Bi- 

Collecting American Seashells 63 

valves are usually the easiest to boil and clean. Allow your pairs to dry in 
the flat, open or "butterfly" position, as this will permit ready inspection of 
the hinge teeth for identification purposes. 

There are many minute species which obviously cannot be boiled and 
picked clean. Shells less than one third of an inch may be soaked in seventy 
percent grain alcohol, and then placed in the sun to dry thoroughly. This 
strength of alcohol is also ideal for pickling squid, octopus or the soft parts 
of other mollusks. Isopropyl alcohol may be used, but it is best to use this 
at a fifty percent strength. Never use formaldehyde (or formalin) to pre- 
serve mollusks. The shell turns soft, loses color and often crumbles away in 
a few months. 

When a shell has been cleaned of its soft parts, it must next be prepared 
for the collection. Most shells are ready for display and most attractive in 
their natural state. However, a large number of gastropods, whose beauty 
is hidden by coral and algal growths, are in need of a certain amount of "face 
lifting." A stifl" brush, soapy water and diligence will usually suffice. Many 
collectors soak specimens in a strong chlorine solution for a few hours. This 
removes a great part of the unsightly growths and will not damage the shell. 
It will also remove the natural periostracum or thin corneous layer on the 
outside of the shell. However, when you have several specimens to add to 
your collection, it is best to keep at least one in its natural state. 

Very few expert collectors use acid in treating shells, since this often 
gives specimens a very unnatural, although colorful, sheen. It is used occa- 
sionally to remove limy deposits and to brighten up old specimens. Com- 
mercial dealers dip the Pink Queen Conch, for example, for five or ten sec- 
onds in a vat of one part muriatic acid to four parts of water and then rinse 
in fresh water. Shells may be dipped with forceps in full strength oxalic or 
muriatic acid for r^vo seconds and then immediately put under running cold 
water. This may be repeated until the desired effect is obtained, but it should 
be pointed out that any acid treatment ruins most shells for scientific study. 

Polishing abalone shells and cutting cross-sections of larger shells require 
special equipment such as electrically run burring wheels and circular dia- 
mond cutters. A visit to a shell factory will be of profit to those wishing to 
undertake this interesting hobby. 


Although seashells are easy to keep since they do not deteriorate and 
generally do not fade in color like many insects, they present many special 
problems in housing because of their many sizes and shapes. There are three 
general types of collections — the knickknack shelf, the display arrangement 
and the study collection. 

^4 American Seashells 

The first of these is usually the result of a summer's random beach col- 
lecting by the novice or a living-room auxiliary to the mam collection. Many 
important private collections have started in this manner. 

The display collection for museums, libraries, clubs or even the home 
is limited by the pocketbook and by the type of secondhand display cabmets 
that can be afforded. Little more is needed than common sense "tent.on to 
matters of good artificial lighting, attractive but neutral background, neat 
hb Ing choice of specimens and especially the avoidance of overcrowdmg. 
The exhibit should L designed for ,ts eye-appeal as well ------ 

One has a wide choice of themes-a selection of local shells, molusks of 
"conomc or medical interest, shells of odd habits, examples of colors and 
pauerns and a host of others. The labels of exhibits showing classification 
should bear the scientific and common names and the geographica range. 
Mtaiature display boxes with cotton background and glass or celbphane 
covering are very popular and, if of uniform size, may be neatly stacked m a 
closet when not in use. 



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fir*-^ \*^-^JLt/ -VTnJkA, l.a>^ Cl^. 

i ..^Itci^mtM C^ ^OtC. !?%!<./ 

Figure 21. The shell collection. 

The name "study collection" may sound ominous to some but, if a few 
simple principles are followed, this type of housing will bring more ,oy and 
less work than any other system. It is not only neater, more compact and 

Collecting American Seashells 65 

equally as attractive as the display type, but it also permits the collector to 
locate any specimen quickly and add new material with a minimum of rear- 
ranging. The simplicity, uniformity and mobility of equipment, such as 
drawers, trays, labels and vials, and the use of the biological or systematic 
order of arrangement are the essence of a good collection. 

The choice of cabinet and style of drawers will be limited, of course, 
by the collector's pocketbook. The accompanying designs are the result of 
many years of observing private and institutional cabinets, and they are 
offered here as an ideal toward which you can strive. 

If the cabinet is made in a roughly oblong shape and is about table- 
height, additional cabinets may some day be set alongside for desk space or 
set on top of each other without causing the top drawers to be too high to 
reach. Pine, basswood or any of th^ whitewoods may be used. It has been 
reported that certain oaks have a detrimental effect on shells which have 
been stored away for years. It is best to have a cabinet door which swings 
open all the way (i8o degrees), although so hinged that the drawers may 
still be pulled out when it is open only 90 degrees. Some students prefer the 
type of door which lifts off. 

The ideal cabinet unit has the following dimensions: outside measure- 
ments, height 40" (or 80") ^ width 22'', depth 32''. Runners for drawers, 30'' 
long. If wooden, %'' X %" and set 2^4" apart. If galvanized sheet iron, 
2%'' wide and bent along the midline to form an L. Inside measurements, 
wooden drawers 20" X 30" and i%". No runners or handles are necessary 
on the drawers. 

All cardboard trays to hold specimens should be %'' in depth, and all 
their other outside dimensions should be multiples of the smallest type of tray. 
This unit may be iK'" X 2", the next largest tray 3'' X 2", then 3'' X 4", 
then 4/^2'' X 6", and the largest of all 8'' X 9''. It is inadvisable to have more 
than five sizes of trays, since this complicates curating and the making or 
ordering of future stocks. Odd-sized trays make neat arrangement impos- 
sible. Cardboard trays covered with glossv-white enameled paper may be 
purchased in any large city, or a simple style may be made by cutting out 
and folding pieces of shirtboard as shown in our illustration. The corners 
are held together by adhesive paper or butcher's tape. The various sets, or 
lots as they are called, of each species should be placed in the trays and 
arranged in the drawer from left to right, beginning at the front. Many 
students separate the species or genera by turning over an empty box which 
may bear a label indicating the genus or species. 

Small e^lass vials without necks are used to hold smaller specimens. Cot- 
ton is best for plugging the vials, since corks are expensive, are difficult to 
obtain for various-sized vials and eventually deteriorate. When a lot consists 
of a hundred or more small specimens which will not easily go into vials, it is 

66 American Se ash ells 

convenient to use a covered box 3'' X 4'' and 2" deep. The label should be 
pasted on the lower left corner of the lid. A duplicate label or a slip of card 
bearing the catalog number should be placed in the box. Some people can 
afford to have glass-covered boxes. 

A catalog is most essential, and its single purpose is to prevent the loss 
of valuable locality data. If each specimen bears the same number as the 
label and catalog entry, it can be returned to its proper tray in case of acci- 
dental spilling. A thick ledger about 1 2" X 8" may be purchased at a second- 
hand office equipment store at small expense. Headings may be arranged 
across both pages as shown in our figure. More space should be given "Local- 
ity" than any other section. Run your catalog numbers from i on up. Do 
not experiment with mystical letters indicating the locality, collector or date 
of cataloging, since all this information will be on your label and in your 
catalog. A card catalog arranged systematically is useless, time-consuming 
and a duplication of the information already available from your collection. 

Specimens should be numbered in India ink with a fine pen. Shells that 
are too small to number may be put in vials or covered boxes, but do not fail 
to add a small slip bearing the catalog number. 

The housing of molluscan animals, octopus and other soft-bodied crea- 
tures which must be preserved in seventy percent grain alcohol is expensive 
and generally beyond the scope of the average private collector. It may be 
mentioned, however, that preserving jars with rubber rings and clip-on glass 
lids are the best. Vials with necks may be plugged tightly with cotton and 
set upside down in the jars. 

The mollusk collection should be arranged systematically, that is, in 
biological sequence, with the first drawer containing the primitive abalones, 
followed by the limpets and on up to the specialized bubble shells {Bulla). 
The small chiton, cephalopod and scaphopod classes mav be put at the begin- 
ning of the gastropods or between them and the bivalves. You may wish to 
place your unsorted or unidentified material in the last few drawers. Once 
you have a species represented in your collection, do not stop there. Add 
other lots from other collecting regions. You will then learn to appreciate 
individual, ecological and geographical variations. 

Exchanging. An amazing amount of traffic of duplicate material exists 
throughout the country and in many parts of the world today. Exchanging 
is an ideal way of sharing your local rich hauls and of obtaining species be- 
yond your collecting sphere. A list of the many hundreds interested in 
exchanging is published in several directories of conchologists and naturalists. 
Sound out your prospective exchanger to learn what species or type of mate- 
rial he desires, since some advanced collectors are extremely "choosy." Al- 
ways give accurate locality data and send as perfect specimens as you can. 
Some people make up elaborate exchange lists which they send around to 

Collectifig American Seashells 61 

other collectors. Exchanging, although worthwhile, is time-consuming, and 
great care must be taken that the upkeep of your main collection does not 

Excellent specimens with largely reliable locality data may be obtained 
from a number of dealers. Their prices are often high, but this is justified, 
at least with regard to locally dredged material, by the high cost of operating 
boats and replacing dredges. Like antiques and costume jewelry, the prices 
of shells vary with what people will pay. 

Shipping. When sending shells on exchange or to some other collector 
for identification, always include a fully inscribed label with each lot. Most 
shells are best protected by loose wrapping in old newspaper. Small or fragile 
shells should be boxed with cotton. Mail or express shipments up to twenty 
pounds will travel safely in cardboard cartons obtained from the grocery 
store. The top and bottom should be padded with two inches of crumpled 
newspaper. Small lots are conveniently sent in mailing tubes. It is inadvisable 
to send living snails through the mails, and foreign imports of living land and 
fresh-water mollusks are prohibited by law except by prior permission from 
The Surgeon General, U.S. Public Health Service or from The U.S. De- 
partment of Agriculture, Washington 25, D.C. 

Identification services. Besides popular books and a few professional 
papers available in public libraries, there are few places where amateurs may 
turn for expert determinations. Fortunately, not a few private collectors are 
even more familiar with their local faunas than are the professional workers. 
Although some charge small fees for their services, most are only too happy 
to identify your "sticklers." It is customary to name only material which has 
been sorted and which has accurate and detailed locality data, and to send a 
sufficient series so that the identifier may retain a sample for his efforts. It is 
a breach of etiquette to send material before asking if the identifier is willing 
to undertake the task. Sending photographs is highly unreliable and is tanta- 
mount to saying you do not trust the specimens out of your hands. Some 
museums will identify specimens if vou are unable to do so after serious 
effort, and this, of course, can be done only if the curator or research worker 
has the time. Never send more than five species at a time. It is surprising how 
many people abuse this service, purely voluntary on the part of the expert, 
by sending unsorted, data-less shells. It is more important that the profes- 
sional spend his time in caring for his vast collections, doing his research and 
writing^ for the benefit of all, than in identifying for the few. Medical work- 
ers, agriculturalists, archaeologists, fisheries men, ecologists and other profes- 
sional malacologists already demand a great deal of his time. 

68 Ainerican Se ash ells 


There are a number of very lovely private collections in the United 
States, some devoted wholly to marine species, others limited to land or 
fresh-water types. Many represent years of collecting, others an expenditure 
of many thousands of dollars. To mention a few would be to slight many 
another. The best private collections are in California, Florida, Connecticut, 
the New York area and Massachusetts. As time passes, private collections 
are either sold, lost or left to some public or university museum, so that today 
we find the largest collections housed by public or endowed institutions. 

The United States National Museum, under the Smithsonian Institution 
in Washington, D.C., contains what is undoubtedly the largest mollusk col- 
lection in the world. Until Dr. Paul Bartsch, now retired, was curator, it 
was second in size to that of the British Museum in London. Today, this 
study collection contains over 9,000,000 specimens, 600,000 lots or suites and 
in the neighborhood of 36,000 species and subspecies. Its curator at present 
is Dr. Harald A. Rehder, and his associates are Dr. J. P. E. Morrison. 

The Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts, has risen to second place in the United States within the last 
fifteen years. It is famous for its well-kept collection of about 7,000,000 
specimens, 300,000 lots and approximately 28,000 species and subspecies. Its 
present curator is Dr. William J. Clench, noted for his development of stu- 
dents in mollusks. Dr. Ruth D. Turner is assistant curator. 

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is 
third or fourth in size and contains an unusual amount of valuable material. 
Its present curator. Dr. Henry A. Pilsbry, has been with the institution for 
over sixty years, and he has contributed more to our science than any other 
worker. He was preceded by two equally famous curators, George W. 
Tryon and Thomas Say, America's first malacologist. The author is the 
present incumbent of the Pilsbry Chair of A4alacology. 

In the Midwest, one of our largest fresh-water and land collections is 
located at the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 
Dr. Henry van der Schalie, an expert on fresh-water clams, is the curator. 
The Chicago Museum of Natural History in Illinois contains a small but 
adequate collection and is under the care of Dr. Fritz Haas, a scientist well- 
versed in many phases of malacology. 

There are no very large study collections in southeastern United States, 
although one of the finest exhibit collections is on display at Rollins College 
in Winter Park, Florida. It is well worth visiting, for the collection is beau- 
tifully lighted and arranged and is instructively labeled. Of equal brilliance, 
the Simon de Marco collection of rarities is housed in the commercial Florida 
Marine Museum near Fort Myers, Florida. 

Collecting American Se ash ells 69 

Among the leading American collections that in the California Academy 
of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, stands foremost in western 
United States. It is a large and well-kept collection, supplemented by an 
excellent library. Drs. G. Dallas Hanna and Leo Hertlein have in the main 
been responsible for its successful growth. The Paleontology Collection at 
Stanford University contains a large series of recent and fossil mollusks. It 
is particularly strong in material from the Pacific northwest. Its present cura- 
tor. Dr. Myra Keen, is one of our outstanding malacologists who specializes 
in marine bivalves. A very large collection of marine mollusks is housed at 
the San Diego Natural History Society, Balboa Park, San Diego. The 
Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, also has a very 
large collection. 


How to Know 
American Seashells 

The satisfaction of gradually becoming master of a study and the enjoyment 
of devoting a full interest to one of the many fields of natural history, 
whether it be wild flowers, butterflies or seashells, are the two strongest 
motivations among naturalists in their search for new facts and additional 
specimens. "Knowing seashells" is not so much a state of knowledge, attained 
after so many years of study, as it is a continuous process of adding to our 
store of information and experience. Through personal observation, by tak- 
ing advantage of what others have discovered and recorded, and by increas- 
ing our ability to identify species, we gradually become familiar with our 

Whafs the name of that shell? Is it rare or covnnon? How does it 
live? Where cai2 1 find more and better specimens? These are four of the 
most frequently asked questions among shell collectors. Because people who 
are incurably or only mildly "shell-shocked" are continually asking for the 
names of shells, over three fourths of this book is devoted to the problem of 
recognizing and naming our American seashells. 

To know the name of a shell is in many ways to know the object itself. 
What we may gain in observation of the shell, the animal which builds it or 
the habits of the creature, we can, with its correct name, compare w^th the 
findings made by other students. "So this is Sozon's Cone!" transforms the 
shell in your collection into an object of rarity and opens the door to fasci- 
nating^ accounts of fatal, venomous cone shells or the tales of bygone shell 


Honjo to Know American Seashells 71 

auctions. If Anachis avara is swarming over an oyster bed, no one takes 
particular note, but the mere mention of the Destructive Oyster Drill, Uro- 
salpinx cinerea, brings the shell-fishery man to the scene to eliminate the pest. 

The identification of one of the 6,000 species found in our waters is not 
always a simple task. True, by flipping through pages of illustrations we 
may spot the shell in question or at least a near relative. This method will 
sometimes bring us close enough so that reference to the text will reveal the 
correct identity. However, unless it is reahzed that many species differ only 
in seemingly slight characters and, conversely, that other species show wide 
variation in color or shape, misidentifications can result. How hopeless a task 
it would be to separate into species the various color varieties of the Common 
Coquina Shell (Donax variabilis) or the many shapes and sculptural varieties 
of the Western Dog Winkle (Thais laiitellosa) . Yet how many would not 
at first fail to notice the differences between the shell of McGinty's Cyphoma 
and the Flamingo Tongue {Cyphoma gibbosa)} But look at the obvious dif- 
ferences in the color patterns of the animals shown on plate 8. 

Marine mollusks are exceedingly responsive to varying ecological con- 
ditions. The presence of certain salts and minerals in the mud often dictates 
the degree to which certain colors are developed or to what extent spines 
are produced. In highly exposed areas, where surf waves pound against the 
shore, snail shells are usually devoid of delicate sculpture. These differences 
caused by environment are often difficult to distinguish from those which 
are genetic or naturally inherent characters of the species. So, too, there is 
often great genetic variation within a species, just as we have brunettes, 
blondes and redheads among humans. It is not an easy problem, even for 
the professional, to define the limits of a species, nor to say with authority 
that a certain specimen represents a "form" or is an example of a subspecies 
or even different species. 

What is a species? Volumes have been written in answer to this ques- 
tion, and the subject is one of continuous investigation by many biologists 
working with all forms of animals and plants. Every population of mollusks 
is inherently different, and these differences, however minute, are morpho- 
logical, physiological or genetic. One need only collect a common species in 
several localities along our coast and carefully examine them in order to reach 
this conclusion. It is this factor of geographical variation, together with 
timely isolation and selection, which has been largely responsible for the 
evolutionary production of species. The development of species is a con- 
tinuous and very gradual process and, when we settle upon a reasonably 
homogeneous series of populations and label them as, say, Melongena corona, 
we are merely "snapping a candid camera shot" of a species living today, one 
whose picture looked quite different several million years ago during the 
Pliocene period. Within the geographical range of this species we find a 

72 American Seashells 

series of populations on the west coast of Florida which seem to be attempt- 
ing a "break-away" from the typical form, and to this geographical race the 
name Melojigena corojia perspectiva has been given. Perhaps in another 
million years, through fortuitous isolation (geographical or reproductive) 
and selection, it will merit recognition as a full species. Elsewhere through- 
out the range of corona, we find minor groups of variants, some that are 
individuals stunted by ecological conditions, others that are minor genetic 
variations which seem to crop up at random in all parts of Florida. These 
ecotypes, aberrations and varieties, although actors in the evolution game, do 
not warrant subspecific names. 

There have been many attempts to define a species. A very excellent 
summary of the various definitions has been published in Ernst Mayr's inter- 
esting book entitled Systematics and the Origin of Species (Columbia Uni- 
versity Press, 1942). Mayr defines species as groups of actually or potentially 
interbreeding natural populations, which are reproductively isolated from 
other such groups by geographical, physiological or ecological barriers. Un- 
fortunately, this biological concept of species cannot as yet be used exten- 
sively in the field of mollusks, for malacology is largely in the purely descrip- 
tive and cataloging stages, and the majority of species being described today 
are still based on the old-fashioned morphological species concept. 

While the species is considered by some people as an objective entity in 
nature, nearly everyone agrees that a genus is merely a convenient and 
arbitrary grouping of closely related species. This is also true of many higher 
categories such as the subfamily and family which are merely convenient 
groupings of closely related genera. However artificial, the system is ex- 
tremely useful, for it permits us to arrange the species in our collections and 
our scientific reports in a logical, evolutionary and biological sequence. 


These are the many morphological features exhibited in mollusks which 
are used for identifying species and in understanding the evolutionary rela- 
tionships existing between members of the higher categories, such as genera, 
families or orders. It must be realized that in some groups of shells certain 
types of characters, such as number of spines, shape of aperture or color 
markings are used to distinguish species, while in other groups these will 
prove useless and reliance may have to be put on the number of folds in the 
columella, the number of teeth in the aperture or the sculpturing on the 
operculum. These key features are pointed out in their appropriate places 
throughout this book. 

The \'erbal tools which are used in the study of mollusks are especially 
designed to assure a method as accurate as possible for telling apart the 

How to Know American Seashells 


Figure 22. Various shapes of gastropods, a, globose {Lunaiia heros Say); b, cap- 
shaped (Acjnaea testitdinalis Miiller); c, fusiform and with an anal notch on the 
outer lip {Cerodrillia acestra Dall); d, sinistral or left-handed (A?itiplanes vinosa 
Dall); e, slipper-shaped (Crepidiila fomicata Linne); f, high-spired (Terebra 
nassida Dall); g, low-spired (Architectojiica peracuta Dall); h, cone-shaped 
(Conus) ; i, whorls freely coiled ( Vermicidaria spirata Philippi) ; j, spinose {Murex 
hystricimis Dall); k, spindle-shaped (FiisiJius eucosinms Dall). 

74 Ajjierican Se ash ells 

100,000 or more living, and many more fossil, species of moUusks. It is im- 
possible to avoid using technical names for various parts of the shell and its 
animal, such as apex, spire, whorls, operculum, etc., for most of these words 
have no counterpart in everyday language. Familiarization with these few 
terms is gained easily and rapidly as trial identifications and references to the 
illustrated glossaries are made. Many of the technical terms explained below 
are not employed in this book, but they are presented for the sake of those 
readers who intend to use more advanced works. 

Gastropod Features 

Shape of shell. It is this character that is instinctively used at first when 
identifying a snail shell, and little would be gained in discussing at length 
what our photographs so clearly demonstrate. However, the shape of the 
adult shell in some species may differ radically from its young stages as may 
be seen in the illustrations of the cowries (pi. 6g) or the American Pelican 
Foot (Aporj'hais, pi. 23c). Monstrosities caused by embryological defaults 
or by injury in early life have always been a source of error in identification, 
and in certain extreme cases many species have been erroneously described 
as new. 

Parts of the shell. As the typical gastropod mollusk grows, it adds to 
the spiral shell and produces turns or ivhorls. The first few whorls, or nu- 
clear whorls, are generally formed in the tgg of the mollusk and usually 
differ in texture, color and sculpturing from the postnuclear whorls which 
are formed after the animal has hatched. When the nuclear whorls are 
marked off from the remainder of the whorls they are often referred to as 
the protoconch. The last and largest whorl which terminates at the aperture 
of the shell is known as the body ivhorl. The periphery is an imaginary 
spiral area on the outside of the whorl, usually halfway between the suture 
and the base or at a point where the whorl has its greatest width. The Giant 
Atlantic Pyram (pi. 4q) shows a narrow color band on the periphery of the 
last whorl. The w^horl just before the last whorl often has distinctive char- 
acters and has been differentiated by the name penultimate njohorl. Above 
this the succeedingly smaller earlier whorls in the pointed apex of the shell 
are known as apical ^whorls. The rate of expansion of the growing whorls 
and the degree to which the succeeding whorls "drop" determine the shape 
of the shell. The sides of the whorls may be fiat, globose, concave, chan- 
neled or ribbed. The juncture of each whorl against the other forms a suture 
at the top or above the shoulder of each whorl. The suture may be very 
fine — a mere tiny, spiral line — or it may be deeply channeled (see Busy con 
canaliculata, the Channeled Whelk, pi. 2 3n). Sutures may be wavy, irreg- 
ular, slightly or deeply indented or impressed. 

Honv to Know Ajjierican Se ash ells 


The anterior end of the shell is that end which is in front when the ani- 
mal is crawling. The aperture, the siphonal canal (when present), the head 
and the tentacles of the mollusk are at this end. The posterior end is the 
opposite, where the apex and nuclear whorls are located, hence it is some- 
times referred to as the apical end. When we speak of the posterior side of 
a rib or a bar of color we mean the side nearest to the apex or away from 
the anterior end of the mollusk. The total distance between the two ends 
of the shell is known as the length, although this measurement is often called 
the height. 

■hlVICl.£(\(<. VlHORUS 

pftftveTAL. CALLUS 








Figure 23. Parts of the gastropod shell. 

The aperture of the shell is the hole or space at the end of the body 
whorl into which the mollusk can withdraw itself. The edge of the body 
whorl which borders the aperture is known as the Up (sometimes called the 
peristome in technical works). Sometimes the lip is thickened greatly or flar- 
ing like an old-fashioned blunderbuss. Any startling development of the lip 
is generally a sign of adulthood. If the lip thickens into an unusually large, 
rounded, sharp rib it is known as a varix. Varices may be produced at various 

76 American Seashells 

stages in the growth of a shell, and their number and position are nsed as 
identifying characters (see Bursa, the frog shells, pi. 9k) . 

For the sake of convenience, the part of the lip which is away from the 
center of the shell or is not next to the axis of the shell is known as the outer 
lip. Opposite this on the other side of the aperture is the inner lip or parietal 
wall which may be thickened, armed with teeth (see Nerita, pi. 4) or have 
a parietal shield (see the helmet shells. Cassis, pi. 23V). The inner lip is con- 
tinuous with the thickened axis or colwnella of the shell about which the 
whorls are developed. In many kinds of marine gastropods, especially the 
murexes, the columella extends forward and forms the tube-like anterior 
siphonal canal. In a few genera there is a small posterior ca?jal formed at the 
upper or posterior end of the aperture (see Bursa, pi. 9k). 

The outer lip in a few genera has a very characteristic notch or slit. It 
is longest in the very rare, large Pleurotomaria shell (pi. 3). The "stromboid 
notch" in the conchs is weak but distinct. In the abalones, Haliotis (pi. 2), 
the slit is replaced by a series of small, round anal holes. Nearly all the tur- 
rids are recognized by their "turrid notch" on the upper portion of the outer 
lip. The Keyhole Limpets, Fissurella, have reduced the slit to a single small 
hole which is located at the apex of their cap-shaped shells, although in their 
young stages the slit is well-developed at the edge of the shell (see fig. 5). 

The sculpturing on the exterior of the shell — ribs, nodules, cords, 
threads, indented lines, pits, spines, etc. — are grouped into two basic types: 
( I ) The axial sculpture, that is, any markings, ribs or lines which run across 
the whorl in line with the axis of the shell or from suture to suture. Some- 
times it is called longitudinal sculpture. Varices, growth lines and the outer 
lip are axial features. (2) The spii'al sculpture, which is spirally arranged in 
the direction of the suture or in line with the direction of the growth of the 
whorls. Thus we often speak of spirally arranged color bands (as in the 
Tulip Shell, Fasciolaria hunteria, pi. 13c), or axially arranged color streaks 
(as in the Lightning Whelk, Busy con coiitrarium, pi. 23-0). 

The umbilicus is a hole or chink in the shell next to the base of the 
columella, which is formed because the whorls are not closely wound against 
each other at their anterior or basal end. The umbilicus may be quite large 
and deep as in the sundial shells, Architectonica (pi. 4m). Commonly there 
is a spiral cord in the umbilicus which may terminate in a button-like callus. 
Some species are differentiated by the size, position or color of this znnhilical 
callus (see Polijiices duplicatus, pi. 5k). About a fourth of our marine spe- 
cies are umbilicated to some degree or another. 

Teeth (not to be confused with the radular teeth in the animal's pro- 
boscis or mouth cavity) arc often present in the aperture. The Distorted 
Shell, Distorsio (pi. 25Z), is an extreme example, but some shells have teeth 
on the parietal wall only (Nerita) or on the inside of the outer lip (Cassis). 

Hoiv to Know American Seas hells 


Tlie periostracu7n is a horny covering which overlays the exterior of 
the shell in many species and, like the shell, is secreted and shaped by the 
fleshy mantle of the animal. The periostracum (erroneously called the epi- 
dermis) may be very thin and transparent or only slightly tinted (as in some 
volutes, moon shells and the smaller conchs); or it may be like a thick coat- 
ing of shellac which flakes off when dry (as in the Queen Conch, Strombus 
gigas). In a few buccinids, some frog shells {Lampusia) and the vase shells 
( Vasimi) , the periostracum may be very thick and often have clumps which 
simulate hairs and bristles. It is wholly absent in many groups, including the 
cowries, olives and marginellas. It is primarily a protective coating and pre- 
vents damage from boring sponges and water acids. 

When axial and spiral sculpturing are equally prominent and cross each 
other at right angles, a cancellate or decussate sculpture is produced. Reticu- 
late sculpture is similar, but the lines do not cross at right angles. 

Growth lines are mentioned in many of our descriptions and these refer 
to the axial lines which run parallel to the edge of the apertural lip. These 
are irregularities in the shell, usually very small but sometimes coarse, which 
mark places where growth of the shell was stopped for a relatively long time. 
Sometimes the lip of the aperture becomes stained or slightly thickened dur- 
ing these brief rest periods (probably a few days apart), and, when addi- 
tional growth takes place, these blemishes are left as growth lines. 

Figure 24. Various types of opercula. a, calcareous {Turbo); b, under surtace of 
same showing the paucispiral, corneous laver to which the foot muscle is attached; 
c, calcareous and paucispiral (Neritu); d, paucispiral and corneous {Littorina)\ e, 
ungulate and corneous {Busy con and Vasmn); f, multispiral and corneous 
(Livo?7a); g, concentric and corneous {Biiccinwn). 

The operczilimt is a homy or calcareous plate firmly attached to the 
dorsal side of the posterior end of the foot. When the head and foot are 
withdrawn into the shell, this "trapdoor" is the last part to be pulled in, and 
it thus serves as a protection against enemies and, in many species, seals the 
shell from either noxious fluids or the drying effects of the sun and air. When 
the foot is extended and used in crawling, the operculum serves as a foot-pad 
on which the heavy shell may rest and rub without injury to the soft foot. 
The operculum is present in many families of marine mollusks, and it often 

78 American Seas he lis 

serves as a useful identification character. It is absent in adults in the follow- 
ing families: Marginellidae, Cypraeidae, Tonnidae, Haliotidae, Ac77meidae, 
Fissurellidae, Janthifiidae, and nearly all of the sea slugs (opisthobranchiates, 
nudibranchs, bullas, etc.). Some genera lack this organ, such as Oliva and 
Cypraecassis, although their close relatives, Olivella, Ancilla, Phalium and 
Cassis possess well-developed opercula. Nearly all Valuta are without the 
operculum, except our West Indian Music Volute. This is also true of the 
genera Conns and Mitra whose various species may or may not possess one. 
In the Alaskan volute, V olutharpa ampuUacea Dall, 1 5 percent have an oper- 
culum, 10 percent only traces of the operculigenous area and 75 percent 
without a trace of either. The presence or absence of this part of the animal 
is not always a good classificational character. 

Many families, genera and species (although not in so many cases as 
generally believed) possess a characteristic type of operculum. Calcareous 
or hard, shelly opercula are found in the turban shells ("cat's eyes" of 
Turbo), the rissoids, the nerites, and the natica moon shells. The color and 
sculpturing of these opercula are used for identification purposes. The liotias 
(Liotiidae) possess a horny operculum which is overlaid by rows of calca- 
reous beads. Among the horny or corneous opercula there are several im- 
portant and characteristic tvpes which we have illustrated in figure 24. 

The radula. The minute teeth or radula (also called the odontophore 
or lingual ribbon) located in the mouths of all classes of mollusks, except the 
clams, are so very distinctive in the various families, genera and species that 
they have been used as a fairly reliable identification criterion. Our present 
arrangement of the gastropod families is based largely upon the radula, al- 
though many other anatomical characters of the animal and shell are equally 
important. The Greek naturalist, Aristotle, mentioned the radula of snails as 
early as 350 B.C., but a fuller account was given by the Dutch naturalist, 
Swammerdam, in the seventeenth century. The Italian malacologist, Poli, 
was the first to figure the radulae of gastropods, cephalopods and chitons. 

The radula is attached to the floor of the buccal cavity or inner mouth 
and consists of a ribbon-shaped membrane to which are attached many small, 
fairly hard teeth. The radula ribbon is maneuvered back and forth in some- 
what licking fashion as the animal rasps its food. The teeth are arranged in 
transverse rows on the ribbon (see fig. 6), The number of rows may vary 
from a dozen (in some nudibranchs) to several hundred. Each transverse 
row contains a specific number of teeth, depending on the family or group 
to which the snail belongs. In the taenioglossate snails (many families, includ- 
ing Cypraeidae, Strovihidae, Cerithiidae and Littoriuidae) tliere are generally 
only seven teeth in each row, but each of these teeth has a distinctive shape 
and a specific number of tiny cusps on its edges. The tooth in the center is 
called the rachidian or central. Flanking this tooth on each side is a lateral. 

How to Knouo American Seas hells 


Beyond each lateral there is first an inner marginal and finally an outer mar- 
ginal. This makes seven teeth in all. In the rachiglossate snails {Muricidae, 
Buccinidae, Olividae, etc.) there are only three teeth per row — the rachidian 
and a strongly cusped lateral on each side. The four toxoglossate families 
(Conidae, Turridae, Terebridae and Cancellariidae) have lost their rachidians 
and laterals and have retained only the marginals. 

The docoglossate snails {Acmaeidae and Patellidae) have less than 
twelve teeth per row but are peculiar in that there are two to four identical 
rachidians or centrals. In the rhipidoglossate famihes {Trochidae, Fissurel- 
lidae, Neritidae) the radula is very complicated, and the very numerous lat- 
erals at the end of each row are called uncini. Among the gastropods which 
do not have a radula are the Pyramidellidae, Eidijnidae, the genus Corallio- 
phila, adult Harpa and a few genera of nudibranchs. 

Figure 25. Types of radular teeth found in the prosobranch gastropods, a, 
rhipidoglossate [Calliostoma doliarium Holten); b, taenioglossate (Littorina irro- 
rata Say); c, rachiglossate {Purpura patida Linne); d, toxoglossate {Comis clarki 
Rehder and Abbott); e, reduced rachiglossate {Scaphella jiinonia Shaw). All 
greatly magnified and representing only a single transverse row of teeth. 

We have figured several main types of gastropod radulae (fig. 25), but 
other examples have been included in the systematic section when they are 
of especial use in identification. It is not expected that many amateurs will 
want to prepare and examine radulae but, because so many serious private 
collectors and many biology students will find this identification tool indis- 
pensable, we have included brief instructions on the preparation of radula 

Preparation of the radida. In large specimens, such as the whelks or 
conchs, the proboscis may be slit open from above and the round buccal 
mass removed. Occasionally, the proboscis is withdrawn far inside the ani- 
mal, but it is easily located below the thin skin on the dorsum just posterior 
to the tentacles. The flesh may be torn away with the aid of small dissecting 
needles until the glistening, worm-like radula pops out. In order to remove 


American Seashells 

Figure 26. Various shapes of bivalves, a, sp'mose. (Echmochauia calif ornicaDaW); 
b, quadrate (Arcopsis adamsi E. A. Smith); c, orbicular or circular (Divaricella); 
d, rostrate {Niiciilmm hamata Cpr.); e, trigonal {Crass'mella); f, fan-shaped or 
pectinate {Aeqziipecten irradiaiis miiplicostata Dall); g and h, obliquely ovate and 
aequivalve {Crenella cohmibiana Dall); i, elongate {Ensis directiis Conrad); j, 
mussel-shaped (Modiolus viodiohts Linne); k, ovate {Spisiilci poJynyrua Stimpson). 

Honjo to K?iow American Seashells 81 

the last traces of flesh, the radula may be soaked in a saturated solution of 
potassium hydroxide (KOH) for a few minutes. A solution of common lye 
will do as well. Animals whose flesh has been hardened by a preservative will 
have to be carefully boiled for a few minutes or soaked overnight in KOH 
or lye. Small specimens may be dropped whole into this alkaline solution 
if only the radula is desired. Transfer the radula successively to several 
watch-glasses of clean water in order to rid it of all traces of KOH. The 
radula may then be placed in one or two drops of water on a clean, glass 
microscope slide and, by observation under the dissecting microscope, a few 
teeth may be teased apart with fine needles. Leave some of the ribbon intact 
to show the relative position of the teeth. Add a square cover slip for study 
under the compound microscope. In w^ater mounts such as these, stains are 
usually unnecessary. This temporary preparation may be permitted to dry 
for a day, the cover slip gently lifted, a few drops of euporol or mounting 
medium added, and the cover slip replaced to make a permanent shde. Some 
workers prefer to go from water to eosin stain to ninety-six percent alcohol 
and then to euporol, but this is an unnecessary elaboration. There are also 
excellent, permanent, plastic mounting mediums on the market. Canada bal- 
sam and glycerine jelly eventually deteriorate. Keep in mind that KOH or 
lye will burn flesh and eat holes in clothing. 

Pelecypod Features 

Shape of shell. In most families of bivalves, the shape of the shell is 
extremely important as a species character, and only in a few groups, such 
as the oysters and mussels, is shape so variable within a species as to be of 
little taxonomic value. Shape of shell, as a whole, is of little value in deter- 
mining families or genera, except in a few instances such as Pecten, Spon- 
dylus and Pinna. 

Parts of the shell. The two valves of a clam are bound together by a 
brown, chitinous ligament, and usually hooked together by a hinge which is 
furnished with interlocking teeth. The valves are kept closed by powerful, 
internal adductor muscles but kept spread open by the action of the liga- 
ment when the animal relaxes or after it is dead. Each valve is a shallow, 
hollov/ cone, with the apex, from which point growth of the valves com- 
mences, turned to one side. This apex is termed the umbo (plural: umbos, 
umbones) or beak. The hinge and its teeth are usually just below the beak 
on the inside of the valve. The prodissoconch is the embryonic shell of the 
bivalve, and corresponds to the protoconch or nucleus of the gastropods. It 
is generally eroded away in adults, but when preserved it serves as a useful 
identification character, especially in such groups as the oysters. 

Right and left valves. It is important to distinguish one valve from the 


Aifierican Seashells 

other and to determine which is the anterior or posterior end, for many 
identification features are used in relation to these orientations. The dorsal 
or upper inargin is located on the beak or hinge side; the ventral margin is 
the opposite side. The beaks usually are pointed or curved toward the ante- 
rior end which is generally the less pointed end of the shell. The ligament 
in the great majority of cases is posterior to the beaks. When present, the 
heart-shaped impression called the lunule is anterior to the beaks. When a 
clam is placed on its ventral margins on the table with the dorsal hinge mar- 
gin up, and with the anterior end away from the observer, the right valve is 
on the right, the left valve to the left. Another quick way is to observe the 
concave, interior of a valve with the hinge margin away from the observer 
and to locate the U-shaped pallial sinus impression (see below). If the sinus 
opens toward the left, it is a left valve, and vice versa for the right valve. 




I Tooth 


'Pallial line 

'ventral MftAClN 

Figure 27. Parts of the hivah-e shell. 

In most bivalves, the two valves are of the same size (equivahe), but in 
some genera one valve is larger and slightly overlaps the other (ineqjiivalve) . 
In Ostrea, Pandora and Lyonsia, the left valve is the larger; in Corbula, the 
right valve is the larger. A bivalve is said to be equilateral when the beak is 
midway between the anterior and posterior ends of the valve. Most bivalves, 
however, are inequilateral with the beak placed nearer one end. 

In many forms, the margins of the valves do not fit closely together, but 
have an opening called the gape somewhere along the margin. In the Soft- 
shelled Clam, My a, the gape is posterior ■and through it protrudes the siphon 
(siphonal gape); in Rocellaria it is anterior and large and serves for the 

HouD to Know Aiiiericmi Seashells 


passage of the foot. Some clams, such as Soleii and Eiisis, gape at both ends. 
In Ar€a there is a small notch or opening on the ventral margin for the 
passage of the anchoring organ, the byssus. This is called the byssal notch. 

The ligament is a brown, horny band located above the hinge, and is 
generally posterior to the beaks. As a rule, the greater part of the ligament 
is externally placed on the shell, but in some genera it may be partially or 
entirely internal. The ligament consists of two distinct parts, which may 
occur together in the same species or separately in others — the ligament 
proper and the internal cartilage or resilmm. In most cases, the two portions 
are intimately connected with one another, but in some clams, such as My a 
and Mactra, the cartilage is entirely separate (the resilium) and is lodged 
within the hinge in a spoon-shaped chojidrophore. The external ligament is 
inelastic and insoluble in strong alkali (KOH). The cartilage is very elastic, 
slightly iridescent and soluble in KOH. 

Muscle scars or inipressions. The interior, concave surface of the valve 

Figure 28. \'arious types of bivalve hinges, a, Arcidae {Noetia poiuierosa Say); 
b, Spondvlidae {Spondyhis); c, Cardiidae {Dinocardhnn vanhyiiingi Clench and 
Smith); d, Veneridae (Tivela stidtonim Mawe); e, Veneridae (Callocardia texas- 
iaiia Dall); f, Lucinidae {Phacoides anmdatiis Reeve); g, Mactridae {Mactra alata 
Spengler); h, Tellinidae {TelUiia idae Dall); i, Carditidae (Veiiericardia); j, A4ac- 
tridae {Ra7igia); k, Crassatellidae (Crassmella himdata Conrad); 1, Periplomatidae 
(Periploma discus Stearns); m, Corbulidae (Corbida). 

84 Ai?] eric an Se ash ells 

possesses a number of useful identification features. The large muscles which 
serve to close the valves leave round impressions on the surface. When two 
muscles are present, as in the venus, lucine, tellin and other clams, they are 
known as the anterior and posterior muscle scars respectively. The fine, 
single-lined impression produced by the muscular edge of the mantle is 
known as the pallial line. The pallial line may have a U-shaped notch at 
the posterior end of the valve indicating the presence of a siphon and its 
siphonal muscles. This is known as the pallial sinus. It is entirely absent in 
genera possessing no retractile siphons. 

The hinge. This is one of the most important identification features 
in the bivalves, and often many hours of fruitless search can be avoided 
when the major types of hinges and their various parts are understood. 
There are many types of hinges from those without teeth {edentulous) to 
those with a complex pattern. We have figured below some of the major 
types of hinges. The teeth are distinguished as cardinals, or those imme- 
diately below the umbo, and the laterals, or those on either side of the cardi- 
nals. In many inequilateral bivalves the teeth have become so distorted or 
set out of place that it is often difficult to distinguish the cardinals from the 
laterals or to determine which ones are absent. We have labeled the teeth 
in several groups in the systematic section of this book to overcome this 
difficulty. In Chanm, for instance, the cardinals have been pushed up into 
the umbo and have become a mere ridge, while the strong anterior lateral 
has become nearly central and simulates a cardinal. 

Sculpture. In many groups, such as the scallops (Pecten), sculpture is 
of paramount importance in determining species. In most other groups it is 
used in conjunction with other characters. There are two major types of 
sculpture — concentric and radial — and both of these may be present in many 
forms, such as ridges, ribs, nodules, spines, foliaceous processes (leaf-like), 
threads, beads, indented striae (fine lines), etc. Concentric growth lines of 
varying degree of development are seen on most bivalves. They are always 
parallel to the margins of the valves, may be exceedingly fine or very coarse, 
and they generally indicate former growth and resting stages. Radial sculp- 
ture, running from the umbones to the lower or end margins of the valves, 
is exemplified in the ribs of Cardium (pi. 32), Pectejj (pi. 33) and others. 
Concentric and radial sculpture may occur together to form a cancellate 
sculpture as in Chione cancellata (pi. 39h). In a few genera, such as Foro- 
mya, the valve's surface may be granulose, as if finely sugar-coated. 

The periostracum or protective chitinous sheath overlaying the exterior 
of the valves is present in most bivalves. It may be extremely thin and trans- 
parent so that it imparts a high gloss to the shell, or it may be thick and 
matted or even very coarse and stringy so that the valves appear to be 
bearded, as in Volsella and Area. 

Houo to Know Afjierican Seashells 85 


In order to discuss the various kinds of moUusks, we must use stand- 
ardized names which are understood or recognized by students in every part 
of the world. For this reason, Latin names, or latinized forms, are employed 
as the official medium for nomenclature. It is not at all necessary to have a 
knowledge of Latin or Greek in order to label a seashell. Nor is it supposed 
that one should attempt to remember the names, although it adds to the 
enjoyment of the study to absorb those of a few commoner species. In fact, 
it is not difficult to remember such scientific names as Venus, Mitra, Oliva 
and Conus. It may be of interest to beginners to know that few professional 
malacologists can remember more than a hundredth part of the total number 
of names. They, too, consult books to refresh their memories. 

Popular va?nes. Popular or vernacular names in seashells are in great 
need of standardization and, while their use sometimes has its drawbacks, 
there is no reason they cannot become as acceptable to the amateur as have 
the popular names of birds, fishes and wild flowers. It is true that one species 
may be known by one name in New England and another in Florida, but 
these are generally names which are in use by local fishermen and not neces- 
sarily accepted by amateur shell collectors. In the face of so much name 
changing in the scientific literature because of legalistic technicalities, the 
existence of a few provincial popular names seems little enough excuse for 
not attempting to standardize the common names of seashells. Throughout 
this book we have presented both scientific and popular names. The latter 
have been derived from several sources and listed only after careful con- 
sideration of the evidence. Private collectors, shell dealers, professionals and, 
in some cases, many popular books, both recent and old, have contributed to 
the final choice. In a few instances, alternate popular names which are well- 
entrenched along wide regions of our coast have been listed. Popularization 
of patronymic names, such as Clark's cone for Conus clarki, has been simple. 
Direct translations of the Latin have in many but not all cases been advisable. 
Many obvious direct translations have been avoided in order to avoid con- 
fusion with names already used for shells in other regions of the world. It is 
interesting to note that many popular names in use today were recorded by 
early eighteenth century writers, and that a few popular generic names are 
to be found in the writings of Aristotle and Pliny. We have not, of course, 
employed the rule of using the name first employed as is done in scientific 
nomenclature (rule of priority). It is hoped that this first listing of iioo 
popular names of American seashells will bring fuller enjoyment to the many 
amateurs who do not desire to "wrestle" with scientific names. 

Scientific names. A mollusk is given two parts to its scientific name — 
the genus, which is akin to a surname, such as Smith or Jones, and the species 

86 American Sea shells 

which is akin to a first name such as William or Julia. The generic name 
is always capitalized, e.g., Comis, Strombiis or Area, but the specific name 
which comes after the genus name is not, e.g., princeps, pilsh'yi or florideijsis. 
It is also customary to add the name of the person who described and 
christened the species; thus the Queen Conch of southern Florida and the 
West Indies is known as Strovibiis gigas Linne. If subspecies or geographical 
races are recognized, the name may appear, for example, as Melojtgena corona 
perspectiva Pilsbry or M. corona corona Gmelin, the latter being the typical 
race. W'e have employed subgenera throughout the book as center headings. 
They may also be written into the name in parentheses: Janthina (Violetta) 
gJobosa Swainson. It is wrong to put a generic synonym in the middle of 
the name, as Busy con {Fiilgiir) carica Gmelin. 

Some authorities may put the author's name in parentheses, for example, 
Modulus modulus (Linne). This means that the species was first described 
under another genus, in this case, not Modulus but Trochus. Unfortunately, 
as our science becomes more advanced, parentheses must be used in the ma- 
jority of the species, and their usefulness becomes offset by the tax on one's 
memory as to whether or not they are to be employed in the various species. 
Modern workers are attempting to abandon this useless frill of nomencla- 
ture, and in this book they are not used. Dates following the author's names 
refer to the date of publication and serve the useful purpose of tracking 
down the original reference. It should be noted that the "double i" ending 
is no longer used in species names (not smithii, but smkhi). 

Name changing. There is nothing more annoying than having a well- 
known and frequently used scientific name changed; and the field of mol- 
lusks seems to be having its lion's share of tossing out of old friends for utter 
strangers. There are two basic kinds of changes — zoological and nomencla- 
rorial. Everyone will condone the former, for it is obvious, as our knowledge 
increases, that certain genera or even species will be found to be mixtures, 
and this necessitates separating and applying new names. In this book, for 
example, Fasciolaria gigantea is changed to Pleuroploca gigantea. The Horse 
Conch, P. gigantea, does not have characters like those of the tulip shells, 
and it cannot be put in the genus Fasciolaria with such species as F. tulipa 
Linne and F. hunteria Perry. For the same reason, what has been called by 
many workers Ostrea virginica is now Crassostrea virginica. Venus merce- 
naria is now Mercenaria mercenaria. 

Nomenclatorial name changing is hardest for everyone to accept. As 
not infrequently happens, a species may be given several different names 
inadvertently by various authors. The International Commission for Zoolog- 
ical Nomenclature has set up an extensive set of rules; among these is the 
rule of priority by which the earliest valid name is chosen if several names 
are available. Unfortunately, the earliest name may have been overlooked 

How to K?iow American Seashells 87 

for many years, and its subsequent discovery will "knock out" one which 
has been in use for a long time. Thus about thirty years ago the whelk 
genus Fiilgur Lamarck 1799 was abandoned for Busycojt Roding 1798. The 
same fate may be met by well-known species. Thus Busy con pyruin Dillwyn 
1817 now becomes B. spirata Lamarck 181 6. It is believed that "rock bot- 
tom" will be reached some day, so that few, if any, further changes will 
occur. Nevertheless, it is with considerable regret that I change a number 
of familiar names in this book. 

Occasionally, certain names are conserved or "frozen" by the Com- 
mission if they are well-established and are in danger of being replaced by 
an earlier but obscurely known name. The following marine genera of 
mollusks are on the conserved list: Aplysia, Area, Argonauta, Buccinum, 
Bulla, Calyptraea, Cohnnbella, Dentalhnn, Mactra, Modiolus, Mya, Alytihis, 
Neritina, Ostrea, Sepia, Spirula, Teredo. Many others, including very 
familiar species names, need to be added to this list. There are many tech- 
nical refinements to nomenclature, and those interested in such matters are 
referred to Procedure in Taxonomy by Schenk and McMasters (Stanford 
University Press). 

Pronunciatioji of scientific names. There is no official pronunciation 
established for names, and for certain words it may vary from one county 
to another. Many pronunciations not based on classical rules have become 
established and passed on from generation to generation. A few examples, 
classical or not, are given below: 

Oliva (all-eeva), EuJima (you-lee-mah), Chiton (kite-on), Chama 
(kam-ah), Chione (kigh-own-ee), Cypraea (sip-ree-ah), Cyphoma (sigh- 
fo-mah), versicolor (ver-sik-o-lor said quickly). Busy con (boos-eekon), 
]anthina (yan-theena), Xenophora (zen-off-fora), gigas (rhymes with "jibe 
gas": )i-gas), conch (konk), radula (rad-you-lah), operciihim (oh-perk- 
you-lum), smithi (smith-eye), ruthae (rooth-ee). The pronunciations of 
some of the authors are: Linne (lin-ay) or sometimes Linnaeus (lin-ee-us), 
Gould (goold), Deshayes (desh-ayz), Orbigny (or-bee-nee), Gmelin (mell- 
an), Bruguiere (broo-gui-air), Kiener (keen-er), Mighels (my-els), Cou- 
thouy (koo-thoo-ee). 

Cominon abbreviations of names of ivell-known authors. Although 
most popular and scientific books spell in full the names of authors of sci- 
entific designations, a large number of articles and most museum labels bear 
only abbreviations. For this reason, a short list of frequently seen examples 
is included: 

A. Ads. — A. Adams B. and S. — Broderip and Sowerby 

A. and H. — Alder and Hancock Brod. — Broderip 

Ag. — Aguayo Brug. — Bruguiere 

Btsch.— Bartsch C. B. Ad.— C. B. Adams 


American Se ash ells 

CL— Clench 

Con. — Conrad 

Coop. — Cooper 

Couth. — Couthouy 

Cpr. — Carpenter 

Dautz. — Dautzenberg 

Desh. — Deshayes 

Dkr. — Dunker 

d'Orb.— Orbigny (d'Orbigny) 

Esch. — Eschscholtz 

Dill.— Dillwyn 

G. and G. — Grant and Gale 

Gld.— Gould 

Gmel. — Gmelin 

Hemp. — Hemphill 

Flert. — Hertlein 

L. or Linn. — Linne; Linnaeus 

Lam. or Lk. — Lamarck 

Midff. — Midendorff 

Migh. — Mighels 

Mts. — E. von Martens 

Nutt. — Nuttall 

Old.— Oldroyd 

Orb. — Orbigny (d'Orbigny) 

Pfr.— Pfeiffer 

Phil.— Philippi 

Pils. — Pilsbry 

Q. and G. — Quoy and Gaimard 

Raf. — Rafinesque 

Rod. — Roding (or Roeding) 

Rve. — Reeve 

Sby. or Sow. — Sowerby 

Val. — Valenciennes 

Verr. — A. E. Verrill 


Guide to the 
American Seashells 

[ Systefnatic Account ] 


includes the scientific mid common names, geographical ranges, descriptions, 
comparative remarks and habitats of i ^oo of the 6000 species of marine mol- 
lusks found in North A^nerican waters. The areas covered are from Alaska 
to southern California and from Labrador to the Gulf of Mexico. Conse- 
quently a large part of the molluscan fauna of Bermuda, the West Indies, 
Lower California and the Gulf of California is included. Monographic 
accounts and more detailed information oji the remaining species and their 
ecology, anatomy and habits may be found by consulting the papers 
listed by subject niatter in the appendix on molluscan literature. 


Conchs and Other Snails 





Genus Scissurella Orbigny 1823 

Subgenus Schizotrochus Monterosato 1884 

Scissurella crispata Fleming Crispate Slit-shell 

Massachusetts to eastern Florida and the West Indies. Europe. 

3.5 mm. (Vs inch) in width and 3.0 mm. in length. 4 to 5 whorls. Fragile, 
frosty-white in color and sculptured by very delicate reticulations. Umbihcus 
small, round and very deep. Periphery of whorls angulate and with two 
thin, sharp spiral lamellae. Between these there is an open 
slit running from the edge of the thin apertural lip back 
about % of a whorl. Uncommon from 60 to 500 fathoms. 

The Florida Slit-shell, 5. proxivm Dall (fig. 29), from 
South Carolina to the Lower Florida Keys, differs in being 
half as large, with a more rounded periphery, and a higher 
spire, so that the length is about equal to the width of the 
shell, and in having a weaker pair of peripheral lamellae. 
Uncommon from 20 to 434 fathoms. 

Genus Perotrochus P. Fischer 1885 

Perotrochus quo y anus Fischer and Bernardi 

Quoy's Pleurotomaria 

Figure 29. 
Florida Slit- 
shell, Scissurella 
proxi?77a Dall, 
YiQ inch (Massa- 
chusetts to Flor- 
ida, 20 to 430 

92 America?! Se ash ells 

Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

1/4 to 2 inches in length and width. Umbilicus sealed over. Sculpture 
of finely beaded, small spiral threads. Characterized by a relatively short but 
wide slit at the periphery of the body whorl just behind the outer lip. Color 
dull orange-yellow with darker maculations. Base white. Interior slightly 
pearly. Dredged from 73 to 130 fathoms. One of our rarest seashells. 

Subgenus Entemnotrochus P. Fischer 1885 
Ferotrochus adansonianus Crosse and Fischer Adanson's Pleurotomaria 

Plate 3d 

Cuba and the Lesser Antilles. 

3 inches in length, and slightly more in width. Umbilicus round, very 
deep. Sculpture of coarsely beaded, moderately small spiral threads. Slit on 
periphery of whorl narrow and very long ( ^ of a whorl) . Color cream with 
a salmon blush and irregular, small patches of red. Base similarly colored. 
Dredged from 94 to 100 fathoms, but sometimes brought up in fish traps. 
This is an exceedingly rare species. 

Genus Haliotis Linne 1758 

Haliotis cracherodi Leach Black Abalone 

Plate zf 

Coos Bay, Oregon, to Lower California. 

6 inches in length, oval, and fairly deep. Outer surface smoothish, ex- 
cept for coarse growth lines. Usually 5 to 8 holes are open. External color 
bluish to greenish black. Interior pearly-white. A fairly abundant, edible 
species although not fished commercially to any great extent. A littoral spe- 
cies which clings to rocks between tide marks. Some shells may lack the 
holes (unnecessarily named H. c. holzneri Hemphill, H. c. imperforata Dall 
and H. c. lusus Finlay). A subspecies, H. c. calif orniensis Swainson, occurs 
on Guadalupe Island and is characterized by 1 2 to 16 very small holes. H. c. 
bonita Orcutt is the same as this subspecies. H. c. splendidula Williamson is 
the typical cracherodi. 

Haliotis rufescens Swainson Red Abalone 

Plate 2 a 

Northern California to Lower California. 

10 to 12 inches in length, oval, rather flattened. Outer surface rather 
rough, dull brick-red with a narrow red border around the edge of the shell. 
Interior iridescent blues and greens, with a large central muscle scar. 3 to 4 


holes are open. Fished commercially below 20 feet, especially between Mon- 
terey and Point Conception. The legal minimum size for sportsmen is 7 
inches, and the catch is limited to 5 specimens per person per day. This is 
a popular food and, when polished on the outside, makes an attractive mantel 

Haliotis corrugata Gray Pink Abalone 

Plate 2C 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

5 to 7 inches in length, almost round, fairly deep, with a scalloped edge 
and strong corrugations on the outer surface. 3 to 4 large tubular holes are 
open. Exterior dull-green to reddish brown. Interior brilliant iridescent. The 
variety diegoensis Orcutt is the same. Abundant in its southern range. The 
legal minimum collecting size is 6 inches. 

Haliotis fulgens Philippi Green Abalone 

Plate 2b 

Farallon Islands, California, to the Gulf of California. 

7 to 8 inches in length, almost round, moderately deep, and sculptured 
with 30 or 40 raised, coarse spiral threads. Exterior dull reddish brown; 
interior iridescent blues and greens. 5 to 6 holes are open. Fished commer- 
cially in southern California. The legal minimum size is 6^ inches. H. 
splendens Reeve, H. revea Bartsch, and H. turveri Bartsch are the same spe- 
cies in all likelihood. 

Haliotis walallefisis Stearns Northern Green Abalone 

Westport, Washington, to Point Conception, California. 

4 to 5 inches in length, elongate, flattened, with numerous spiral threads. 
Exterior dark brick-red, mottled with pale bluish green. 5 to 6 holes are 
open, and their edges are not elevated. This is a small, relatively scarce 

Haliotis assimilis Dall Threaded Abalone 

Plate 2d 

Farallon Islands to San Diego, CaHfomia. 

4 to 5 inches in length, oval, fairly deep, with weak corrugations and 
weak to strong spiral threads. 4 to 5 holes open, tubular. Outer color mot- 
tled with brick-red, greenish blue and gray. H. aiilaea Bartsch is a little more 
corrugated than usual, and it may be this species. H. smithsont Bartsch and 
H. sorenseni Bartsch appear to be giant specimens of assimilis Dall. 

94 American Seas hells 

Haliotis kamtschatkana Jonas Japanese Abalone 

Plate 2e 

Japan, southern Alaska to Point Conception, California. 

4 to 6 inches in length, elongate, with a fairly high spire. 4 to 5 holes 
open which have raised edges. Outside of shell rudely corrugated, but a few 
specimens may have weak, spiral cords. This is a small species, uncommon 
in California, but increasingly abundant northward. 

Haliotis pourtalesi Dall Pourtales' Abalone 

Off the Lower Florida Keys. 

% to I inch in length, elongate, with 22 to 27 wavy, spiral cords. Out- 
side waxy yellow to light-brown with a few irregular patches of reddish 
orange. A light-orange band runs from each hole to the edge of the shell. 
Inside pearly-white. A very rare species, and the only one recorded from our 
eastern coast. It has been dredged from 6^ to 200 fathoms. Beware of young 
specimens from other oceans labeled as this species. 


(Keyhole Limpets) 


Key to the Genera of Emarginulinae 

a. Apex at the same level as the base of the shell: 

b. With an internal septum Zeidora 

bb. Without internal septum Nesta 

aa. Apex above the base of the shell: 

c. Slit at anterior edge Emarginula 

cc. Slit at anterior middle: 

d. Funnel around slit on inside Fiincuirella 

dd. No funnel around slit Rimula 

Genus Ewarginula Lamarck 1801 
Emargifiula phrixodes Dall Ruffled Rimula 

Plate 17-0 

Off North Carolina to eastern Florida and the West Indies. 

Vz inch in length, thin but strong, and with a small, narrow slit on the 
anterior slope of the shell near the margin. Base oval. Color translucent- 
white. Interior glossy. Concentric cords and 20 to 24 radial ribs cross each 



other to form a knobby, cancellate pattern. Dredged occasionally off the 
Miami area in 35 to 90 fathoms. 

Rimula frenulata Dall 

Genus Rimula Def ranee 1827 

Bridle Rimula 

Figure 3od 

Off North Carolina to eastern Florida and the West Indies. 

Vs inch in length, thin, very dehcate. Anal slit in the middle of the 
anterior slope of the shell and arrow-shaped. Base elongate-oval. Shell Vs 
high as long. Sculpture of fine cancellations. Margin finely crenulate. Color 
translucent-white to cream or rust, generally a deeper shade at the apex. The 
commonest species of American Rimula, but rare in collections. Dredged 5 
to 150 fathoms, especially off the Miami area. 

Genus Fimcturella R. T. Lowe 1827 

Puncturella noachina Linne 

Linne's Puncturella 

Circumpolar; south to Cape Cod; south to the iVleutians. 

V2 inch in length, conical, laterally compressed, with an elliptical base. 
21 to 26 primary radial ribs between each of which are added a smaller, sec- 
ondary rib farther down. Margin crenulate. Tiny slit just anterior to the 
apex, and internally it is bordered by a funnel-shaped cup on each side of 
which is a minute, triangular pit. Color uniformly white, internally glossy. 
May be collected under rocks at lowest tides in its northern range but also 
occurs in waters over a mile deep. Common. 

Figure 30. Pucturellas. a and b, Pimctiirella ciicuUata Gould; % inch (Pacific 
Coast); c, P. galeata Gould, form major Dall; % inch (Pacific Coast); d, Rimula 

frenulata D3.\\; % inch (Florida), 

96 American Seashells 

Puncturella cucullata Gould Hooded Puncturella 

Figure 30a, b 

Alaska to La Paz, Mexico. 

% to I inch in length, moderately strong. Apex small, elevated and 
hooked over toward the anterior end. Behind it is a small, elongate slit pene- 
trating through the shell. Internally the slit is separated from the apex by a 
calcareous, convex shelf. Exterior with 14 to 23 major ribs and with i to 5 
smaller radial ribs between the main ones. The fewer the ribs, the stronger 
they are. Shell dull-gray externally, glossy-white inside. The border is cren- 
ulated. Found at low tide in Alaska and dredged from 20 to 75 fathoms off 
southern California. 

Puncturella galeata Gould Helmet Puncturella 

Figure 30c 

Aleutian Islands to Redondo Beach, California. 

% to % inch in length, similar to cucullata, but with an almost smooth 
basal edge; with numerous, much finer radial ribs, and with the internal shelf 
behind the slit reinforced by a second, straight shelf. Commonly dredged in 
mud from 10 to 75 fathoms. 

Subfainily DIODORINAE 
Genus Diodora Gray 1821 

Keyhole Limpets with the internal callus of the hole truncated and fre- 
quently minutely excavated behind; shell with its basal margin never raised 
at the ends. Central tooth of the radula wide. Compare with Fissurella. 
Diadora is a misspelling. 

Diodora cayetiensis Lamarck Cayenne Keyhole Limpet 

Plate 17m 
Virginia to south half of Florida and to Brazil. 

I to 2 inches in maximum diameter. Orifice just in front of and slightly 
lower than the apex. Many radial ribs with each fourth one larger. Color 
variable from whitish, pinkish to dark gray. Interior white or bluish gray. 
Just behind the callus of the orifice on the inside there is a deep pit. D. listeri 
is much more coarsely sculptured. A common intertidal to moderately deep 
water species. It was named by Thomas Say one month after Lamarck's 
description as D. alterjiata. 

Diodora listeri Orbigny Lister's Keyhole Limpet 

Plate 17I 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 


I to 2 inches in maximum diameter. Similar to D. cayenensis but differs 
in that: (i) every second radial rib is larger; (2) concentric threads are more 
distinct and, by crossing the ribs, form little squares; (3) radial ribs often 
have nodules or scales. Color usually white, cream or gray, sometimes with 
obscure radial bands. Intertidal. Common in the West Indies. 

Diodora minuta Lamarck Dwarf Keyhole Limpet 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in maximum diameter, rather thin, depressed. Apex at anterior 
third of shell. Base elliptical, raised slightly at the center, so that the shell 
rests on its ends. Short front slope slightly concave, back slope convex. Ori- 
fice narrow and trilobated. Exterior shiny, with numerous, finely beaded 
radial ribs. Color white, with many of the ribs entirely or partly blackened. 
Margin very finely crenulate. Internal callus around hole frequently bounded 
by a black line. Not very common. Dredged 6 to 72 fathoms, but has been 
picked up on beaches. Do not confuse with D. dysoni which is more likely 
to be encountered, especially at Sanibel Island. 

Diodora dysoni Reeve Dyson's Keyhole Limpet 

Plate lyn 
Florida, the Bahamas and West Indies to Brazil. 

H to % inch in maximum diameter, depressed and with straight sides. 
Base ovate. Apex slightly in front of the middle and characterized by a blunt 
knob situated behind the posterior wall of the small, almost triangular orifice. 
Sculpture of 18 strong ribs with three smaller ones between, and with nu- 
merous concentric lamellae. Color milky-white or cream with 8 solid, broken 
or dotted black rays. Margin sharply crenulated with the denticles arranged 
in groups of four. Distinguished from cayenensis by the shape of the orifice. 
Moderately common, sometimes washed ashore. 

Diodora aspera Eschscholtz Rough Keyhole Limpet 

Plate 1 8b 
Cook's Inlet, Alaska, to Magdalena Bay, Mexico. 

I % to 2 ^ inches in maximum diameter, slightly less than Vs as high. The 
roundish to slightly oval, flat-sided apical hole is Mi the length of the shell 
and about Vs back from the narrow, anterior end of the shell. Sculpture of 
coarse radial and weaker concentric threads. Color externally is grayish 
white with about 12 to 18 irregularly sized, purplish blue, radial color bands. 
Commonly found clinging to rocks at low tide. In the south, dredged no 
deeper than 20 fathoms, and often found on the stems of kelp. 

98 Ainerican Se ash ells 

Diodora mur'vna Arnold Neat-ribbed Keyhole Limpet 

Crescent City, California, to Magdalena Bay, Mexico. 

% inch in length, similar to aspera, but smaller, with a lower, more 
rounded apex, with convex sides, a narrower shell, and with finer, much 
neater cancellate sculpturing. Color white or with few, or many, broken 
radial rays of gray-black. The apical hole is nearer the anterior end. Mod- 
erately common on rocks. This is D. densiclathrata of authors, not of Reeve. 

Genus Lucapina Sowerby 1835 

Shell thin, low-conic, with the apex in front of the middle. Orifice 
rather large, roundish. Margin finely crenulated. Fleshy mantle covers most 
of the shell; foot larger than shell. 

Lucapina sowerbii Sowerby Sowerby's Fleshy Limpet 

Plate lyh 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies to Brazil. 

% inch in length, oblong in outline. With about 60 alternating large 
and small radiating ribs. Also with 9 to 1 3 raised, concentric threads. Color 
white to buff, with 7 to 9 small, splotched rays of pale brown. Inside whitish; 
callus sometimes bounded by an olive-green streak. Outside of orifice not 
stained. Uncommon under rocks at low tide zone. It has been erroneously 
called L. adspersa Philippi. 

Lucapina suffusa Reeve Cancellate Fleshy Limpet 

Plate 17k 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 1 34 inches in length, oblong in outline. Much like L. sowerbii, but 
larger, a delicate mauve to pinkish, and with a bluish-black orifice. Inside 
grayish to dirty-white. Not uncommon under rocks. Formerly called L. 
cancellata Sowerby. 

Genus Lucapinella Pilsbry 1890 

Shell depressed, conical, less than % inch, with a large orifice and thick- 
ened margins. 

Lucapinella limatula Reeve File Fleshy Limpet 

Plate lyi 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, resembling L. soiverbii, but smaller with a proportion- 


ately larger apical hole which is sharp at its top edge and which is nearer the 
center of the shell. The ends of the shell are slightly turned up and the sides 
are slightly concave. Sculpture of about 2 dozen heavily scaled, radial ribs 
and numerous, fine, thread-like concentric ridges. Color whitish with weak 
mauve or brown discoloring. Commonly dredged off southeastern Florida, 
from 6 to 60 fathoms. 

Lucapinella callomarginata Dall Hard-Edged Fleshy Limpet 

Plate i8e 

Bodega Bay, California, to Nicaragua. 

% to I inch in length, narrower at the anterior end, quite flat. Base flat 
and usually with strong crenulations on the under edge. Sides slightly con- 
cave. Apical hole narrowly elongate, slightly nearer the anterior end, about 
Vb the length of the shell and with flat inner sides. Sculpture coarsely cancel- 
late with the radial ribs stronger and often scaled. Color dark-gray with 
irregular, darker, radial color-rays. Rather rare under rocks in the low tide 

Genus Megathura Pilsbry 1890 
Megathiira cremilata Sowerby Great Keyhole Limpet 

Plate 1 8a 

Monterey, California, to Cedros Island, Mexico. 

2% to 4 inches in length, Vo as high. Apical hole large, with rounded 
sides, % the length of the shell, and bordered externally by a white margin. 
Interior glossy-white. Basal edge finely crenulate. Exterior finely beaded 
and light mauve-brown. Animal much larger than the shell, with a massive, 
yellow foot and a black or brown mantle that nearly covers the entire shell. 
Common in many low-tide, rocky areas, such as breakwaters. 

Genus Megatebennus Pilsbry 1890 
Megatebennus bimaculatus Dall Two-Spotted Keyhole Limpet 

Plate i8d 

Alaska to Tres Marias Islands, Mexico. 

% to % inch in length, low, with ends turned slightly up. Apical hole 
elongate-oval, located at the center of the shell and about % the length of 
the shell. Numerous radial and concentric threads give a fine cancellate sculp- 
turing. Color dark-gray to light-brown with a wide, darker ray on each side 
of the hole, and occasionally at each end. Interior white to grayish. Animal 
several times as large as the shell, variable in color — red, yellow or white. 
Common under stones at low tide. 

100 American Seashells 


Genus Fissurella Bruguiere 1789 

Subgenus Creviides H. and A. Adams 1854 

Fissurella nodosa Born Knobby Keyhole Limpet 

Plate I yd 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

I to 1% inches in length. 20 to 22 strongly nodulated, radial ribs. Mar- 
gin sharply crenulated. Interior pure-white. Orifice oblong. An intertidal 
rock-dweller. Uncommon in Florida and the Bahamas; abundant in the West 

Fissurella barhadensis Gmelin Barbados Keyhole Limpet 

Plate lyf 

Southeast Florida, Bermuda and the West Indies. 

I to 1/4 inches in length. With irregular radiating ribs. Orifice almost 
round. Inside with green and whitish concentric bands. Border of orifice 
deep-green with a reddish-brown line. Outside grayish white to pinkish buff, 
generally with purplish lines between the small ribs. Commonly blotched 
with purple-brown. Lives on wave-dashed rocks. Common. 

A similar, rather rare species, F. angusta Gmelin, also intertidal and fre- 
quently covered with calcareous algae, occurs on the Florida Keys. The 
shell is flattish, pointed in front, and its internal callus is light-brown to red- 
dish brown, but not bounded by a reddish line as in barbadensis, 

Fissurella rosea Gmelin Rosy Keyhole Limpet 

Plate I ye 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies to Brazil. 

I inch in length, thin, flattish, narrower at the anterior end. Orifice 
slightly oblong. Many radiating, small, rounded riblets. Color of alternating 
whitish to pale-straw and pinkish rays. Interior pale-green at the margins, 
blending to white in the center. Green orifice callus bordered by a pinkish 
line. Common in beach drift. Do not confuse with the larger, more elevated 
F. barbadensis. 

Fissurella volcano Reeve Volcano Limpet 

Plate 1 8c 

Crescent City, California, to Lower Cahfornia. 

% to I inch in lengtli, Y^ to almost /4 as high. Orifice at the very top, 
very slightly nearer the somewhat narrower anterior end, and elongate with 
deep, flat inner sides. Sculpture of numerous rather large, but low and 


rounded, radial ribs of varying sizes. Base of shell slightly crenulate and with 
color blotches. Exterior grayish white to dark-slate with numerous radial 
rays of mauve-pink. Interior glossy-white, often with a fine pink line around 
the callus at the apex. Foot of animal yellow; mantle with red stripes. Very 
common on rocky rubble at low tide. The variety crucifera Dall is merely a 
color form with white radial bands. 

Subgenus Clypidella Swainson 1840 
Fissurella fascicularis Lamarck Wobbly Keyhole Limpet 

Plate lyg 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I /4 inches in length. Both ends turned up (can be rocked back and 
forth on a flat table). Orifice toward the anterior end, keyhole in shape. 
Color a faded magenta. Interior whitish, tinged with pale-green or pink. 
Inner callus of orifice white with a narrow red line. Uncommon in Florida. 

Superfamily PATELLACEA 


Subfamily ACMAEINAE 

Genus Lottia Sowerby 1833 

Lottia gigantea Gray Giant Owl Limpet 

Plate 18) 

Crescent City, California, to Lower California. 

3 to 4 inches in maximum diameter, oval in outline, low, with the apex 
close to the front end. Exterior dirty-brown, rough, commonly stained with 
algal green. Interior glossy, with a wide, dark-brown border. Center bluish 
with an "owl-shaped" whitish to brownish scar in the very center. Very 
common at or above high tide line where the sea spray may reach them. In 
the south they grow to a large size. Frequently polished and used as sou- 

Genus Acmaea Eschscholtz 1830 
Subgenus Acmaea s. str. 

Acmaea mitra Eschscholtz White-Cap Limpet 

Plate i8r 

Alaska to Lower California in cold water. 

I inch in maximum diameter, thick, pure white, conic in shape, and with 
an almost round base. x\pex pointed and near the center. Often covered with 
small, knobby nuUipore growths. Commonly washed ashore. It lives in cold 
water below the low ride level. 

102 American Seashells 

Subgenus Collisella Dall 1871 
Pacific Coast Species 

Acmaea pelta Eschscholtz Shield Limpet 

Plate i8n 

Alaska to Lower California. 

I to I % inches in maximum diameter, elliptical in outline, with a mod- 
erately high apex which is placed Vs to almost % way back from the anterior 
end. With about 25 axial, weakly developed, radial ribs. Edge of shell slightly 
wavy. External color of strong black radial, often intertwining, stripes on a 
whitish cream background. Interior usually faint bluish white, with or with- 
out a dark-brown spot. Inner border edged with alternating black and cream 
bars. A common rock-dweller. 

Acmaea fenestrata Reeve Fenestrate Limpet 

Plate i8t 

Alaska to Lower California. 

I to I /4 inches in maximum diameter, almost round in outline, rather 
high, and smoothish. The northern subspecies, cribraria Gould (pi. i8w), 
found from Alaska to northern California, has interior with various shades of 
glossy, chocolate-brown, and with a narrow, solid black border. The exterior 
is plain dark-gray. The typical southern fenestrata Reeve (pi. i8t), found 
from Point Conception south, has an external color pattern of regular dot- 
tings of cream on a gray-green background. Its interior has a small, brown 
apical spot surrounded by a bluish area and bordered at the margin of the 
shell with brown. Intergrades occur near Point Conception. This species is 
the only Pacific Acmaea which lives among loose boulders that are set in sand. 
It only feeds when submerged. Common. 

Ac7naea conus Test Test's Limpet 

Plate i8g 

Point Conception, Cahfornia, to Lower California. 

% inch in maximum diameter. Shell low, and like A. scabra, is with 
distinct but widely spaced, radial ribs. Distinguished from scabra by its 
glossy, smooth interior which often has an evenly colored brown center. 
A. scabra has a rough interior center and the brown stain looks smeared. 
However, this species may be a form of scabra. It is very abundant south of 
La Jolla and is found with A. scabra and A. digitalis. 

Acmaea limatula Carpenter File Limpet 

Plate 18-0 
Puget Sound to Lower California. 


I to 1% inches in maximum diameter, elliptical to almost round in out- 
line, low to quite flat. Characterized by radial rows of small beads which 
sometimes may be crowded together to form tiny, rough riblets. Exterior 
greenish black. Interior glossy-white, younger specimens having a blue tint. 
Patch of brown on inside generally weak or absent. Edge of shell usually with 
solid, black-brown, narrow band. Occasional albinos are cream-brown or tan 
on the outside. Compare with A. scutum which is smooth and has a barred 
band of color on its under edge. 

Ac77mea digitalis Eschscholtz Fingered Limpet 

Plate i8f 

Aleutian Islands to Socorro Island, Mexico. 

1% inch in maximum diameter, elliptical in outline; generally with a 
moderately high apex which is minutely hooked forward and which is placed 
Vz back from the anterior end of the shell. The 15 to 25 moderately devel- 
oped, coarse, radiating ribs give the edge of the shell a slightly wavy border. 
Color grayish with tiny, distinct mottlings of white dots and blackish streaks 
and lines. Inside white with faint bluish tint and with a large, usually even, 
patch of dark-brown in the center. Edge of shell v/ith a solid or broken, 
narrow band of black-brown. Common. Do not confuse this species with 
A. scabra which does not have the "hooked-forward" apex and is not glossy 
on its internal brown patch. Compare also with persona. 

Acmaea persona Eschscholtz Mask Limpet 

Plate i8q 

Aleutian Islands to Monterey, California. 

I to 1% inches in maximum diameter, with characters much the same 
as those of digitalis, but differing in being smoothish, larger, often slightly 
higher, and in having a strong tint of blue or blue-black inside. I am inclined 
to believe that Pilsbry is correct in considering digitalis as a smaller, ribbed 
form of persona, despite the fact that recent workers place these two species 
in different subgenera. It is possible that colder waters allow the smooth 
persona form to express itself. The Mask Limpet is very common from 
Monterey north. It is an intertidal dweller where strong waves flush the rock 
crevices. It feeds mostly during the ebb tide and is more active during dark 
hours. The small southern subspecies, strigatella Carpenter, is about H inch 
in size, dark gray-blue inside, and externally with a mass of intertwining or 
joining radial bars of brown on a bluish or gray-white background. 

Acmaea scabra Gould Rough Limpet 

Plate 1 81 

Vancouver, B.C., to Lower California. 

104 American Seashells 

I % inch in maximum diameter, elliptical in outline, generally with a low 
apex which is placed % back from the front end. The 15 to 25 strong, coarse 
radiating ribs give the edge of the shell a strong crenulation. Color dirty 
gray-green. Underside of shell whitish, irregularly stained in the center with 
blackish brown. Edge of shell between the serrations is stained blackish to 
purplish brown. A common species found clinging to rocks high above the 
water line but within reach of the ocean spray. A. spectrum Nuttall is the 
same species. Do not confuse with the smaller A. conus which is evenly 
glossed, instead of coarse and dull, on its interior center. 

Acmaea testudinalts scutum Eschscholtz Pacific Plate Limpet 

Alaska to Oregon (common) to Lower CaHfornia (rare). 

I to 2 inches in maximum diameter, almost round in outline, quite flat, 
with the apex toward the center of the shell. Smoothish, except for very fine 
radial riblets in young specimens. External color greenish gray with slate-gray 
radial bands or mottlings. Interior bluish white with faint or darkish brown 
spot. Inner edge with band of alternating bars of black or brown and bluish 
white. The name of this species was also known as tessulata Miiller. The 
typical testudmalis from the Arctic Seas and New England rarely, if ever, 
exceeds a size of i K- inches, is not so round, and has a darker, more con- 
centrated brown patch on the inside. Intergrades exist in Alaskan waters. 
The Pacific race was also named patina Esch. 

Acmaea asfin Middendorff Black Limpet 

Alaska to Mexico, clinging to the gastropod, Tegula. 

/4 inch in maximum diameter, high-conic, elliptical in outline, and solid 
black inside and out. In the northern part of its range, the Black Limpet is 
found living attached to the common snail, Tegula funebralis A. Adams, 

Acmaea triangularis Carpenter Triangular Limpet 

Southern California to Gulf of California. 

Yi inch in maximum diameter, oblong in outline, side view distinctly 
triangular. Color whitish with 3 or 4 vertical, rather broad, brown stripes on 
each side. Found among coralline algae from the shore line down to several 
fathoms. Uncommon. 

Acmaea depicta Hinds Painted Limpet 

Santa Barbara, California, to Lower California. 


V2 inch in maximum diameter, very narrow, 3 times as long as wide. 
Sides straight with brown verti(?al stripes on a whitish background. Smooth- 
ish. This species is found on the broad-leaved eel-grass of the estuaries. Abun- 
dant in certain localities, such as Mission Bay. 

Acmaea instabilis Gould Unstable Limpet 

Plate i8zz 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

I to I M inches in maximum diameter, oblong with a rather high apex. 
Sides compressed. Lower edge curved so that the shell rocks back and forth 
if put on a flat surface. Exterior dull, light-brown. Interior whitish with 
faint brown stain in the center and with a narrow, solid border of brown. 
Inhabits the stems or holdfasts of large seaweeds. Moderately common. 

Acmaea insessa Hinds Seaweed Limpet 

Plate i8z 

Alaska to Lower California. 

/{> to % inch in maximum diameter, narrowly elliptical, with a high apex, 
and colored a uniform, greasy light-brown. Abundant on the stalks or hold- 
fasts of the large seaweeds, such as Egregia. 

Acmaea pale ace a Gould Chaffy Limpet 

Vancouver, B.C., to Lower California. 

% inch in maximum diameter, very fragile, translucent-brown, 3 or 4 
times as long as wide. Sides straight with fine, raised radial threads. Abun- 
dant on the narrow-leaved eel-grass of the open coast. 

Atlantic Coast Species 
Acmaea testudinalis testudinalis Miiller Atlantic Plate Limpet 

Arctic Seas to Long Island Sound, New York. 

I to 1% inches in maximum diameter, oval in outline, moderately high 
with the apex nearly at the center of the shell. Smoothish except for a few 
coarse growth lines and numerous, very fine axial threads. Interior bluish 
white with a dark- to light-brown center and with short, radial brown bars 
at the edge. Exterior dull cream-gray with irregular axial bars and streaks of 
brown. A common littoral species in New England. Formerly referred to 
as A. tessulata Miiller. The fomi alveiis Conrad is a thin, elongate, heavily 
mottled ecological variant which lives on eel-grass. 

106 American Seashells 

Acmaea antillarum Sowerby Antillean Limpet 

Plate 17a 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in maximum diameter, usually very flat, rather thin, oval in 
outline but narrou^er at the anterior end. Neatly sculptured with numerous 
radial threads. Color variable: exterior whitish with a few or many narrow 
or wide radial rays of brownish green. Interior glossy whitish with a dark- 
or light-brown callus. Borders or sometimes the entire inside marked by 
numerous radial lines of purple-brown. These are often divided near the 
edge of the shell. Uncommon in Florida, but abundant in the West Indies. 
A. candeana Orbigny and A. tenera C. B. Adams are the same. 

Acmaea pustulata Helbling Spotted Limpet 

Southeast Florida, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

I inch in maximum diameter, oval in outline, moderately flat with 
rounded sides. Shell thick, with coarse axial ribs which are crossed by fine 
concentric threads. Interior glossy-white, with the central callus yellowish. 
Exterior chalk-white, dull. Sometimes flecked with red-brown dots and bars. 
Common. Formerly known as punctulata Gmelin. A deep-water form, 
which is perhaps a young phase, of this species is very thin, light-rose in 
color, with a tiny, sharp apex and is occasionally flecked with red. It may be 
called A. pustulata pulcherrima Guilding. 

Acmaea leucopleura Gmelin Dwarf Suck-On Limpet 

Plate 17b 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Mi to V2 inch in maximum diameter, high-conic, with numerous, alter- 
nating black and white rays. The black rays divide into two near the edge 
of the shell. Radial riblets weak, usually black. Interior white, often stained 
brown or black on the callus. Frequently found adhering to the underside 
of large gastropods such as Livona pica. Common. A. cubensis Reeve and 
A. sbjiplex Pilsbry are probably this species. 

AciJiaea jamaicensis Gmelin Jamaica Limpet 

Plate 17c 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

V'z inch in maximum diameter, moderately high, with roundish sides, 
thick, with about 15 to 20 rather large, rounded, white radial ribs on a black- 
brown background. Sometimes completely white. Interior white, occasion- 


ally with a black-spotted edge and with a thickened central callus which is 
light-brown to black. A. albicosta C. B. Adams and A. fungoides Roding are 
the same. Moderately common in the West Indies, occasionally found on the 
Lower Florida Keys. 

Genus Lepeta Gray 1842 

Small, flattish, uncoiled shells which are "hat-shaped," similar to Acmaea, 
but the embryonic nucleus is spiral; the animal has no external gills and the 
proboscis is produced into a labial process on each side. The radula has a 
median tooth, which in Acmaea is absent. 

Lepeta caeca Miiller Northern Blind Limpet 

Plate 17J 

Arctic Seas to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

Va: to Y2 inch in maximum diameter, moderately conic, with straight 
sides, oval-elongate in outline. Rather fragile, dull-white to brownish exter- 
nally and with fine, granulose, crowded, radial threads. Interior white or 
tinged with pink. Apex usually eroded. A common cold-water species often 
dredged in shallow water off New England. 

Superb amily TROCHACEA 

Faiitily TROCHIDAE (Top Shells) 


Genus Margarites Gray 1847 

Subgenus Margarites s. str. 

Margarites costalts Gould Northern Rosy Margarite 

Plate lyt 

Greenland to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Bering Strait to Port Etches, 

% to % inch in length, a little wider, with 5 evenly and well-rounded 
whorls. Narrowly and deeply umbilicate. Angle of spire about 90 degrees. 
Next to last whorl with i o to 12 smoothish, raised, spiral threads. Columella 
and outer lip thin, sharp, the latter finely crenulate. Color rosy to grayish 
cream. White within the smoothish umbilicus. Aperture pearly-rose. Com- 
monly dredged from lo to 62 fathoms. M. groenlandiciis Moller is the same. 
Formerly known as M. cinereus Couthouy. 


American Se ash ells 

Margarites groenlandicus Gmelin 

Arctic Seas to Massachusetts Bay. 

Greenland Margarite 

Figure 3id 

H inch in length, % inch in width. Angle of spire 1 1 o degrees. Whorls 
strongly rounded, aperture round, umbilicus wide and deep. Outer lip and 
columella very thin. Base smooth; top of whorls with about a dozen smooth 
spiral lirations or almost entirely smooth (form umbilicalis Broderip and 
Sowerby). Nucleus glassy smooth. Suture finely impressed. Color glossy- 
cream to tan. Aperture pearly. Commonly dredged from 5 to 150 fathoms. 

Figure 31. American A4argarites. 3l^ Margarites siiccinctiis 0^^:.,% inch (Vdici^c); 
b, Solariella perainabUis Cpr., ^. inch (Pacific); c, Margarites piipilhis Gould, % 
inch (Pacific); d, M. groenlandicus Gmelin, V^ inch (northern Atlantic); e, M. 
liridatiis form parcipictiis Cpr., 14 ii^ch (Pacific); f and g, Solariella obsciira 
Couthouy, 4 inch (Atlantic); h, Lischkeia cidaris Cpr., i inch (Pacific). 

Margarites lindatus Carpenter 

Santa Barbara, California, to the Coronado Islands. 

Lirulate Margarite 

Figure 3ie 

^ inch in length, 4 to 5 whorls, strong, semi-glossy. Very variable in 
color (solid purple, whitish with dark-brown variegations and sometimes 
with a spiral row of dark squares on the periphery), and variable in the num- 
ber and strength of the small, smooth, spiral cords. Base rounded. Umbilicus 
narrow but deep. Suture well-impressed. Interior iridescent. Common in 
shallow water. M. parcipictus Cpr. and obsoletus Cpr. are forms of this 


Margarites succinctus Carpenter Tucked Margarite 

Figure 31a 

Alaska to Lower California. 

Vs, inch in length, 4 whorls, sHghtly wider than long, smoothish except 
for microscopic, weak threads or incised lines. Umbilicus small, round, deep. 
Exterior grayish brown, commonly with microscopic, brown, spiral lines. 
Aperture dark-greenish iridescent. Littoral on algae; common. 

Subgenus Pupillaria Dall 1909 
Margarites pupillus Gould Puppet Margarite 

Figure 31c 

Bering Sea to San Pedro, California. 

Vs to Y2 inch in length, whorls 5 to 6, upper whorls with 5 to 6 smooth- 
ish, small, spiral threads, between or over which are microscopic, axial, slant- 
ing threads. Umbilicus a minute chink. Exterior dull, chalky whitish to 
yellowish gray. Aperture rosy to greenish pearl. Apex usually eroded. A 
common littoral species in the northern half of its range. Also dredged in 50 

Genus Lischkeia P. Fischer 1879 
Subgenus Turcicula Dall 1881 

Lischkeia bairdi Dall Baird's Spiny Margarite 

Plate 3 c 

Bering Sea to Coronado Islands, Mexico. 

2 inches in length, moderately fragile, sculptured with varying number 
of spiral rows of fairly large beads. No umbilicus. Shell white with a thin, 
glossy, yellowish-green periostracum. Interior of aperture pearly-white. This 
is a choice deep-water species much sought after by collectors. Moderately 
common in 100 to 600 fathoms. 

Subgenus Cidarina Dall 1909 
Lischkeia cidaris Carpenter Adams' Spiny Margarite 

Figure 3ih 

Alaska to Lower California. 

I to I /4 inches in length, moderately solid, similar to L. bairdi but with 
a higher, flat-sided spire. The suture is usually more impressed. Color gray 
to grayish white. Moderately common from 20 to 350 fathoms. 

1 10 American Seashells 

Subgenus Calliotropis Seguenza 1903 
Lischkeia ottoi Philippi Otto's Spiny Margarite 

Nova Scotia to Nortii Carolina. 

% to % inch in length, equally wide. Moderately thin with a sharp lip. 
The round, narrow umbilicus is partially covered by the top of the colu- 
mella. Color pearly-white. Sculpture of whorls in spire with 3 evenly spaced 
spiral rows of prickly beads. Suture wavy. Base of shell with 4 to 5 spiral 
threads which bear smaller, often obscure, beads. Nuclear whorls with axial 
lamellae. S. regalis Verrill and Smith is the same species. Common from 50 
to 100 fathoms. 

Genus Solariella Wood 1842 
(Machaeroplax Friele 1877) 

Solariella obscura Couthouy Obscure Solarelle 

Figure 3if, g 

Labrador to off Chesapeake Bay, Virginia. 

^ inch in length, similar to Margarites costalis, but with whorls made 
more angular by one large, feebly beaded, spiral cord above the periphery. 
Base smoothish except for microscopic, spiral scratches. Umbilicus narrower 
and bordered by an angular rim. Color grayish to pinkish tan, often worn to 
reveal a pearly-golden color. Aperture pearly-white. Some specimens may 
have weak axial riblets below the strongest spiral cord on the periphery of the 
whorl. Commonly dredged from 3 to 400 fathoms, especially on the Grand 

Solariella lacunella Dall Channeled Solarelle 

Figure 32b, c 

Virginia to Key West, Florida. 

% inch in length, equally wide, thick, pure white. Whorls convex. 
Aperture circular, internally pearly. Suture channeled. Whorls with 6 spiral 
cords, bottom 3 smooth, the upper ones axially beaded. Nuclear whorls 
glassy, with microscopic axial ribs. Umbilicus round, narrow, deep, lined 
with spiral rows of coarse beads. Very commonly dredged from 18 to 100 

Solariella lamellosa Verrill and Smith Lamellose Solarelle 

Plate 17X 

Massachusetts to Key West, Yucatan and the West Indies. 

Ys inch in length, similar to 5. lacunella, but with a much deeper channel 
at the suture below which are numerous, small axial, short lamellar-like ribs. 




Middle of whorl with a strong, sharp, smooth or beaded, spiral thread. Base 
of shell smoothish except for one smooth spiral thread near the periphery and 
one heavily beaded cord bordering the deep, round umbilicus. Entire shell 
with numerous microscopic incised lines. Very commonly dredged from 35 
to 150 fathoms, but also recorded from 683 fathoms. 

Solariella peramabilis Carpenter Lovely Pacific Solarelle 

Figure 31b 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

^ to % inch in length, equally wide, solid, semi-gloss. Aperture circular. 
Umbilicus fairly wide, round, very deep. Whorls 7, shouldered just below 
the suture by a flat shelf. Lower % of whorl with numerous weak spiral 
cords that are smoothish in the last whorl but crossed by numerous axial rib- 
lets in the early whorls. Color tan with light-mauve stains and mottlings. 
Interior iridescent. Moderately common from 20 to 339 fathoms. 

Figure 32. a, Gaza ivatsoni Dall (nat. size); b and c, Solariella lacunella Dall 
X4; d and e, Microgaza rotella Dall X4. All from the Atlantic. 

Genus Microgaza Dall 1881 
Microgaza rotella Dall Dall's Dwarf Gaza 

Figure 32d, e 

North Carolina to south Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in diameter, spire flat, surface smooth except for a spiral row of 
low pimples just below the suture. Whorls about 5. Umbilicus fairly wide, 
very deep, its squarish edge bearing numerous, neat, rounded creases. Colu- 
mella straight. Color whitish gray with a beautiful opalescent sheen, espe- 
cially inside the aperture. Top of whorls colored with chestnut, zebra-like 
axial stripes. Very commonly brought up in dredging hauls off A4iami from 
50 to 100 fathoms. The form i?iornata Dall lacks the pimples just below the 

112 American Se ash ells 

Genus Calliostoma Swainson 1840 

Calliostoma euglyptum A. Adams Sculptured Top-shell 

Plate 17W 

North CaroHna to Florida and Texas. 

% inch in length, equally wide. Angle of spire about 70 degrees. Sides 
of whorls slightly concave. Periphery well-rounded. No umbilicus. Whorls 
with 6 major, well-beaded, spiral cords between each of which is a much 
smaller, weakly beaded thread. Color dull-rose, sometimes with axial flam- 
mules of cream. Nucleus pink or, when worn, dark purple. Moderately 
common in some localities from low tide mark to 3 2 fathoms. 

Calliostoma zonamestum A. Adams Chocolate-lined Top-shell 

Plate 311 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in length, slightly wider. Angle of spire about 70 degrees. 
Sides of whorls flat; periphery sharp; base flat. Umbilicus deep, smooth-sided, 
white. Whorls characterized by 10 spiral, beaded threads between each of 
which there is a dark-chocolate line. Base olive with about 5 to 6 fine, brown, 
spiral lines. A very beautiful and moderately rare species much sought after 
by collectors. 

Calliostoma roseolujn Dall Dall's Rosy Top-shell 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and Yucatan. 

% inch in length, % as wide. Angle of spire about 50 degrees. Sides of 
whorls well-rounded, and with 8 to 9 crowded spiral rows of numerous neat 
beads. Columella upright, strong, with a slight twist. Color of shell light 
orange-tan to cream, often with arched splotches of darker color running 
axially across the whorl. No umbilicus. Aperture pearly-rose. Uncommon 
from 12 to 100 fathoms. 

Calliostoma pulchrum C. B. Adams Beautiful Top-shell 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, % as wide. Angle of spire about 50 degrees. Sides of 
whorls straight. Characterized by a pair of strong, spiral cords just above the 
suture which are white with distantly spaced red-brown dots. Rest of whorl 
pearly-green with 6 to 7 very weak (or sometimes strong) beaded spiral 
threads. Columella almost upright, its inner side rounded, pearly. No umbili- 
cus. Moderately common from i to 40 fathoms. 


CalHostoma jujubinuni Gmelin Jubjube Top-shell 

Plate 3p 

Lower Florida Keys, the Bahamas and the West Indies. 

% to I /4 inches in length. Characterized by the deep, narrow, smooth- 
sided umbilicus which is bordered by a spiral, beaded thread, and by the 
swollen, rounded periphery of each whorl, which in the spire is located just 
above the suture. Color ranges from brownish cream to reddish and is often 
maculated with white splotches near the periphery. Typical jujubinum has 
a spire angle of about 50 degrees; the spiral threads on the whorls are weakly 
beaded, and the umbilicus is almost closed. 

C. jiijiibimim tampaeiise Conrad (North Carolina to both sides of Flor- 
ida to Yucatan) varies in spire angle from 50 to 65 degrees, is not always so 
swollen at its periphery, and has 9 to 10 well-beaded spiral threads between 
each suture. 

CalHostoma occidentale Mighels and Adams North Atlantic Top-shell 

Nova Scotia to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Europe. 

^ inch in length, equally wide. Whorls convex and with 3 to 4 strong 
spiral cords, the 2 lower ones smooth, the upper one beaded. Color pearly- 
white. No umbilicus. Outer lip fragile. Moderately common from 10 to 
365 fathoms. 

CalHostoma bairdi Verrill and Smith Baird's Top-shell 

Plate 3—0 

Massachusetts to North Carolina (and to Florida). 

1 to iVi inches in length, about as wide. Angle of spire about 70 degrees. 
Sides of spire straight to slightly convex. Base rather flat. Periphery angular. 
Sculpture of 6 to 7 spiral rows of small, neat beads, with those on the top- 
most row being the largest. Suture difficult to find. No umbilicus. Color 
brownish cream with faint maculations of light reddish. Not uncommon 
from 43 to 250 fathoms. 

C. bairdi psyche Dall (North Carolina to Key West, 30 to 130 fathoms) 
is usually % inch in length, slightly wider, with a spire angle of about 75 to 
80 degrees, and the color is lighter and more pearly. Base with 3 or 4 spiral 
brown lines. It has a chink-like depression beside the umbilicus. Uncommon. 
C. subumbilicatum Dall is a form of this species whose umbilicus is half open. 

CalHostoma tricolor Gabb Three-colored Top-shell 

Figure 330 
Moss Beach, California, to Cape San Lucas, Mexico. 


American Seashells 

Figure 33. V2.c\^c Calliostoma. a, glorioswnD2i\\-,h,variegatm?iCpr.-,c,sple7idens 

Cpr.; d, geimmilatimi Cpr.; e, tricolor Gabb; f, anmilatmn Sol; g, ligatimi Gld. 

(costanim); h, cmmliculatimL All about natural size. (From Dall 1901.) 



(a) Turnip Whelk, p. 237. (b) Calico Clam, p. 416. 


(c) Paper Nautilus, p. 485. 


(d) West Indian Chiton, p. 324. (e) Ball's Pacific Tusk, p. 327. 

Plate 2 

a. Red Aealone, Haliotis rujescens Swainson, 10 to 12 inches. Left, artific- 

ially polished; right, natural (Northern California to Mexico), p. 92. 

b. Green AbalonE;, H. fulgens Philippi, 7 to 8 inches. Left, exterior; right, 

interior (California to Mexico), p. 93. 

c. Pink Abalone^, H. corrugata Gray, 5 to 7 inches (Monterey, California 

to Mexico), p. 93. 

d. Threaded Abalone. H. assimilis Dall, 4 to 5 inches (California), p. 93. 

e. Japanese Abalone, H. kamtschatkana Jonas, 4 to 6 inches (Japan, 

southern Alaska to northern California), p. 94. 

f. Black Abalone^ H. cracherodi Leach, 4 to 6 inches (California to 

Mexico), p. 92. 

Plate 3 

a. Channeled Turban^ Turbo canaliculatus Hermann, 2 inches (South- 

eastern Florida and the West Indies), p. 123. 

b. Superb Gaza_, Gaza superba Dall. 1 inch (Gulf of Mexico), p. 118. 

c. Baird's Spiny Margarite^ Lischkeia bairdi Dall, 2 inches (Pacific Coast), 

p. 109. 

d. Adanson's Pleurotomaria, Perotrochns adansonianus Crosse and 

Fischer, 3 inches (West Indies), p. 92. 

e. Greenish Turban^ Astraea olivacea Wood, 1^^ inches (Gulf of Califor- 

nia), not in text. 

f. Queen Tegula^ Tegula regina Stearns, lYi inches (Southern California), 

p. 120. 

g. Chestnut Turban^ Turbo castaneus Gmelin, V/j inches (Southeastern 

United States and the West Indies), p. 123. 
h. Carved Star-shell^ Astraea caelata Gmelin, 2 inches (Southeastern 

United States and the West Indies), p. 124. 
i. American Star-shell^, Astraea americana Gmelin, 1^/2 inches (South- 
eastern Florida), p. 124. 
j. Green Star-shell, Astraea tuber Linne, IJ/? inches (Southeastern 

United States and the West Indies), p. 124. 
k. and m. Long-spined Star-shell, Astraea longispina Lamarck, 2 inches 

(Southeastern United States and the West Indies), p. 123. 
1. Short-spined Star-shell, Astraea brevispina Lamarck, 2 inches (West 

Indies only), p. 123. 
n. Chocolate-lined Top-shell, Calliostoma zonamestum A. Adams, 1 inch 

(Florida Keys and tlie West Indies), p. 112. 
o. Baird's Top-shell, Calliostoma bairdi Verrill and Smith, 1 inch 

(Massachusetts to Florida), p. 113. 
p. Jujube Top-shell, Calliostoma jujnbijium Gmelin, 1 inch (Florida 

Keys and the West Indies), p. 113. 
q. Channeled Top-shell, Calliostoma canaliculatum Solander 1786, 1 inch 

(Pacific Coast), p. 115. 

Plate 4 

a. Bleeding Tooth, Nerita peloronta Linne, 1 inch (Southeastern Florida 

and the West Indies), p. 128. 

b. Four-toothed Nerite, Nerita versicolor Gmelin, ^ inch (Florida and 

the West Indies), p. 128. 

c. Antillean Nerite, Nerita julgurans Gmelin, 3^ inch (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 129. 

d. Rough-ribbed Nerite, Nerita scabricosta Lamarck, 1 inch (Pacific side 

of Central America), not in text. 

e. Zebra Nerite, Puperita pupa Linne, lA inch (Southeastern Florida and 

the West Indies), p. 129. 

f. Tessellate Nerite, Nerita tessellata Gmelin, 3// inch (Southeastern 

United States and the West Indies), p. 128. 

g. Olive Nerite, Neritina reclivata Say, Yi inch (Southeastern United 

States and the West Indies), p. 129. 
h. Emerald Nerite, Smaragdia viridis Linne, 34 inch (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 130. 
i. Virgin Nerite, Neritina virginea Linne, Y inch, 6 color phases 

(Southeastern United States and the West Indies), p. 129. 
j. Common Purple Sea-snail, Janthina janthina Linne, 1 inch (Pelagic, 

warm seas), p. 160. 
k. Globe Purple Sea-snail, Janthina globosa Swainson, ^ inch (Pelagic, 

warm seas), p. 160. 
1. Dwarf Purple Sea-snail, Janthina exigua Lamarck, 34 inch (Pelagic, 

warm seas), p. 160. 
m. Common Sun-dial, Architectonica nohilis Roding, 13/2 inches 

(Southeastern United States and the West Indies), p. 142. 
n. Keeled Sun-dial, Architectonica peracnta Dall, 3^ inch (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 143. 
o. Krebs' Sun-dial, Architectonica krehsi Morch, Yl inch (Southeastern 

United States and the West Indies), p. 143. 
p. Henderson's Niso, Niso hendersoni Bartsch 1953, 1 inch (Southeastern 

United States), not in text, Holotype. 
q. Giant Atlantic Pyram, Pyramidella dolabratn Lamarck, 1 inch 

(Bahamas and the West Indies), p. 289. 
r. Flamingo Tongue, Cyphoma gibbosurn Linne, ^ inch (Soiuheastern 

United States and the West Indies), p. 183. Also see plate 8. 
s. McGinty's Cyphoma, Cyphoma mcgintyi Pilsbry, ^ inch (Florida), 

p. 184. 

t. Fingerprint Cyphoma, Cyphoma signatum Pilsbry and McGinty, 1 inch 
(Florida), p. 184. 

Plate 5 

a. Wood's Panama Conch, S trombus granulatus Wood, 2j/^ inches (Gulf 

of California to Panama), not in text. 

b. Atlantic Carrier-shell, Xenophora conchyliophora Born, 2 inches 

(Southeastern United States and the West Indies), p. 173. 

c. Hawk-wing Conch, Strombus raninus Gmelin, 3 inches (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 175. 

d. Angular Triton, Cymatiuin femorale Linne, 6 inches (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 195. 

e. Rooster-tail Conch, Strombus gallus Linne, 5 inches (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 175. 

f. Trumpet Triton, Charonia tritonis nobilis Conrad, 14 inches 

(Southeastern Florida and the West Indies), p. 196. 

g. West Indian Fighting Conch, Strombus pugilis Linne, 3 inches 

(Southeastern Florida and the West Indies), p. 173. 
h. Florida Fighting Conch^ Strombus alatus Gmelin, 3 inches (Atlantic 

Coast from North Carolina to Texas), p. 174. 
i. Panama Fighting Conch, Strombus gracilior Sowerby, 3 inches (Gulf 

of California to Panama), not in text, 
j. Brown Moon-shell, Polinices brunneus Link, \]/2 inches, (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 186. 
k. Shark Eye, Polinices duplicatus Say, 2 inches (Atlantic Coast), p. 186. 

1. Colorful Atlantic Natica, Natica canrena Linne, 13^2 inches 
(Southeastern United States and the West Indies), p. 191. 

m. Excavated Natica, Stigmaulax elenae Recluz, IJ/2 inches (Pacific side 
of Panama), not in text. 

Plate 6 

a. Atlantic Yellow Cowrie, Cypraea spurca acicularis Gmelin, 1 inch 

(Florida and the West Indies), p. 180. 

b. Chestnut Cowrie, Cypraea spadicea Swainson, 2 inches (Southern 

California), p. 181. 

c. Atlantic Gray Cowrie, Cypraea cinerea Gmelin, 1 inch (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 180. 

d. Measled Cowrie, Cypraea zebra Linne, 3 inches (Southeastern Florida 

and the West Indies), p. 180. 

e. Mouse Cowrie, Cypraea mus Linne, 2 inches (Sotithern Caribbean), 

p. 181. 

f. Atlantic Deer Cowrie, Cypraea cervus Linne, 4 inches (South half 

of Florida and Cuba), p. 180. 

g. Young stage of the Atlantic Deer Cowrie before the outer lip has 

become thickened and reinforced with teeth, p. 180. 

Plate 7 

a. Common West Indian Simnia, Neosimnia acicularis Lam., Yi inch. 

Yellow phase on Yellow Sea-whip, Leptogorgia virgulata Lam., and 
lavender phase on Purple Sea-whip, Leptogorgia hebes Verrill 
(North Carolina to the West Indies), p. 182. 

b. and c. Californian Pedicularia, Pedicularia californica Newcomb, Y 

inch. Attached to the hydrocoralline, Allopora californica Verrill. 
c is the heavy form, ovuliformis Berry (Southern California) p. 182. 

d. Decussate Pedicularia, Pedicularia decnssata Gould, Yi inch (Georgia 

to the West Indies), p. 181. 

e. Single-Toothed Simnia, Neosimnia uniplicata Sby., Yi inch (Virginia to 

the West Indies), p. 182. 

f. Dale's Treasured Simnia, Neosimnia piragua Dall, 1 inch. Holotype 

(West Indies), p. 182. 

g. Western Chubby Simnia, Neosimnia avena Sby., Y2 i^^ch (Monterey, 

California, to Panama), p. 183. 
h. Inflexed Simnia, Neosimnia inflexa Sby., Yi i^^ch (Monterey, California, 

to Panama), p. 183. 
i. Loebbeck's Simnia, Neosimnia loehbeckeana Weink., 34 inch 

(Monterey, California, to Gulf of California, form barbarensis Dall), 

p. 183. 
j. Panama Cyphoma, Cyphoma emarginata Sby., (4 specimens), 1 inch 

(Lower California to Panaina), not in text. 

Plate 8 

Living Flamingo Tongues on the Rough Sea-^vhip, Muricea muricata Pallas. 

Upper right: McGinty's Cyphoma, Cyphoma mcgintyi Pilsbry, 1 inch 

(Southeastern Florida), p. 184. 
Lower Three: Flamingo Tongue, Cyphoma gibbosum Linne, 1 inch (North 

Carolina to West Indies), p. 183. 




■ j5€. 

Plate 9 

a. Rough Panama Helmet, Cypraecassis coarctata Wood, 3 inches (Gulf 

of California, south), not in text. 

b. Large Panama Helmet, Cypraecassis tenuis Wood, 5 inches (Pacific 

side of Panama), not in text. 

c. Reticuated Cowrie-helmet, Cypraecassis testiculus L., 3 inches (Florida, 

south), p. 194. 

d. Atlantic Partridge Tun, Tonna maculosa Dill., 3 inches (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 199. 

e. Scotch Bonnet, Phalium granulatum Born, 3 inches (North Carolina 

to the West Indies), p. 192. 

f. Smooth Scotch Bonnet, Phalium cicatricosum Gmelin, 2 inches 

(Southeastern Florida and the Caribbean), p. 193. 

g. Pear Whelk, Busycon spiratum Lam., 4 inches (North Carolina to 

Mexico), p. 236. 
h. RovAL Bonnet, Sconsia striata Lam., 23^ inches (Gulf of Mexico, south), 

p. 192. 
i. Common Fig Shell, Ficus communis Roding, 3 inches (North Carolina 

to Gulf States), p. 200. 
j. Dog Head Triton, Cymatium cynocephalum Lam., 2 inches 

(Southeastern Florida and West Indies), p. 196. 
k. Gaudy Frog-shell, Bursa corrugata Perry, 3 inches (Southeastern 

Florida, south; Lower California to Ecuador), p. 198. 
1. Atlantic Hairy Triton, Cymatium martinianum Orb., 2^/2 inches 

(North Carolina to the West Indies), p. 195. 

Plate 10 

a. West Indian Murex, Murex brevijrons Lam., 4 inches (Southeastern 

Florida and the West Indies), p. 203. 

b. Giant Eastern Murex, Murex fulvescens Sby., 6 inches (North C^arolina 

to Texas), p. 203. 

c. Regal Murex, Murex regius Swainson, 6 inches (Gulf of California to 

Panama), not in text. 

d. Beau's Murex, Murex beaui Fischer and Bern., 4 inches (Gulf of 

Mexico and the West Indies), p. 202. 

e. Lace Murex, Miirex florifer Reeve, 3 inches (Florida and the West 

Indies), p. 203. 

f. Antillean Murex, Murex antillarinn Hinds, 3 inches (West Indies) 

not in text. 

g. Beau's Murex, Murex beaui F. and B., 5 inches. Deep-water form 

(Florida and West Indies), p. 202. 

h. Cabrit's Murex, Murex cabriti Bernardi, 2 inches (Florida and the 
West Indies), p. 201. 

i. Banded Dve Murex, Murex trunculus L., 3 inches (Mediterranean Sea), 
p. 12. 

j. Spiny Dye Murex, Murex braudaris L., 3 inches (Mediterranean Sea 
and West Africa), p. 12. 

k. Cabbage Murex, Murex brassica Lam., 7 inches (West Mexico), not 
in text. 

1. Apple Murex, Murex pomum Gmelin, 3 inches (North Carolina to the 
West Indies), p. 202. 

m. PiNK-MOUTHED MuREx, Murex erythrostomus SAvainson, fi inches (Gulf 
of California to Panama), not in text. 

n. t(j cj. Strips of paper dyed with Royal Tyrian Purple from the 
Mediterranean Sea and FraiK e. \^arious shades were obtained by 
the ancients by varying the concentration of snail dye. the number 
of dips and the species of snail, n. Light dipping from Murex trun- 
culus. o. Light dipping from Murex braudaris. p. Heavy concentrat- 
ion from Murex braudaris and Thais liaeniasfouia. (|. Fre(|uent dips 
in a heavy bath from Murex fruuculus and Thais lapillus (see p. 12). 

Plate 1 1 

a. Brown-lined Latirus, Latirus injundibulum Gmelin, 3 inches (Florida, 

Keys and West Indies), p. 24 L 

b. McGinty's Latirus, Latirus mcgintyi Pils., 2 inches (Southeastern 

Florida), p. 241. 

c. Ornamented Spindle^ Fusimis eucosmius Dall., 3 inches (Gulf of 

Mexico), p. 243. 

d. Chestnut Latirus, Leucozonia nassa Gmelin, lj/2 inches (Florida to 

Texas, south), p. 240. 

e. White-spotted Latirus, Leucozonia ocellata Gmelin, 1 inch (West 

Florida to West Indies), p. 241. 

f. Short-tailed Latirus, Latirus brevicaudatus Reeve, 2 inches (Florida, 

Keys and West Indies), p. 241. 

g. Turnip Spindle, Fusinus timessus Dall, 3 inches (Gulf of Mexico), 

p. 243. 
h. and j. West Indian Dwarf Olive^ OliveUa uivea Gmelin, lA inch 

(Southeastern Florida and West Indies), p. 246. 
i. Jasper Dwarf Olive, OliveUa jaspidea Gmelin, J/s inch (Southeastern 

Florida and West Indies), p. 246. 
k. Orange Marginella, Prunum carneum Storer, ^ inch (Southeastern 

Florida and West Indies), p. 254. 
1. Royal Marginella, Prunum labiatum Kiener, 1 inch (off Yucatan, 

Mexico, south), p. 256, 
m. White-spotted Marginella, Prunum guttatum. Dill., ^^ inch 

(Sotitlieastern Florida and West Indies), p. 256. 
n. Common Atlantic Marginella, Prunum apicinum Menke, ^ inch 

(North Carolina to Texas and West Indies), p. 257. 
o. Roosevelt's Marginella, Prunum roosevelti Btscli, and Rehd., 1 inch, 

holotype (Bahamas), p. 254. 
p. Orange-banded Marginella, Hyalina avoui \a\., V;5 incli (Nortli 

Carolina to West Indies), p. 258. 

Plate 12 

a. Lettered Olive, Oliva sayana Ravenel, 2.Y2 inches (North Carolina to 

the Gulf States), p. 245. 

b. Panama False Olive, Agaronia testacea Lam., 2 inches (West Central 

America), not in text. 

c. Netted Olive, Oliva reticularis Lam., XYi inches (Southeastern Florida 

and West Indies), p. 245. 

d. Angulate Olive, Oliva iticrassata Solander, 2 inclies (Gulf of California 

to Peru), not in text. 

e. Tent Olive, Oliva porphyria L., 3 inches ((^ulf of California), not 

in text. 

f. PoLPAST Olive, Oliva polpasta Diiclos, 1^/^ inches (West Mexico), 

not in text. 

g. Splendid Olive, Oliva splendidula Sby., 2 inches (Panama), not in text. 

h. Veined Olive, Oliva spicata Roding, 2 inches (Lower California to 

Panama), not in text, 
i. Purple Dwarf Olive, Olivella biplicata Sby., 1 inch (Washington to 

Lower California), p. 247. 

Plate 13 

a. Florida Horse Conch, Pleuroploca gigantea Kiener, 3 inches (young) 

(North Carolma to Florida). For adult see pi. 23y, p. 242. 

b. True Tulip, Fasciolaria tulipa L., 4 inches (North Carolina to the 

West Indies), p. 242. 

c. Banded Tulip, Fasciolaria hunteria Perry, 3 inches (North Carolina to 

Gulf States), p. 242. 

d. Coue's Spindle, Fusinus couei Petit, 4 inches (off Yucatan, Mexico), 

not in text. 

e. Schmitt's Volute, Scaphella schmitti Bartsch, 5 inches. Holotype (off 

south Florida), p. 251. 

f. Junonia, Scaphella jmwnia Shaw, 5 inches (North Carolina to Texas), 

p. 250. 

g. Common Music Volute, Voluta musica L., 2 inches (West Indies), p. 250. 

h. Flame Terebra, Terebra taurina Solander, 5 inches (Florida, the Gulf 

and West Indies), p. 265. 
i. Royal Florida Miter, Mitra florida Gould, Ij/^ inches (Florida and 

West Indies), p. 248. 
j. Dohrn's Volute, Scaphella dohrni Shy., form florida CI. and Ag., 3 

inches (off Florida and Cuba), p. 251. 
k. Common Nutmeg, Cancellaria reticulata L., \]/2 inches (North Carolina 

to Florida), p. 252. 
1. White Giant Turret, Polystira albida Perry, 4 inches (off Florida, the 

Gulf of Mexico and West Indies), p. 268. 
m. Delicate Giant Turret, Polystira tellea Dall, 3 inches (off South- 
eastern Florida), p. 268. 
n. Latirus-like Vase, Vasum {Siphovasum) latiriforme Rehd. and Abb. 

1951. 2 inches. Holotype (off Yucatan, Mexico), not in text, 
o. Miniature Triton Trumpet, Pisania pusio L., IJ/2 inches (Florida and 

West Indies), p. 233. 
p. Striate Bubble, Bulla striata Brug., 1 inch (Ciulf of Mexico, south), 

p. 277. 
q. Brown-lined Paper-bubble, Hydatina vesicaria Solander, 1 inch (Florida 

and West Indies), p. 276. 

Plate 14 

a. Carrot Cone, Con us daiicus Hwass, IJ/2 inches (Florida and West 

Indies), p. 260. 

b. Julia's Cone, Co)ius juliae Clench, lYj inches (off south Florida), p. 261. 

c. Sozon's Cone, Conns sozoni Bartsch, ?> inches (South Carolina to Gulf of 

Mexico), p. 261. 

d. Florida Cone, Conus floiidantis Gahb, II/2 indies (North Carolina to 

Florida), p. 261. 

e. Dark Florida Cone, C. floridnnus floridensis Shy (North Carolina to 

Florida), p. 261. 

f. Villepin's Cone, Conus villepini F. and B. II/2 inches (Gidf of Mexico), 

p. 263. 

g. Golden-banded Cone, Coims aureojasciatus Rehder and Abbot, 3 inches 

(Gulf of Mexico), p. 260. 
h. Sennott's Cone, Conus senyiottorum Rehd. and Abb., 1 inch ((iulf of 

Mexico), p. 261. 
i. Clark's Cone, Co7ius clarki Rehd. and Abb., 1 inch (off Louisiana), 

p. 264. 
j, Stimpson's Cone, Conns stimpsoni Dall, II/2 inches (Gulf of Mexico), 

p. 263. 
k. Maze's Cone, Conns maiei Desh., 2 inches (Gulf of Mexico and West 

Indies), p. 264. 
1. Glory-of-the-Atlantic Cone, Conns granulatus L., 2 inches (South- 
eastern Florida, south), p. 264. 
m. Crown C<one, Conns regius Gmelin, 3 inches (Florida and West Indies), 

p. 262. 
n. Jasper Cone, Conus jaspideus Gmelin, ^ inch (Florida and West 

Indies), p. 262. 
o. Mouse Cone, Conns mus Hwass, 1 incli (Soutlieastern Florida and West 

Indies), p. 262. 
p. Alphabet Cone, Conns spnrius aihniticus CI., 3 inches (Florida and 

Gulf of Mexico), p. 260. 

Plate 15 

a. Red-fingered Eolls, Coryphella rujibraiichialis Johnston, 1 inch (Arctic 

to New York), p. 310. 

b. Pilose Doris, Acanthodoris pilosa Abild., 1 inch (Arctic to Connecticut; 

Alaska), p. 305. 

c. Dwarf Balloon Eolis, Eubraiichus exiguus A. and H., 1/5 inch (Arctic 

to Massachusetts), p. 309. 

d. Johnston's Balloon Eolis, Tergipes despectiis Johnston, 1/3 inch (Arctic 

to New York), p. 309. 

e. Erond Eolis, Dendroiwtus frundosus Ascanius, 2 inches (Arctic to 

Rhode Island; to Washington), p. 307. 

f. Atlantic Ancula, Aticula cristata Alder, ]/^ inch (Arctic to 

Massachusetts), p. 306. 

g. Papillose Eolis, Aeolis papulosa L., 2 inches (Arctic to Rhode Island; 

to California), p. 308. 
li. Pavnted Balloon Eolis, Eubraiicluis palUdus A. and H., Yj inch (Arctic 

to Boston), p. 310. 
i. Yellow False Doris, Adalaria proxiina A. and H., Y ii^ch (Arctic to 

Maine), p. 306. 
j. Orange-tipped Eolis, Catrioiia aurantia A. and H., Yi inch (Arctic to 

Connecticut), p. 308. 


t^ a 




*%v ^" 



CTN. rv 


Plate 16 

a. Hopkins Doris, Hopkinsia rosacea MacFaiiand, 1 inch (Monterey to 

San Pedro, California), p. 307. 

b. MacFarland's Grand Doris, TriopJia gratidis MacFarland, 3 inches 

(California), p. 304. 

c. Noble Pacific Doris, Archidoris fiobilis MacF., 4 inches (California), 

p. 300. 

d. San Diego Doris, Diaulula saiidiegeusis Cooper, 23/2 inches (Alaska to 

California), p. 301. 

e. Orange-spiked Doris, Polycera atra MacF., ^ inch (California), p. 305. 

f. Maculated Doris, Triopha maculata MacF., 1 inch (California), p. 304. 

g. MacFarland's Pretty Doris, Rostanga pulchra MacF., ^ inch 

(California), p. 300. 
h. Monterey Doris, Archidoris montereyensis Cooper, \]/2 inches 

(California), p. 299. 
i. Heath's Doris, Discodoris heathi MacF., 1 inch (California), p. 300. 

j. Laila Doris, Lnila cockerelli MacF., 3^ inch (California), p. 304. 

k. Carpenter's Doris, Triopha carpenteri Stearns, 1 inch (California), 

p. 304. 
1. Porter's Blue Doris, Glossodoris porterae Cockerell, Yi inch 

(California), p. 303. 




" d. 

K-'Vi^'^'S^ o 



3 » 

' Si 

k "*^ 


% to I Inch in length, heavy for its size; whorls angular, with the upper 
third slightly concave to flat and the somewhat angular periphery flatfish. 
Early whorls with minutely beaded threads, later whorls with fine, smooth- 
ish cords of various sizes. Nucleus tan to whitish. Color yellowish brown 
with a few spiral lines of alternating brown and white bars. Sometimes axially 
variegated. Dredged just off-shore from 8 to 35 fathoms. Moderately com- 

Calliosto772a gemmiilatii7n Carpenter Gem Top-shell 

Figure 33d 

Cayucos, California, to the Gulf of California. 

% inch in length, not as wide; characterized by its dark gray-green color 
and two extra-strong, beaded spiral cords. There are also 3 or 4 minor cords 
that are not so heavily beaded. Nucleus dark-tan. Moderately common in 
the littoral zone on rocks and wharf pilings. 

Calliostoma supragranosmit Carpenter Granulose Top-shell 

Plate 1 8s 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

^ inch in length, solid, glossy; characterized by numerous, fine, spiral 
cords which are sometimes weakly beaded, and by a wide, rather flattish pe- 
riphery. Nucleus tan. Color light yellowish brown, commonly with a spiral 
row of subdued white spots at the lower periphery. Interior brightly nacre- 
ous. Moderately common on rocks at low tide. 

CalUost07na a7272ulatU77t Solander Ringed Top-shell 

Figure 33f 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

I to 1/4 inch in length, not quite so wide; characterized by its light 
weight, golden-yellow color with a mauve band at the periphery, and by the 
numerous, spiral rows of tiny, distinct beads (5 to 9 rows in the spire whorls). 
Nucleus pink. Dredged offshore and occasionally washed ashore. Formerly 
C. annulatum Martyn. 

Calliosto77m canaliculatinn Solander 1786 Channeled Top-shell 

Plate 3q; figure 33!! 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

I to 1% inches in length, not heavy, sides of whorl flat. Periphery of 
the last whorl sharp. Base of shell almost flat. Characterized by sharp, promi- 
nant, slightly beaded, spiral cords. Color yellowish tan. Nuclear whorls 
white. Moderately common off^shore. Found on floating kelp weed. For- 
merly known as C. canalicukumt Martyn, and doliarhmi Holten 1802. 

116 American Se ash ells 

Calliostoma variegatum Carpenter Variable Top-shell 

Figure 33b 
Alaska to southern California. 

I inch in length, similar to doliarium, but with smaller cords which are 
strongly beaded; nucleus pink; the sides of the spire slightly concave, and 
the periphery of the last whorl rounded. Uncommonly dredged in 15 to 
400 fathoms. 

Calliostoma gloriosmn Dall Glorious Top-shell 

Figure 33a 

San Francisco to San Diego, California. 

I inch in length, not quite so wide, rather light, with about i o fine, spiral 
threads between sutures. The upper 5 are inclined to be minutely beaded. 
Periphery of last whorl moderately sharp. Columella white, fairly thick and 
with a swelling at the lower %. Nuclear whorls white. Color of shell yellow- 
ish brown with darker purplish brown, slanting and rather elongate spots 
arranged in 2 spiral series. Moderately common in shallow water. 

Calliostoma splendens Carpenter Splendid Top-shell 

Figure 33c 

Monterey to Lower California. 

/4 to H inch in length, equally wide, with about 5 to 6 whorls which 
bear between sutures 5 strong spiral cords. The upper 2 or 3 arc finely 
beaded, the lower 2 or 3 are smooth and cord-like. Between the cords, the 
shell is brilliant orange-iridescent. General color a yellowish orange with 
large white maculations on the upper half of the whorls. Moderately com- 
mon offshore, uncommonly washed ashore. 

Calliosto777a ligatum Gould Ribbed Top-shell 

Figure 33g 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

% to I inch in length, equally wide, rather heavy; whorls quite well 
rounded; characterized by smooth, spiral, light-tan cords (6 to 8 on the spire 
whorls) on a background of chocolate. Sometimes flushed with mauve. No 
umbilicus. Aperture usually pearly-white. A very common littoral species 
from northern California north. Formerly C. costatuin Martyn. 

Genus Livona Gray 1847 

There is only one species this genus, namely L. pica from the West 



Indies, Although fairly good specimens are found without their soft parts 
in southern Florida and Bermuda, this species has been extinct in those areas 
for several hundred years. Living individuals may be found abundantly in 
the West Indies where they are used in chowders by some people. Cittariwn 
Philippi 1 847 is this genus. 

Livona pica Linne West Indian Top-shell 

Figure 3:] 

Southeast Florida (dead) and the West Indies (alive). 

2 to 4 inches in length, heavy, rather rough, and with splotches of pur- 
plish black on dirty-white. Umbilicus round, narrof and very deep. Inner 
edge of lip with rich cobalt-blue mottlings. Operculum horny, large, round, 
multispiral and opalescent blue-green in life. 

— Ten+ac(e 

Figure 34. West Indian Top-shell, Livona pica Linne. a, shell with animal ex- 
tended (3 inches); b, outline of head X2. (From Clench and Abbott 1943 

in Johnsonia.) 

Genus Norrisia Bayle 1880 
Norrisia norrisi Sowerby Norris Shell 

Plate 1 8m 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

1 34 inches in length, slightly wider, heavy, smoothish with a glossy 
finish, especially on the underside. Lip sharp. Aperture thickened within 
and pearly. Umbilicus ovate, very deep, colored a greenish blue on the 
columellar side, bordered on the other side by glossy black-brown which 
fades into rich chestnut over the remainder of the shell. Operculum, multi- 
spiral, externally ornamented with spiral rows of dense bristles. Animal 
tinged with red. Moderately common among the kelp weed beds. 

118 A?nerica7i Seashells 

Genus Gaza Watson 1879 
Gaza superba Dall Superb Gaza 

Northern Gulf of Mexico to the West Indies. 

Plate 3 b 

I to 1 34 inches in width. Spire somewhat elevated. Color old ivory with 
a golden sheen. Early whorls faintly wine-colored. Although formerly 
thought to be one of our rarest shells, it is now known to be relatively com- 
mon in the Gulf of Mexico in 50 or more fathoms. It is indeed a beautiful 

The rare Gaza (Callogaza Dall 1881) ivatsoni Dall from deep water in 
the West Indies is illustrated in figure 32a. 

Genus Tegula Lesson 1832 

Tegula fasciata Born Smooth Atlantic Tegula 

Plate lyp 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/{> to /4 inch in width. Surface smooth; color yellowish to brown, with 
a fine mottling of reds, browns and blacks; often with a narrow, pale, spiral 
band of color on the periphery. Under the lens, spiral rows of alternating 
red and white, short lines or dots may be seen. Some specimens may have 
zigzag white bands. Interior of deep, round, smooth umbilicus and the callus 
are white. Two teeth at the base of the columella. Thick adults may have 
small teeth just inside the lower margin of the aperture. Whorl may be 
slightly concave just below the suture. In the young only, the umbilicus 
has two deep spiral grooves. Moderately common under rocks at low tide. 

Tegula lividomaculata C. B. Adams West Indian Tegula 

Key West and the West Indies. 

% inch in width and about /4 inch in length. Top of whorls sculptured 
with about a dozen fairly regular, small, spiral cords. The angular periphery 
of the whorls bears the largest cord. Umbilicus round, deep, and furrowed 
on its sides by two spiral cords, the upper one ending at the columella in a 
fairly sizeable bead. Columella set back quite far at its upper half; the lower 
section bears the bead, and below that there are several, smaller, indistinct 
beads. Color of shell grayish to brownish white with small mottlings of 
reddish or blackish brown. Operculum, as in all Tegula, horny and multi- 
spiral. Formerly scalaris Anton (not Brocchi) and indusi "Gmelin." Com- 
mon under rocks in the West Indies, but uncommon on the Lower Florida 


T. hotessierana Orbigny from the West Indies is similar, but rarely over 
Vz inch, with a more rounded periphery, with smaller, neater, equal-sized, 
smooth spiral threads, and dark bluish black in color, except for a whitish 
area around the narrow umbilicus. Uncommon. 

Tegula excavata Lamarck Green-base Tegula 

Florida Keys? Caribbean area. 

34 inch in length and width. Characterized by its bluish-gray color, 
corrugated sculpture (weak spiral cords and oblique lines of growth), its 
concave base, thin outer lip, and especially by the blue-green to iridescent- 
green circle of color around the very deep, round, narrow umbilicus. A 
variant exists in some areas which lacks the green, umbilical color and in 
which the spiral cords are stronger and the shell with axial, slanting bars of 
black-brown. Very common in the West Indies, along the rocky shores. 

Tegula funebralis A. Adams Black Tegula 

Vancouver, B. C, to Lower California. 

I to I % inches in length, heavy, dark purple-black in color; smoothish, 
but with a narrow, puckered band just below the suture. Weak spiral cords 
rarely evident; coarse growth lines present in large, more elongate specimens. 
Base rounded. Umbilicus closed or merely a slight dimple. Columella 
pearly, with two small nodules at the base. A very common littoral, rock- 
loving species. Do not confuse with T. gallina. 

Tegula gallina Forbes Speckled Tegula 

Plate i8v 
San Francisco to the Gulf of California. 

I to I /4 inches in length, very similar to funebralis, but a lighter, gray- 
ish green color with dense, zigzag, axial stripes of purplish. The shell surface 
is also coarser. A common, southern species found among littoral rocks. 

Tegula brunnea Philippi Brown Tegula 

Crescent City to Santa Barbara Islands, California. 

I to I % inches in length, similar to funebralis, but light chestnut-brown 
in color with the base often glossy, brownish white. The umbilicus is closed, 
but usually with a dimple-like impression. Columella usually with only one 
small tooth near the base. Common at dead low tide on rocks. Usually 
heavily encrusted with algal growths. 

120 American Seashells 

Tegiila aureotincta Forbes Gilded Tegula 

Plate 1 8k 

Southern third of California to Mexico. 

% to I inch in length, heavy; dark grayish to gray-green; characterized 
by a golden-yellow stain within the deep, round, narrow umbilicus, by the 
sky-blue band around the umbilicus, and by the 4 or 5 strong, smoothish, spiral 
cords on the periphery and the base. Top of whorls with weak, crude, slant- 
ing, axial wrinkles. A moderately common, littoral, rock-loving species. 

Tegula ligulata Menke Western Banded Tegula 

Plate i8h 

Monterey, California, to Acapulco, Mexico. 

% inch in length, heavy; whorls and spire convex. Umbilicus very deep, 
round and fairly narrow. Whorls with numerous, beaded, spiral cords. Outer 
lip sharp, but thickened and pearly within. Lower part of lip with about 8 
small nodules opposite the spiral threads which run back into the aperture. 
Color rusty-brown with black flecks. Compare with aureotincta whose um- 
bilical area is stained with greenish blue and golden-yellow. A moderately 
common littoral, rock-dweller. 

Subgenus Chlorostoma Swainson 1840 
Tegula regina Stearns Queen Tegula 

Plate 3f 

Catalina Island to the Gulf of California. 

I /4 inches in length, slightly wider; 6 to 7 whorls, spire flat-sided; base 
slightly concave. With numerous slanting, small, axial cords. The crenulated 
periphery slightly overhangs the suture of the whorls below. Base with 
strong, arched lamellae. Color dark purplish gray. Umbilical region stained 
with bright golden-yellow. A rather rare and choice collector's item secured 
by diving. It has also been washed ashore on Catalina Island. 

Subgenus Froviartynia Dall 1909 
Tegula pulligo Gmelin 1791 {marcida Gould) Dusky Tegula 

Plate i8y 

Alaska to Santa Barbara, California. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, slightly wider. Resembles brumiea, but has 
a deep, round umbilicus and a thin, rather sharp columella. It is also very 
similar to nwntereyi, but its whorls are more rounded and its umbilicus is 
more smoothly rounded and without the white color and faint spiral ridges 
found in montereyi. This species is doubtfully placed here and perhaps 


should be considered a typical Tegiila. Moderately common, especially in 
the north. 

Tegula mo7itereyi Kiener Monterey Tegula 

Plate i8x 
Bolinas Bay, California, to Santa Barbara Island. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, about as wide. Conical in shape, with very 
flat-sided whorls and spire. Base almost flat. Surface smoothish, except for 
almost obsolete spiral threads. Umbilicus very deep, lined with i or 2 weak 
spiral cords. Columella arched, and with i prominent, pointed tooth. This 
rather rare species resembles a large Calliostoma. It is found on kelp in 
moderately deep waters. 

Subfamily LIOTIINAE 

The operculum in members of this subfamily is round, multispiral, and 
with a horny base on top of which are numerous rows of tiny calcareous 

Genus Cyclostrevia Marry at 18 18 
Cyclostrevm cancellatum Marry at Cancellate Cyclostreme 

Southeast Florida, the Bahamas to Jamaica. 

/4 inch in diameter, flat-topped, 4 whorls, opaque-white. Widely and 
deeply umbilicate. Axial sculpture of 15 to 17 rounded, low ribs which en- 
circle the entire whorl and are made nodulose in crossing the 1 2 smaller spiral 
cords. Periphery squarish, with a cord above, below and at the center. Rare 
from I to 17 fathoms. Cyclostrevia is a neuter, not feminine, word. C. 
amabile Dall from Cuba to Barbados is much rarer and difl^ers in being smaller, 
in having a thicker, more rounded lip, and in lacking axial cords on top of 
the whorls. 25 to 80 fathoms. 

Genus Liotia Gray 1847 
Liotia bairdi Dall Baird's Liotia 

Plate 17U 

North Carolina to Florida and Yucatan. 

/4 inch in length, not quite so wide; thick, rose in color. Whorls glo- 
bose, the last with about i o spiral cords of tiny, prickly beads. Suture deeply 
channeled. Umbilicus very narrow and deep. Moderately common from 18 
to 85 fathoms. 

122 American Seashells 

Liotia fenestrata Carpenter Californian Liotia 

Plate i8u 

Monterey, California, to San Martin Island, Mexico. 

Vs inch in diameter; spire low, shell solid; deeply and narrowly umbili- 
cate. Aperture circular, pearly within. Ash-white in color. Characterized 
by heavy cancellate sculpturing which makes the shell appear pitted by rows 
of deep, squarish holes. Uncommonly dredged from lo to 25 fathoms. L. 
cookeana Dall is not this species, as is commonly thought, but is a Cyclostrema. 

Genus Arene H. and A. Adams 1854 
Arene cruentata Miihlfeld Star Arene 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, one third again as wide. 4 to 5 whorls angular with the 
periphery bearing a series of strong, triangular spines which are hollow on 
their anterior edges. Color white to cream with small, bright-red patches 
on top of the whorl. Below the main row of spines there is a minor spiral 
row of smaller spines. Suture channeled. Aperture circular, pearly within. 
Umbilicus round, deep, and bordered by 3 spiral, beaded cords. Uncom- 
mon under rocks. 

The form vanhyningi Rehder from Sand Key, Key West, is pale gray- 
white with most red patches absent. It lacks fine, axial ridges on top of the 
whorl which are usually present in the typical form. Uncommon. 

Arene venustula Aguayo and Rehder (Miami to Puerto Rico) is similar 
to cruentata, but smaller, much more squat, chalky-white, and with two pe- 
ripheral rows of blunt spines. The rows are very close to each other. Rare, 
20 fathoms. 

Arene gevmia Tuomcy and Holmes Gem Arene 

Plate lyq 

North Carolina to south half of Florida to Brazil. 

% inch or less, turbinate in shape; 3 spiral rows of neat, tiny beads on 
the squarish periphery. Suture minutely channeled and bounded below by 
a spiral row of whitish beads. Top slope of whorls and base of shell flattish. 
Axial threads on entire shell microscopic and crowded. Umbilicus round, 
deep, bordered by 7 to 9 distinct beads. Color of shell white to tan with 
minute specklings of red and/or brown. Commonly dredged from 3 to 100 


Arene variabilis Dall Variable Arene 

Plate 17s 
North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

%6 inch in length, turbinate, similar to A. germna^ but pure white in 
color, with scale-hke beads, suture more deeply channeled, and with a more 
rounded periphery. 1 2 very weak beads bordering the more open umbilicus. 
The 3 spiral rows of beads on the whorl may be almost smooth in some 
specimens. Very commonly dredged from 20 to 270 fathoms. 

Subja7nily TURBININAE 
Genus Turbo Linne 1758 

Turbo castaneus Gmelin Chestnut Turban 

Plate 3g 
North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

1 to I ^ inches in length. Color orangish, greenish, brown or grayish, 
commonly banded with flame-like white spots. Aperture white. Callus on 
columella heavy. Lower lip projects downward. Operculum calcareous. 
The form named crenulatus Gmelin is merely less tuberculate. 

Section Taenioturbo Woodring 1928 
Turbo canaliculatus Hermann Channeled Turban 

Plate 3 a 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length. A deep smooth channel runs just below the 
suture. Surface glossy. 1 6 to 18 strong, spiral, smooth cords on body whorl. 
Aperture white. Umbilicus narrow. Operculum pale-brown inside with 3 to 
4 whorls, and white, smoothish and convex on the outside. This is the hand- 
somest Turbo in the Western Atlantic, and considered a great rarity in 
American waters. Formerly T. spenglerianus Gmelin. 

Genus Astraea Roding 1798 
Subgenus Astraliimi Link 1807 

Astraea longispina Lamarck Long-spined Star-shell 

Plate 3 k, m 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 2 % inches in width; shell low, almost flat on its underside. Periph- 
ery of whorls with strong, flattened, triangular spines. Either with or 
without an umbilicus. Aperture silvery inside. A form which has an elevated 
spire and is more spinose (pi. 3m) was known as A. spinulosa Lamarck. 
Short-spined specimens of this species are often erroneously called A. brevi- 

124 American Se ash ells 

spina Lamarck. The latter, however, is a distinct species from the West 
Indies which is characterized by a splotch of bright orange-red around the 
umbihcal region (see pi. 3I). 

Astraea americana Gmelin American Star-shell 

Plate 31 

Southeast Florida. 

1 to I /4 inches in length, % as wide. Characterized by its sharp-angled 
spire, flat sides, white to cream color, and by the numerous, long, wavy, 
weak, axial ribs. Base of shell with 5 to 8 small, finely fimbriated, spiral 
cords, and a small ridge at the base of the columella which has about a dozen 
small axial ridges. Commonly found under rocks at low tide on the Lower 
Florida Keys. Operculum variable, but usually thick, convex and with a 
small or large dimple. 

The subspecies, imbricata Gmelin, from the West Indies has stronger, 
longer and fewer axial ribs which extend to the flat base of the shell and are 
hollow at their ends. The subspecies guadeloupensis Crosse from the Greater 
Antilles is intermediate between these two. Both moderately common at 
low water. 

Subgenus Lithopoma Gray 1850 
Astraea caelata Gmelin Carved Star-shell 

Plate 3h 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies 

2 to 3 inches in length and width. Similar to A. tuber, but with 9 to 10 
spiral rows of numerous, hollow, scale-like spines on the lower % of the 
last whorl, 5 of which are on the base of the shell. Operculum thick, convex, 
and finely pustulose. Moderately common in the West Indies. 

Astraea tuber Linne Green Star-shell 

Plate 3) 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in length, equally wide. Characterized by the peculiar 
green-and-white, cross-hatched color scheme, by the low, blunt, smooth axial 
ridges, and by the smoothish base of the shell. Sometimes mottled in soft 
browns. Common below low water in the West Indies, rare in Florida. 
Operculum with a thick, arched, tapering ridge on the exterior (like a large 

Subgenus Pomaulax Gray 1850 
Astraea undosa Wood Wavy Turban 

Plate i8p 


Ventura, California, to Lower California. 


2 to 3 inches in length; characterized by a strong, wavy, overhanging 
periphery, and by the dark-brown, fuzzy periostracum. Base concave, with 
3 small, indistinct spiral cords. Outside of operculum with 3 strong, prickly 
ridges. Common in shallow water, especially around Todos Santos Bay, 
Lower California. 

Figure 35. Astraea gibberosa Dillwyn, 2 inches, c, outer side of calcareous oper- 
culum; d, muscle attachment side. 

Red Turban 

Figure 35 

Subgenus Pachypo?na Gray 1850 
Astraea gibberosa Dillwyn 

Vancouver, B. C, to San Diego, California. 

1/4 to 3 inches in length, heavy, brick-red to reddish brown in color. 
Characterized by 5 to 6 strong, spiral cords on the flattish base. Operculum 
chitinous green on inner side; outer side swollen, smooth, enamel-white. 
Formerly A. inaequalis Martyn. Moderately common just offshore down to 
40 fathoms. 

Genus Homalopoma Carpenter 1864 

Shells small, turbinate in shape. Operculum calcareous, oval, thick; its 
exterior with a thick, paucispiral whorl. Underside of operculum convex 
with multispiral, chitinous whorling. Leptothyra Pease 1869 is this genus. 

Homalopoma albida Dall 

Southeast Florida, Cuba to Yucatan. 

White Dwarf Turban 

126 American Seashells 

Va inch in length, equally wide, very thick-shelled, resembling in shape 
a Margarites. Pure white in color. Whorls rounded, 5 to 6 in number, each 
bearing 5 to 6 strong, rounded, spiral cords, the lower 2 being below the 
periphery of the whorl. Aperture and parietal wall glossy, slightly opalescent. 
Columella arched, with a small tooth in the middle and a smaller one usually 
at the base. No umbilicus. Commonly dredged from 35 to 450 fathoms. 

H. linnei Dall from southeast Florida to Barbados has 8 smaller, beaded 
spiral cords on the upper part of the whorls and 10 on the base, otherwise 
it is very similar to albida. It is quite rare. 

Homalopoma carpenteri Pilsbry Carpenter's Dwarf Turban 

Plate i8i 

Alaska to Lower California. 

% to % inch (5 to 9 mm.) in length, solid, globose. Pinkish red to 
brownish red in color. Last whorl and base with 15 to 20, evenly sized, 
smooth, spiral cords separated from each other by a space about half as wide 
as the cords. Base of pearly columella with 2 or 3 exceedingly weak nodules. 
A very common species frequently washed ashore and inhabited by small 
hermit crabs from Monterey to Mexico. Do not confuse with lurida. 

Homalopoma lurida Dall Dark Dwarf Turban 

Puget Sound to Lower California. 

% inch (5 to 7 mm.) in length, similar to carpenteri, but half as large, 
black-brown in color, although occasionally whitish with red axial streaks. 
The spiral cords are usually fewer in number and more rounded. Moderately 
common in shallow water under rocks. 

Homalopoma bacula Carpenter Berry Dwarf Turban 

Puget Sound to Lower California. 

% inch or less in length, similar to carpenteri but with a flatter spire, 
and smoothish, except for numerous incised, spiral lines producing very weak 
threads. Color dark, rosy-brown. A moderately common shallow-water 
species, sometimes found with carpe?iteri. A thorough anatomical and life 
history study of this genus is needed to ascertain the validity of these species. 

Genus Tricolia Risso 1826 

Tricolia affinis C. B. Adams Checkered Pheasant 


Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

% to M inch in length, moderately elongate, smoothish except for mi- 
croscopic spiral grooves in some specimens. Color rose to brownish, some- 
times whitish. Always with numerous small dots of pink, orange or a brown- 
ish color. Frequently with zigzag, axial bars of rose or brownish yellow. 
Often with irregular small spots or blotches of opaque-white. Umbilicus 
slit-like. Moderately common. T. concinna C. B. Adams is probably the 

Tricolia tessellata Pot. and Mich, from the West Indies is somewhat the 
same, but it is characterized by distinct, revolving lines of orange or red 
that descend obliquely over the whorls. Common. 

Tricolia pulchella C. B. Adams Shouldered Pheasant 

Plate i-jT 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Ys inch in length, spiral sculpture of numerous very small spiral cords, 
the largest being at the periphery of the whorl, thus giving the shell a slightly 
carinate shape. This carina is more pronounced in the early whorls and 
commonly bears a spiral row of tiny, white dots. Color variable, usually 
whitish gray with pink or brown axial mottlings and irregularly placed tiny 
dots of rose, yellow-brown or purplish brown. Umbilicus a mere chink. 
Operculum calcareous, convex, half smooth, the other half with fine, arched 
riblets. Common in shallow water among dead corals. 

Tricolia compta Gould Californian Banded Pheasant 

Crescent City, California, to the Gulf of California. 

/4 to H inch in length, resembling a moderately high-spired Littorina, 
but distinguished from that genus by its calcareous operculum. Shell smooth, 
in life covered by a thin gray-green, translucent periostracum. Characterized 
by the numerous, spiral lines of blackish green, red, brown or purplish which 
slant slightly downward, so that they are not parallel to the suture. Axial 
zigzag, wider bands are also present. Very abundant on eel-grass in shallow 
bays. Frequently washed ashore. 

Genus Eulithidium Pilsbry 1898 
Eulithidium rubrilineatwn Strong Miniature Pheasant 

Monterey to Lower California. 

Me inch in length, depressed turbinate in shape, with 4 to 5 whorls. Char- 

128 American Seashells 

acterized by its very small size, and by about a dozen obliquely set, spiral 
bright-red lines. The top of the whorls may be solid red and with large, 
opaque-white spots. Umbilicus a mere chink-like depression. Operculum 
calcareous and white. Tricolia variegata Carpenter is the same (not Lamarck) . 
Common among weeds in tidepools and among kelps offshore. 

Genus Nerita Linne 1758 

Nerka peloronta Linne Bleeding Tooth 

Plate 4a 
Southeast Florida, Bermuda and the West Indies. 

% to i^ inches in length; grayish yellow with zigzags of black and red. 
Characterized by the blood-red parietal area which bears i or 2 whitish 
teeth. Operculum: underside coral-pink; one half of outer side smooth and 
dark-orange, other half smoothish or papillose and brownish green. Very 
abundant along the rocky shores facing the open ocean. It is a popular 

Nerita versicolor Gmelin Four-toothed Nerite 

Plate 4b 
South % of Florida and the West Indies. Bermuda. 

% to I inch in length; dirty-white with irregular spots of black and red 
arranged in spiral rows; spirally grooved; outer lip spotted with red, white 
and black on margin. Parietal area slightly convex, white to yellowish and 
with 4 (rarely 5) strong teeth. Operculum: exterior brownish gray, finely 
papillose and slightly concave. Commonly associated with N. peloronta. 
Nerita variegata Karsten (1789) is invalid, since it appears in a non-binomial 

Nerita tessellata Gmelin Tessellate Nerite 

Plate 4f 

Florida to Texas, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

% inch in length, irregularly spotted with black and white, sometimes 
heavily mottled; coarsely sculptured with spiral cords of varying sizes. 
Parietal area concave, bluish-white and bearing 2 weak teeth in the middle. 
Operculum: exterior slightly convex, black in color. Commonly congregate 
in large numbers under rocks at low tide. Rare in northern Florida. Do not 
confuse with N. fulgurans Gmelin whose operculum is bluish white to yel- 
lowish gray, not black. 


Nerita fulgurans Gmelin Antillean Nerite 

Plate 4c 

Southeast Florida, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

% to I inch in length, very similar to N. tessellata, but with a lighter- 
colored, yellowish gray operculum. The spiral ridges on the shell are more 
numerous, the color patterns blurred, the aperture relatively wider, and the 
teeth more prominent. This is a salt to brackish-water inhabitant of pro- 
tected shores, and is abundant only in certain restricted localities. It is 
seldom represented or properly labeled in private collections. 

Genus Puperita Gray 1857 
Puperita pupa Linne Zebra Nerite 

Plate 4e 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Vs to Mi inch in length, thin, smooth, chalky-white with black, axial, 
zebra-like stripes. Aperture and smooth operculum light-yellow. Lives in 
small, placid pools above the high-water mark. Common in the West Indies, 
rare in Florida. 

Genus Neritina Lamarck 18 16 
Subgenus Vitta Morch 1852 

Neritina virginea Linne Virgin Nerite 

Plate 4! 

Florida to Texas, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

% inch in length, smooth, glossy, very variable in color pattern and 
shades — blacks, browns, purples, reds, whites, olive — crooked lines, dots, 
mottlings, zebra-like stripes and sometimes spirally banded. Parietal area 
smooth, convex, white to yellow, and with a variable number of small, 
irregular teeth. Operculum usually black. A very common, widespread 
inhabitant of intertidal, brackish-water flats. 

Neritina reclivata Say Olive Nerite 

Plate 4g 

Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, glossy, often with the spire eroded away. Ground 
color brownish green, olive or brownish yellow with numerous axial lines 
of black-brown or lavender. Operculum black to slightly brownish. Com- 
mon in brackish water and also found in fresh-water springs near the seashore 
in Florida. 

A globose form or subspecies (?) with a short spire and more convex 
whorls replaces the higher-spired, typical form from Texas to Panama, but 


Alii eric an Se ash ells 

may also appear in eastern Florida. It has been named floridana Reeve 1855, 
rotundata von Martens 1865 and sphaera Pilsbry 193 1. 

Genus Smaragdia Issel 1869 
Smaragdia viridis Linne 

Southeast Florida, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

Emerald Nerite 

Plate 4h 

/4 to H inch in length, glossy, smooth, pea-green, often with tiny chalk- 
whice bars and rarely with purplish brown, narrow, zigzag bars. True 
viridis comes from the Mediterranean. Some workers separate our form as 
the subspecies viridemaris Maury 191 7. N. iveyssei Russell 1940 is a synonym. 




Genus Lacuna Turton 1827 

Rather fragile, smooth periwinkles characterized by a shelf-like colu- 
mella and a chink-like umbilicus. Periostracum smooth, fairly thin and light- 
brown. Operculum paucispiral and corneous. Cold-water inhabitants, usually 
dredged in areas of kelp weed. 

Figure 36. Northern Lacunas, a, Lacuna carinata Gould, ^ inch (Pacific coast); 

b, Lacuna imijasciata Cpr., y^ inch (California); c to e, Lacuna vmcta Turton, 

% inch (both coasts); c, operculum showing reinforcing bar (dotted); d, animal 

showing the penis on the right side; e, radula (a single row greatly enlarged). 

Lacuna vincta Turton Common Northern Lacuna 

Plate 22p-, figure }6c-e 

Arctic Ocean to Rhode Island. Alaska to California. 

^ to % inch in length, 4 to 5 whorls, resembling a Littorina, but charac- 
terized by its fairly thin, but strong, translucent shell, its shelf-like columella 
along side of which is a long, narrow, deep umbilical chink. Outer lip fragile. 


Shell smooth except for microscopic, spiral scratches. Color light-tan to 
brown with the spire tinted with purplish rose. Often confused with Litiopa 
which has a blade-like ridge on the columella just inside the aperture. Com- 
mon from low water to 25 fathoms. Alias L. divaricata Fab. and solidula 

Lacuna unifasciata Carpenter One-banded Lacuna 

Figure 36b 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

^ inch in length, moderately fragile, similar to the other Lacunas, but 
characterized by its very narrow, long, chink-like umbilicus and by the 
carinate periphery of the whorl which bears a fine, dark-brown spiral line. 
Early whorls usually pinkish, remainder yellowish tan. Umbilicus and colu- 
mella white. The peripheral carina may be weak or obsolete, and the color 
line may consist of a series of faint, slanting streaks of light reddish brown. 
Very common in littoral seaweed and kelp in southern California. 

Lacuna carinata Gould Carinate Lacuna 

Figure 36a 
Alaska to Monterey, California. 

% to ^ inch in length, 3 to 4 whorls, moderately fragile. Aperture 
semi-lunar, large. Outer lip thin. Columellar chink large, long and white. 
Shell smooth, chalky-white, but always covered by a thin, yellowish brown, 
smooth periostracum. Common on kelp weed. L. porrecta Cpr. and striata 
Gabb are the same. Do not confuse with vincta which has a higher spire and 
much narrower, brownish-tan umbilical chink. 

Lacuna variegata Carpenter Variegated Lacuna 

Puget Sound, Washington, to Santa Monica, California. 

M inch in length, similar to unifasciata, but having a very deep umbilical 
chink which is bordered by a sharp ridge. The spiral carina at the level of 
the suture is very small, but quite sharp. The yellowish tan shell has mot- 
tlings or oblique bands of darker color. Moderately common in eel-grass 
along the shore. 

Genus Haloconcha Dall 1886 

Haloconcha reftexa Dall Reflexed Haloconch 

Alaska and the Bering Sea. 

% inch in length, fragile, 3 whorls; body whorl large. Resembles a Vel- 

132 American Seashells 

utina. Early whorls purplish brown, last whorl translucent, light chestnut- 
brown. Shell covered by a thin varnish of periostracum of the same color. 
At the edge of the thin, smooth outer lip, the periostracum is neatly curled 
back to form a minute ridge. Umbilicus slit-like, with the periostracum 
puckered along its length. Operculum littorinid, and is withdrawn well 
within the glossy-brown aperture. Not uncommon in shallow water. 

Genus Littorina Ferussac 1821 
Littorina littorea Linne Common Periwinkle 

Plate 19b 

Labrador to New Jersey. Western Europe. 

% to I inch in length, thick, smoothish. Gray to brownish gray in color. 
Inside of aperture chocolate-brown. Columella and inner edge of aperture 
whitish. In young or perfect specimens there are fine, irregularly spaced, 
spiral threads with microscopic, wavy wrinkles in between. Introduced from 
Europe some time before 1840. A favorite food in Europe. Very common 
along the rocky shores of New England. 

Littorina irrorata Say Marsh Periwinkle 

Plate 19c 

New York to north Florida to Texas. 

About I inch in length, thick-shelled, with numerous, regularly formed 
spiral grooves. Outer lip strong, sharp, slightly flaring, and with tiny grooves 
on the inside. Color usually grayish white with tiny, short streaks of reddish 
brown on the spiral ridges. Aperture yellowish white. Callus of inner lip 
and the columella pale reddish brown. Commonly found in large numbers 
among the sedges of brackish water marshes. Not recorded alive south of 
Indian River (east Florida) or Charlotte Harbor (west Florida). 

Littorina ziczac Gmelin Zebra Periwinkle 

Plate 196 

South half of Florida to Texas, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

Females about i inch, males about V2 inch in length. Shell fairly thick 
and strong. Base angulate; aperture purplish brown. Columella various 
shades of dark-brown. Outer shell white to bluish white with many narrow, 
zigzag, oblique lines of chestnut-brown or purplish brown. Early whorls 
uniformly pale reddish brown. Female shells: higher than wide, smoothish. 
Male shells: as high as wide, with strong spiral grooves. Operculum dark- 
brown. Abundant in crevices between tides in rocky areas. Introduced to 
the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. Do not confuse with the larger and 
thinner-shelled L. angulifera whose operculum is light-brown, not dark- 
brown, in color, 


Littorina angulifera Lamarck Angulate Periwinkle 

Plate 19a 

South half of Florida, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

About I inch in length; thin-shelled but strong. First two or three 
whorls smooth, remainder with many fine, spiral grooves. Last whorl some- 
times carinate. Color variable — whitish, yellowish or orange- to red-brown 
with darker, wavy, vertical, oblique stripes. Columella pale purplish with 
whitish edges. Operculum pale-brown. Common in mangrove areas where 
the waters are calm and brackish. It is found high above the high-tide mark 
clinging to wharf pilings, and is often seen on the trunks and branches of 
mangrove trees. Introduced to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. L. 
scabra Linne is from the Indo-Pacific. 

Littorina obtiisata Linne Northern Yellow Periwinkle 

Plate igf 

Labrador to Cape May, New Jersey. Northwest Europe. 

/i to % inch in length, equally wide, with a low spire; smoothish. Color 
variable but usually a uniform, bright, brownish yellow or orange-yellow. 
Sometimes with a white or brown spiral band. Columella whitish. Oper- 
culum bright yellow to orange-brown. This is L. palliata Say. A common 
coastal species associated with rockweeds. 

Littorina mespilhvm Miihlfeld Dwarf Brown Periwinkle 

Plate 19k 

Florida Keys and the Caribbean Area. 

M inch in length, somewhat shaped like obtusata. Characterized by its 
dark-brown periostracum, glossy-brown columella and aperture, by its tiny, 
chink-like umbilicus, and by the presence, in some specimens, of rows of 
small, round blackish spots. Common in "splash-pools" from high-tide line 
to 6 or 7 feet above. 

Littorina saxatilis Olivi Northern Rough Periwinkle 

Plate i9d 

Arctic Seas to Cape May, New Jersey. Arctic Seas to Puget Sound. 

% to /4 inch in length, resembling a "distorted, small L. littorea.^^ 
Adults characterized by poorly developed, smoothish, fine spiral cords. Color 
drab gray to dark-brown. Interior of aperture chocolate-brown. Females 
give birth to live, shelled young. Often found with L. obtusata, but not so 
common. This is L. rudis Maton and L. groenlandica Menke. 

134 American Seashells 

Littorina scutulata Gould Checkered Periwinkle 

Plate 20C 

Alaska to Lower California. 

% inch in length, moderately slender, semigloss finish and smooth. Color 
light to dark reddish brown with small, irregular spots of bluish white. Colu- 
mella white; interior of aperture whitish brown. A common littoral species. 
Compare with L. planaxis. 

Littorina planaxis Philippi Eroded Periwinkle 

Plate 2oa 

Puget Sound to Lower California. 

^ to % inch in length, usually badly eroded; grayish brown with bluish 
white spots and flecks. Characterized by the eroded, flattened area on the 
body whorl just beside the columella. Interior of aperture chocolate-brown 
with a white spiral band at the bottom. A common littoral, rock-loving spe- 
cies. Do not confuse with the smoother, higher-spired L. scutulata. 

Littorina sitkana Philippi Sitka Periwinkle 

Plate 2ob 

Bering Sea to Puget Sound, Washington. 

% inch in length, solid, sharp lip, characterized by about a dozen strong 
spiral threads on the body whorl. Columella whitish. Shell dark grayish to 
rusty-brown; some with 2 or 3 wide spiral bands of whitish. A common 
littoral species of the north. 

Genus N odilittorina Martens 1897 
Nodilittorina tuberculata Menke Common Prickly-winkle 

Plate 191 

South Florida, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

^ to % inch in length. Shell rounded at the base. Several spiral rows 
of small, fairly sharp nodules on the whorls. Columella flattened, forming a 
slightly dished-out shelf. Color brownish gray. Operculum paucispiral. A 
common rock-dwelling species found near the high-tide line. Do not con- 
fuse with the extremely similar Echifiinus nodulosus Pfr. which has a multi- 
spiral operculum, and whose columella is not shelved. Erroneously listed in 
Johnsonia and other books as Tectarius tuberculatus Wood. 

Genus Tectarius Valenciennes 1833 
Subgenus Cenchritis Martens 1900 

Tectarius muricatus Linne Beaded Periwinkle 

Plate iQg 

Lower Florida Keys, the West Indies and Bermuda. 


34 to 1 inch in length. Shell thick, with 1 1 rows of neat, rounded, whit- 
ish, evenly spaced beads on the last whorl. Columella grooved; umbilicus a 
narrow, oblique slit. Color of outer shell ash-gray. Interior dark-tan. Oper- 
culum paucispiral. One of the commonest West Indian littoral species, usu- 
ally found well out of water on the rock cliffs. 

Genus Echininus Clench and Abbott 1942 
Subgenus Tectininus Clench and Abbott 1942 

Echininus nodiilosus Pfeiffer False Prickly-winkle 

Plate i9h 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

V2 to I inch in length. Base of shell squarish. Whorls with 2 spiral, 
carinate rows of sharp nodules in addition to 2 or 3 rows of smaller, blunt 
nodules. Columella not shelved. Color grayish brown. Operculum multi- 
spiral. Lives well above high-tide mark on rocky shores. Be sure not to 
confuse with Nodilittorina tuberciilata whose beads are lined up axially one 
under the other. 

Superfamily RISSOACEA 


Genus Cingula Fleming 1828 

Extremely small shells, conic-ovate; aperture round, peristome complete; 
whorls moderately rounded. Nuclear whorls smooth. Umbilicus slit-like. 
There are about 1 5 confusing species on the west coast of America, most of 
which are found in Alaskan waters. 

Cingula montereyensis Bartsch Monterey Cingula 

Moss Beach to Monterey, CaHfornia. 

4 mm. in length, light-brown, smooth. Suture slightly indented. Un- 
common from shore to 15 fathoms. 

Subgenus Nodulus Monterosato 1878 
Cingula kelseyi Bartsch Kelsey's Cingula 

San Diego to Lower California. 

2 mm. in length, translucent-white, with microscopic spiral striations and 
fine lines of growth. There are 4 other species in this subgenus which are 
found in Alaska (C. asser Bartsch, C. kyskensis Bartsch, C. palmeri Dall and 
C. cerinella Dall). 

136 American Seashells 

Subgenus Onoba H. and A. Adams 1854 
Cingula aculeus Gould Pointed Cingula 

Nova Scotia to Maryland. 

Extremely small, 2.5 mm. in length, elongate, about 5 whorls, no um- 
bilicus. Whorls rounded. Suture well-impressed. Aperture ovate wdth a 
slightly flaring hp. Color light- to rusty-brown. Spiral sculpture of numer- 
ous, microscopic incised Hnes. Below the suture there are numerous, short, 
axial riblets. Common in shallow water. 

Genus Amphithalamus Carpenter 1865 

Extremely small shells, less than 2 mm. in length, smooth, except for a 
faint cord or spiral thread on the periphery. Nucleus large, of i % whorls 
which are finely pitted like a thimble. The most striking character is a thin 
bridge separating the inner lip from the open umbilicus. There are 3 species 
in southern California: 

Periphery without spiral line 

/^^WTZ^^wi- Carpenter (San Pedro south). 

Periphery with thread or cord: 

Periphery angulate w^/z/n/^ Carpenter (San Pedro south). 

Periphery rounded 

tenuis ^2.nsc\\ (Monterey south). 

Genus Rissoina Orbigny 1840 

Shells small, usually less than % inch in length, generally white in color, 
with strong or weak axial ribs, occasionally with fine spiral, incised lines. 
Aperture semilunar and somewhat flaring. Operculum corneous, thick, pauci- 
spiral, with a claviform process on the inner surface. We have presented 
nearly all of the species known to both sides of the United States in the form 
of a key (see pi. 22u). 

Key to the Pacific Coast Rissoina 

A. Color pure-wliite or bluish white B 

Color yellow to light-red; 6 mm., Redondo Beach south 

kelseyi Dall and Bartsch 

B. Axial ribs strong, less than 20 on the last wliorl C 

Axial ribs weak, numerous D 


C. Interspaces with silky, wavy crinkles; 3 mm.; Coronado Islands 

cleo Bartsch 

Interspaces smooth, 3 mm.; CataHna Islands, south calif ornica Bartsch 

D. Whorls decidedly inflated; 3 mm.; Monterey south bakeri Bartsch 
Whorls not inflated E 

E. W^ith very fine, numerous axial threads (48 to ^^ on last whorl) . F 
With coarse riblets (36 on last whorl; 14 on next to last); 3 mm. Alaska 

to Monterey neivcovtbei Dall 

F. Shell slender; 2 mm.; San Pedro south dalli Bartsch 

Shell not as slender; 3.5 mm.; Redondo Beach south 

coronadoensis Bartsch 

Key to the Atlantic Coast Rissoina 

A. Shell sculptured with riblets or spiral lines B 

Shell smooth, glossy-white; 4 mm.; Carolinas, Florida, and West Indies; 

syn.: laevigata C. B. Ads. brouoniana Orbigny 

B. With axial ribs more prominent than spiral threads C 

With axial ribs not more prominent than spiral threads . . . . F 

C. Axial ribs only D 

Axial ribs and spiral threads both present E 

D. 4.5 to 6.0 mm.; white or stained yellow; 16 to 22 ribs; South Florida and 

the Wgsi Indies bryerea Montagu 

3.0 to 5.0 mm.; white; 1 1 to 14 ribs; suture sometimes deep; North Caro- 
lina to Florida and the West Indies chesneli Michaud (PI. 2 2u) 

E. 4 to 5 mm.; ribs strong but disappearing on base; spiral threads strongest 

on base; white to rusty; southeast Florida and the \\ est Indies 

vndticostata C. B. Adams 
6 to 7 mm.; 25 to 28 low, weak ribs, spirally striated or pitted between; 
glossy; white to yellowish; North Carolina to the West Indies 
deciissata Montagu 

F. Sculpture strongly cancellate G 

Not strongly cancellate; low, spiral threads dominant; axial ribs faint; 

weakly cancellate; 5 to 10 mm.; southeast Florida and the West 
Indies striosa C. B. Adams 

G, 5 to 7 mm.; white; strongly cancellate; depressed interspaces large and 
square; southeast Florida and the West Indies cancellata Philippi 

138 AjT/erican Seas he Us 

4 to 4.5 mm.; glassy-white; depressed interspaces small, rounded; Texas 
to the West Indies and Bermuda . sagraiana Orbigny 

Genus Vitrinella C. B. Adams 1850 

Shell minute, thin, depressed, umbihcate, and with 3 to 4 subtubular 
whorls. The umbilicus has rather flattened walls and is usually bounded by a 
spiral cord. The rounded aperture is oblique, with a thin lip, its upper margin 
arching forward. Columella only moderately thickened. Operculum corne- 
ous, thin, multispiral. There are many species in American waters with 
quite a number of genera and subgenera. The family is undergoing consid- 
erable change under the current research by H. A. Pilsbry. We are includ- 
ing only three examples of this interesting group. Consult recent numbers 
of The Nautilus. 

Subgenus Vitrinella s. str. 
Vitrinella helicoidea C. B. Adams Helix Vitrinella 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

2 mm. in diameter, planorboid, 4 whorls, spire moderately raised. Trans- 
lucent-white, glossy, smooth. Umbilicus round, very deep, moderately wide, 
bounded by a small, spiral, smoothish thread. Wall of umbiHcus flattish. 
Columella strong, braced on the whorl above by a small, spreading callus. 
Outer lip thin, sharp. Not uncommon in shallow water. This is the type of 
the genus. 

Subgenus Circulus Jeffreys 1865 
Vitrinella multistriata Verrill Threaded Vitrinella 

Plate 17V 

North Carolina to Florida. 

5 mm. in diameter, planorboid, well-compressed, 4 whorls, opaque-white, 
with a glossy sheen. Outer surface covered with numerous, crowded, spiral, 
incised lines. Umbilicus with rounded sides, deep, rather narrow. 50 to 100 
fathoms. Locally common. 

Subgenus Solariorbis Conrad 1865 
Vitrinella beaui Fischer Beau's Vitrinella 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 


Vs inch in diameter, strong, opaque-white, depressed, 4 whorls. Top of 
whorls rounded, slightly concave just below the fine suture; bearing 5 or 6 
major, smooth, spiral threads on top with numerous, much finer threads be- 
tween. Periphery bordered above and below by a major cord. Umbilicus 
widely funnel-shaped, deep. Outer lip crenulate above. Not uncommon in 
shallow water. One of our largest American Vitrinellid species. Provisionally 
placed in this subgenus. 

Genus Pseudomalaxts P. Fischer 1885 
Fseudomalaxis nobilis \^errill Noble False Dial 

Virginia to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in diameter, dull-white, planorboid, with a very flat spire and a 
wide concave, non-umbilicate base. Periphery of shell flat, bordered above 
and below by one or two spiral cords of small beads. Aperture squarish. 
Operculum round, multispiral with a chitinous pimple on the inside. A rare 
and choice collector's item. Deep water. 70 fathoms. 

Fseudomalaxis balesi Pilsbry and McGinty Bales' False Dial 

Palm Beach and along the Lower Keys, Florida. 

1.8 mm. in diameter, 3 to 4 whorls, semitranslucent-white to burnt 
sienna. Sculpture of fine, spiral striae and strong, widely spaced, radial ribs. 
Peripheral zone flattened or concave between 2 projecting nodulose keels. 
Under rocks. Moderately common to rare. This genus was formerly placed 
in the family Architectonicidae. 

Genus Teinostoma H. and A. Adams 1854 

Shells usually about 2 to 3 mm. in diameter, depressed, glossy, white, 
usually smooth, and with an umbilical callus. They are very distinctive little 
shells, but require a high-powered lens for their inspection. We have figured 
only one species, but have included a key from the work of Pilsbry and 
McGinty (1945) (see pi. lyy). 

Key to the Florida Teinostoma 

1. Umbilical callus encircled by a keel. 1.7 mm.; Palm Beach to Cape Florida. 

1 2 to 50 faths. T. (Ajinulicalhis) lituspalmarum Pils. and McG. 

2. Umbilical callus and columellar lobe not closing the umbilicus completely; 

3 mm.; southeast Forida. 80 fms 

T. (Ellipetyhts) cocolitoris Vi\s. ^nd McG. 

140 Ainencan Seashells 

3. Umbilicus closed by the callus, which passes smoothly into the base. . 

(subgenus Idioraphe) 

A. Periphery strongly carinate; 2 mm.; Destin, Florida. 20 fms. 

gonio gyrus Pils. and McG. 

AA. Periphery rounded or indistinctly rounded. 

B. Surface spirally striate: 

C. Umbilical callus extremely convex and thick; 2 mm. Palm 
Beach to Cape Florida pilsbryi McGinty 

CC. Umbilical callus strong, slightly convex: 

D. Strongly spirally striate throughout; 2.3 mm.; Key 

Largo clavium Pils. and McG. 

DD. Weakly striate above only; 1.5 mm.; southeast Florida 

nesaemn Pils. and McG. 

BB. No Spiral striations. 

C. Diameter 1.8 to 2.2 mm.: 

D. Rather globose, h/d ratio 75; shore to 50 fms.; south- 
east Florida parvicallum Pils. and McG. 
DD. Depressed, h/d ratio about 50: 

E. Callus large. Lake Worth 

obtectum Pils. and McG. 

EE. Callus small. Biscayne Bay, shore 

biscaynejise Pils. and McG. 

CC. Diameter 0.7 to i.o mm.; callus thick; Lower Keys, shore 
lereiJiujn Pils. and McG. 

Superfa??iily CERITHIACEA 


Genus Tachyrhynchiis Morch 1868 

Tachyrbynchiis erosinn Couthouy Eroded Turret-shell 

Plate 21I 

Nova Scotia to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Alaska to British Columbia. 

% to I inch in length, elongate, M as wide; 8 to 10 rounded whorls. No 
umbilicus. Aperture round; columella smooth, slightly arched. Whorls with 
5 to 6 smooth, flat-topped, spiral cords between sutures. Color cream to 
chalky-white, with a thin, polished, gray-brown periostracum. Operculum 
round, multispiral, chitinous, dark-brown. Common from 10 to 75 fathoms. 

T. reticulatum Mighels (Arctic Ocean to Maine; and Alaska) is similar. 


but usually has spiral cords only on the base and one just above the suture, 
and has about i8 to lo axial, rounded ribs per whorl. Some specimens show 
fine, spiral, incised lines. Common from 1 6 to 60 fathoms. 

Tachyrhynchiis lacteolum Carpenter Milky Turret-shell 

Alaska to Lower California. 

% inch in length, similar to erosinn, but % as wide as long, and the cords 
between sutures are finely beaded. The beads are arranged more or less in 
axial rows. The last third of the body whorl bears weak, non-beaded spiral 
cords. This species differs from reticulatum in its smaller size, less slender 
shape, less convex whorls, and much finer sculpturing. 

Genus Turritella Lamarck 1799 
Turritella acropora Dall Boring Turret-shell 

Plate 21] 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

1 inch in length, resembling exoleta, but with convex whorls, and with 
numerous, fine, spiral threads a few of which, at the periphery, are slightly 
larger than the others. There is a very weak series of riblets just below the 
suture. Color yellowish to brownish orange. Common just offshore. 

T. variegata Linne, the Variegated Turret-shell (pi. 2ii) (West Indies), 
is similar, but up to 4 inches in length, with flat-sided whorls, and is mottled 
with mauve, white and dark-brown. Common. 

Turritella exoleta Linne Eastern Turret-shell 

Plate 2ih 
South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

2 inches in length, long, slender and with a sharp apex. Each whorl with 
a large, coarse cord above and below, with the part between the cords con- 
cave and occasionally crossed by microscopic, arched, brown, scale-like 
lamellae. Base of shell concave. Color glossy-white to cream with sparse, 
axial flammules of light yellow-brown. Moderately common from i to 100 
fathoms. This species is placed in the subgenus Torcula Gray 1847. 

Turritella cooperi Carpenter Cooper's Turret-shell 

Plate 20g 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

I to 2 inches in length, 17 to 20 slightly convex whorls. Base concave. 
Columella and outer lip fairly fragile. AVhorls with 2 or 3 small, spiral cords 

142 American Se ash ells 

and usually with a number of much smaller, variously sized threads. Color 
orangish to yellowish white with darker, axial flammules. Moderately com- 
mon just offshore. 

Turritella mariana Dall Maria's Turret-shell 

Plate 2 oh 

Catalina Island to Panama Bay, Panama. 

1/4 to 1V2 inches in length, similar to cooperi, but with the whorls 
slightly concave due to the more prominent, irregularly beaded spiral cords. 
The aperture is not circular as in cooperi. Its color is usually much lighter. 
Uncommon 20 to 40 fathoms. 

Genus T ovinia Gray 1842 

Torinia bisulcata Orbigny Orbigny's Sun-dial 

Plate 2 IX 
North Carolina to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

^ to % inch in diameter, spire flattened, each whorl with 5 crowded 
rows of neat, tiny, squarish beads. Periphery with a major, and below it a 
minor, beaded cord. Base rounded and with about 7 wide cords bearing beads. 
Umbilicus quite wide and very deep. Nuclear whorl glassy-white. Color of 
shell dull gray to dull cream. Operculum solid-conic, chitinous. Uncommon 
from 15 to 200 fathoms on mud bottom. 

Torinia cylindrica Gmelin Cylinder Sun-dial 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, equally wide; spire high; umbilicus narrow, round, 
very deep, bordered inside with 3 spiral, beaded cords. Columella with 4 
small, depressed, spiral lines. Top of whorls with 4 spiral cords of closely 
packed, small beads. Color dark-gray to reddish brown with a cream base 
and with white spots on the periphery. Uncommon at low tide. 

Genus Architectonica Roding 1798 
Architectonica nobilis Roding Common Sun-dial 

Plate 4m 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in diameter, heavy, cream with reddish brown spots which 
are especially prominent just below the suture. Sculpture of 4 or 5 spiral 
cords which are usually beaded. Umbilicus round, deep and bordered by a 


heavily beaded, spiral cord. Operculum, corneous, thin, paucispiral, brown 
and with lamellate growth lines. Moderately common in sand below low- 
water line. Known for years as A. granulata Lamarck which, however, is a 
later name. 

Architectonic a krebsi Morch Krebs' Sun-dial 

Plates 4-0; 2iy 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in diameter, similar to A. nobilis, but glossy-smooth on top 
except for two microscopic spiral threads above the suture, with a smooth 
rounded base and with its deep umbilicus bordered by 2 beaded spiral rows, 
the innermost having about 30 bar-like beads (in contrast to 12 in nobilis). 
Operculum chitinous, brown and multispiral. Uncommon from 16 to 63 
fathoms. Provisionally placed in this genus. 

Architectonica peracuta Dall Keeled Sun-dial 

Plate 4n; figure 2 2g 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in diameter, similar to nobilis^ but smaller, with the spire much 
flatter, whorls almost smooth, periphery very sharp, and without color spots. 
Rare in 45 to 73 fathoms. 

Genus Petaloconchus H. C. Lea 1843 

Petaloconchus nigricaits Dall Black Worm-shell 

Plate 2ie 

West Coast of Florida. 

Lives in closely packed colonies of long, worm-like shells about 2 to 4 
inches in length; each tube is about % inch in diameter. Shells rarely coiled, 
except at the beginning. Moderately fragile, gray to rusty-brown in color, 
and weakly sculptured spirally and longitudinally. Colonies of this species 
frequently form large reefs or banks. 

Petaloconchus irregularis Orbigny Irregular Worm-shell 

Plate 2 id 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

Similar to nigricans, but greatly coiled, and with heavier, larger shells 
which are strongly rugose. Occurs in compact masses attached to rocks and 
other shells. Color dark brownish. P. erectus Dall is smoother, pure white 
in color, and with the last part of the tube sticking straight up from the 

144 American Seashells 

coiled mass (Erect Worm-shell); the latter occurs in deep water off south- 
east Florida. 

Genus Aletes Carpenter 1857 
Aletes squamigerus Carpenter < Scaled Worm-shell 

Plate 2oe 

Forrester Island, Alaska, to Peru. 

Grows in large, twisted masses. The shelly tubes are circular, K to % 
inch in diameter. Sculpture of numerous, minutely scaled or rough, longi- 
tudinal cords. Color gray to pinkish gray. The last part of the shell which 
usually stands erect for % inch is smoothish. A very common, colonial spe- 
cies found in masses on wharf pilings or attached to rocks below the low- 
water line. 

Genus Spiroglyphus Daudin 1800 
Spiroglyphus Htuellus Morch Flat Worm-shell 

Plate 2od 

Forrester Island, Alaska, to San Diego, California. 

A small worm-tube mollusk found adhering to rocks and the shells of 
abalones in a tightly wound, flat spiral. The last whorl may grow up on top 
of the previous whorls and be erect for ^ of an inch. Aperture circular, 
about Vs inch in diameter. Shell solid, with 2 large, scaled cords which give 
a somewhat squarish cross-section to the whole shell. Hollow scales and 
fimbriations present elsewhere. Color cream to purplish gray. Operculum 
horny, multispiral and brown. Moderately common. 

There is a very similar species reported from the West Indies (5. annu- 
latus Daudin). 

Genus Vermicularia Lamarck 1799 

Vermicularia spirata Philippi West Indian Worm-shell 

Plate 21c; figure 22i 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Evenly and closely spiraled for about ^ inch, then becoming random 
and drawn out in its worm-like coiling. Shell rather thin, colored a trans- 
lucent to opaque amber, orange-brown or yellowish. Early whorls dark, 
smooth, except for i (rarely 2) smooth, spiral cord on the middle of the 
whorl. Subsequent whorls with 2 major cords which soon lose their promi- 
nence. Smaller threads present, especially on the base of the shell. This is 


not the common West Florida species usually called ^^spirata'" in other books. 
See knorri and also fargoi. 

For anatomy and relationships in the worm-shells, see the excellent works 
by J. E, Morton (1951) in the Transactions of the Royal Society of New 

Vermicularia knorri Deshayes Florida Worm-shell 

Plate 2ia 
North Carolina to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Differing from spirata in having the early, evenly coiled part pure white 
in color. The later whorls are very similar to spirata. Common in sponge 
masses, and frequently washed ashore. 

Vermicularia fargoi Olsson Fargo 's Worm-shell 

Plate 2 lb 

West Coast of Florida to Texas. 

Similar to spirata and knorri, but the "turritella" or wound stage is % 
CO I inch in length; the shell is thicker and sturdy, its color a drab grayish to 
yellowish brown. Early whorls tan to brown, with 2 (sometimes 3) spiral 
cords. Subsequent whorls with 3 major, brown-spotted, thick cords. Aper- 
ture with a squarish columella corner. Minute minor threads are between 
the main cords. Commonly found crawling on mud flats. A race occurs in 
Texas in which the "turritella" stage is much more slender. 

Genus Tenagodus Guettard 1770 
(Siliquaria Bruguiere 1789) 

Tenagodus squainatus Blainville Slit Worm-shell 

Plate 2ig 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

A small worm-like shell with detached whorls throughout. Character- 
ized by the long row of small holes or elongate slits on the middle of the 
whorl. Early whorls smooth, white; later whorls becoming very spinose and 
stained with brown. The coiling is very irregular and loose. Grows to about 
5 or 6 inches in length. T. modestus Dall may be the young of this species. 


These tiny, cucumber-shaped mollusks are occasionally found by screen- 
ing the beach sand in warm water areas or by shaking out dead sponges. The 
Caecums begin life in a normal snail-like manner with a tiny, spiral shell, but 
within a few weeks they grow only in one direction to form a simple, slightly 
curved tube. The spiral apex is usually knocked off and the hole plugged 


American Seashells 

with a septum. As additional growth takes place, the animal retreats grad- 
ually from the apical or rear portion and forms new, internal septa. The 
operculum is thin, circular, homy, and multispiral. 

Figure 37. American Caecums. ATLANTIC: a, Caecum florida?m?n Stimpson; 
b, C. cooperi S. Smith; e, C. carolinianum Dall; d, C. piilchellwn Stimpson; e, 
C. nitidum Stimpson; f, C. nebulosum Rehder (type). PACIFIC: g, C. californicum 
Dall; h, C. dalli Bartsch (type); 1, C. carpenteri Bartsch (type); j, C. occidentale 
Bartsch (type); k, C. heptago?nmi Cpr.; I, C. orciitti Dall (type); m, C. crehricbic- 

tinn Cpr. All Xio. 


Genus Caecum Fleming 18 17 
Subgenus Caecum s. str. 

Caecum floridanum Stimpson 

North Carolina to Southern Florida. 

Florida Caecum 

Figure 37a 


3.0 mm. in length by i.o mm. in diameter, opaque-white, with 20 to 30 
strong, axial rings, the last 3 or 4 being quite large. 

Caecum cayosense Rehder Key Caecum 

Bonefish Key, Lower Florida Keys. 

Shell similar to C. floridanuTn, but with about 14 very large, sharp axial 

Caecum californicum Dall California Caecum 

Figure 37g. 
Monterey to Lower California. 

2.0 to 3.0 mm. in length. With 30 to 40 moderately developed, evenly 
spaced, rounded or squarish axial rings. Lip of aperture slightly thickened. 
Color a glossy, olive-brown. 

Caecum dalli Bartsch Dall's Caecum 

Figure ^jh 

San Diego to Lower California. 

About 3 mm. in length, usually with 18 to 24 moderately developed, 
evenly spaced, rounded or squarish, axial rings. Lip of aperture usually heav- 
ily developed in adults. Color tan. The number of raised rings varies from 
specimen to specimen, often in the same locality, and diligent search will 
usually bring to light any number desired. Extremes have been unwisely 
named (15 rings — C. grippi Bartsch; 17 to 19 rings — C. licalum Bartsch; and 
19 to 22 rings — C. diegense Bartsch). Figure 37h is the holotype. 

Subgenus iMicraneUum Bartsch 1920 

Shells 3 to 7 mm. in length, opaque, with numerous, fine, closely packed, 
axial rings. About 8 Eastern Pacific and perhaps half a dozen Western At- 
lantic species in this subgenus. 

Caecum pulcbelhnn Stimpson Beautiful Little Caecum 

Figure 370! 

Cape Cod south to North Carolina. 

About 2 mm. in length, translucent-tan and glistening when alive; 
chalky-white when dead; with about 25 to 30 fine, closely set axial rings. 
Apex with a dome-shaped plug. 

Caecum crebrictnctum Carpenter Many-named Caecum 

Figure 37m 

Monterey to Lower California. 

148 American Seashells 

6.0 mm, in length. Color pinkish brown to chalky-white with occa- 
sional darker brown mottlings. With about loo fine, squarish, closely set 
axial rings. Plug with a rather long, oblique spur. Spur sometimes eroded 
down to a small sharp pimple (form oregonense Bartsch). Irregularities oc- 
cur in the expansion of the tube; sometimes there is a more rapid expansion 
toward the anterior end (forms named as species: C. pedroeiise Bartsch and 
C. barkleyense Bartsch). C. catalinense Bartsch is probably this species, since 
many of the paratypes do not have the anterior end supposedly "bulbously 
expanded," and many specimens have about loo axial rings, and not 75 as 
claimed. C. rosaniim Bartsch appears to be a very long specimen (7 mm.) 
with sharply defined rings. Common. 

Subgenus Elephantanellwn Bartsch 

3 to 5 mm. in length, white, with axial rings and longitudinal ribs. One 
species in southern California and 3 or 4 in the Western Atlantic. They 
resemble minute scaphopods, but are distinguished from them by the apical 
plug and small size of the shell. 

Caecum cooperi S. Smith Cooper's Atlantic Caecum 

Figure 37b 

South of Cape Cod to northern Florida. 

4 to 5 mm. in length, slender, glossy, opaque-white; with about 15 
strong, longitudinal ribs. Axial, raised rings are prominent near the aperture 
and sometimes give the shell a cancellate appearance at the anterior end. 
Apical plug with a fairly long, pointed prong. Common. 

Caecum carpenteri Bartsch Carpenter's Caecum 

Figure syi 

San Pedro to Lower California. 

3.5 to 4.8 mm. in length. First half to first % of shell smooth, but at 
the apertural end developing about a dozen small, sharply defined axial rings. 
Longitudinal sculpture microscopic or absent. Color translucent-white to 
gray. This species is doubtfully placed in this subgenus. 

Caecum heptagonum Carpenter Heptagonal Caecum 

Figure 37!^ 

West Coast of Central America. 

2.0 to 2.5 mm. in length. Opaque-white. 7-sided in cross-section. The 
7 longitudinal ribs arc strong, raised, and the spaces between them are flat or 
slightly concave. There are about 30 deeply cut circular lines around the 


shell, cutting across the ribs. Lip of aperture with one or two swollen axial 

Subgenus Levia de Folin 1875 

Rather thick, glossy, slightly curved shells; aperture minutely con- 
stricted; sculpture absent except for microscopic growth lines. The shells are 
larger, heavier and not as bulbous as those in the subgenus Fartulum. 

Caecum caroliniammj Dall Carolina Caecum 

Figure 37c 

North Carolina to southern Florida. 

About 4.5 mm. in length, glossy, cream-white. Smooth except for micro- 
scopic growth lines. Apical plug sunk in at the posterior end of the shell and 
with a sharp, horn-like projection. Aperture minutely constricted. 

Subgenus Fartidiini Carpenter 1857 

Shells very small, about 2 mm. in length, fragile, smooth, except for 
microscopic growth lines; not swollen in the middle; and with a noncon- 
stricted aperture facing to one side (oblique). 

Caecum nebulosuin Rehder Mottled Caecum 

Figure 37f 

Missouri Key, Florida Lower Keys. 

1.5 to 2.0 mm. in length, fragile, translucent-tan with opaque-white mot- 
tlings. Not swollen in the center. Aperture oblique. Apex with a lopsided 
plug which has a single, weak spur. Found under flat rocks imbedded in 
tough, sticky marl. 

Caecum orcutti Dall Orcutt's Caecum 

Figure 37I 

San Pedro to Lower California. 

2.0 to 2.5 mm. in length. Smooth, except for fine, circular scratches. 
Shell stubby, slightly compressed laterally; aperture oblique; apical plug 
dome-shaped. Color translucent-tan to yellow-brown. Moderately common. 

Caecum occidentale Bartsch Western Caecum 

Figure 37) 

Alaska to Lower California. 

2.2 to 3.5 mm. in length. Smooth, except for fine, circular scratches. 
Shell elongate, round in cross-section. Aperture moderately oblique; apical 

150 American Seashells 

plug dome-shaped with a tiny pimple on one side. Color translucent-tan to 
light-brown. Old specimens are whitish, often with a purplish stain. The 
shell has a white band behind the aperture. C. hemphilli Bartsch and C. bakeri 
Bartsch are probably diminutive forms of this species. The development of 
the small pimple on top of the dome-shaped plug is variable. 

Subgenus Meioceras Carpenter 1858 

Shells 2 to 4 mm. in length, very bulbous in the middle, smooth, and 
with an oblique, constricted aperture. Resembles a miniature Cadulus 

Caecum nitidwn Stimpson Little Horn Caecum 

Figure 376 

Southern half of Florida and the West Indies, 

2.0 mm. in length, glassy translucent-white with irregular specks or mot- 
tlings of chalk-white; bulbous in the center; apex with a lopsided, rounded 
plug which has a tiny projection on the highest side. 

Caecum lennondi Dall from the west coast of Florida differs in having 
a single, moderately well-raised, circular hump around the middle of the 
shell. Uncommonly dredged just offshore. 

Genus Flanaxis Lamarck 1822 

Planaxis lineatus da Costa Dwarf Atlantic Planaxis 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length, thick and strong; glossy-smooth when the thin, smooth- 
ish, translucent periostracum is worn away. Color whitish cream with neat, 
spiral bands of brown (10 in last whorl, 5 showing in whorls above). Whorls 
in top of spire with 4 or 5 small spiral cords, later becoming obsolete. Aper- 
ture slightly flaring, enamel-white with 10 brown dots on the edge of the 
outer lip. Nuclear whorls very small, glossy, translucent-brown and sharply 

Subgenus Supplanaxis Thiele 1929 
Planaxis nucleus Bruguiere Black Atlantic Planaxis 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

H inch in length, resembling a thick, polished, dark-brown Littormu 
periwinkle. Characterized by 5 strong spiral cords which are developed on 



the outside of the body whorl only in the region behind the slightly flaring 
Hp. 3 other cords are present just below the suture. Columella area dished; 
reinforced by the round, pillar-like columella. A small pimple is present near 
the posterior canal in the aperture. Outer lip with strong crenulations on the 
inside. Periostracum a soft gray-black felt. A common littoral species in 
the West Indies which bears its young in a brood pouch. Rare in Florida. 

Figure 38. Modulus viodiihis Umnt (southeast United States and the West Indies). 
a, side view of living animal; b, ventral view showing foot, head and under edge of 
mantle; c, operculum; d, apertural view of shell. X2. (From Abbott 1944 in 


Genus Modulus Gray 1842 

Modulus modulus Linne 

Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

Atlantic Modulus 

Plate 2 if; figure 38 

About /4 inch in length. Characterized by the small, projecting, tooth- 
like, frequently brownish spine located on the lower end of the columella. 
Base of shell with about 5 strong, spiral cords. Top of whorls with low, 
slanting, axial ribs. Color grayish white with beach-worn specimens often 
exhibiting flecks of purple-brown. Found abundantly among weeds in shal- 
low, warm waters. 

Modulus carchedonius Lamarck, the Angled Modulus (Caribbean area) 
lives in deeper water, and differs in having the periphery of the shell well- 
angulated, the spiral cords smaller and neater, in lacking the strong, axial ribs, 
and in never having the columella tooth colored. Not too common. 



(Horn Shells) 

Genus Cerithidea Swainson 1840 

152 American Seashelh 

The horn shells are intertidal mud-lovers. The shells are elongate and 
with lo to 15 convex whorls. Axial ribs are more prominent on the early 
whorls. Outer lip flares. Operculum horny, thin, paucispiral and with its 
nucleus at the center. 

Subgenus Cerithideopsis Thiele 1929 
Cerithidea costata da Costa Costate Horn Shell 

Plate 19U 

West coast of Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length, translucent, pale yellowish brown. With 9 to 1 2 very 
convex whorls. Axial, curved ribs are round and distinct on the early whorls, 
fading out on the last two whorls. No old varices present. A common 
shallow-water, mud-loving species. 

The subspecies C. costata turrita Stearns, the Turret Horn Shell from 
the Tampa-Sanibel region, has 15 to 20 (instead of 25 to 30) axial ribs on the 
next to the last whorl. 

Cerithidea pliculosa Menke Plicate Horn Shell 

Plate ipt 

Texas, Louisiana and the West Indies. Not Florida. 

I inch in length, brownish black in color. 11 to 13 slightly convex 
whorls. Several yellowish, former varices are present. Numerous spiral 
threads make the axial ribs slightly nodulose. Locally common. It may yet 
turn up in northwest Florida. 

Cerithidea scalari^orvns Say Ladder Horn Shell 

Plate 19X 

South Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I % inches in length. Pale russet-brown to slightly violaceous, usu- 
ally with many conspicuous, dirty-white, spiral bands. 10 to 13 moderately 
convex whorls. Many coarse, axial ribs present which stop abruptly below 
the periphery of the whorl at a sharply marked, rounded spiral ridge. Base 
of shell with 6 to 8 spiral ridges. No former varices. Common on mud flats. 

Cerithidea hegeivischi cali^ornica Haldeman California Horn Shell 

Bolinas Bay, California, to Lower California. 

I to I /4 inches in length, resembling our photo of C. pliculosa from the 
Atlantic (pi. i9t). Whorls 11, spirally and weakly threaded, and axially 
strongly ribbed (12 to 18 ribs per whorl). Dark-brown in color with i or 


2 yellowish white, swollen varices on the spire. A very common species 
found in large colonies on mud flats. 




Figure 39. Last whorl and opercula in the Horn Shells. (From J. Bequaert in 


Genus Batillaria Benson 1842 

Cerithium-like in appearance. Siphonal canal very short and twisted to 
the left. Outer lip smooth inside. Operculum round, multispiral and horny, 
while in Cerithidea and Cerithium it is paucispiral. 

Batillaria mi7iima Gmelin 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

False Cerith 

Plate 19s 

V2 to % inch in length, resembling the Dwarf Cerith, C. variabile (see 
below). Color varies from black, gray to whitish, and often has black or 
white spiral lines. Finely nodulose with coarse axial swellings and uneven 
spiral threads. The siphonal canal is very short and twisted slightly to the 
left. Operculum multispiral. A very common intertidal species. Percy 
Morris (i95i» pl- 31^ %• 15) labels this species as Cerithidea turrita. 

Genus Cerithium Bruguiere 1789 

Thericium Monterosato is this genus. The operculum is horny, thin, 
brown and paucispiral. Most species in the genus are shallow-water dwellers. 

Cerithium floridanum Morch 

North Carolina to the south half of Florida. 

Florida Cerith 

Plate 1911 

I to 1V2 inches in length, elongate. Spire pointed, with 2 or 3 white, 
former varices on each whorl. Siphonal canal well-developed. With several 
spiral rows of 18 to 20 neat beads per whorl between which are fine, granu- 
lated spiral threads. Color whitish with mottlings and specklings of reddish 
brown. Distinguished from C. literatimi by its more elongate shape and 
neater, smaller, more numerous beads. Common in shallow water. 

154 American Seashells 

Cerithium muscarum Say Fly-specked Cerith 

Plate 19m 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I inch in length, moderately elongate. Siphonal canal rather long and 
twisted to the left. 9 to 1 1 nodulated axial ribs on each whorl. Base of shell 
with a very strong spiral cord, often nodulated. Former varices rarely pres- 
ent. Apertural side of body whorl convex. Color slate- to brown-gray, 
usually with brown to reddish specks in spiral rows. Common in shallow, 
warm waters on the west coast of Florida. 

Cerithium literatiim Born Stocky Cerith 

Plate 19I 

Southeast Florida, Bermuda and the West Indies. 

I inch in length, half as wide; siphonal canal short. Aperture side of 
body whorl slightly flattened. Usually i weak, former varix present. With 
numerous coarse spiral threads, and with a spiral row of 9 to 12 sharp, promi- 
nent nodules just below the suture. Sometimes a second, smaller row of 
spines is on the periphery. Color whitish with spiral rows of many black 
or reddish squares. Common in shallow water on the Lower Florida Keys. 

Cerithium ebiirneum Bruguiere Ivory Cerith 

Plate i9q 

Southeast Florida, the Bahamas and Greater Antilles. 

% to I (rarely iK>) inches in length, variable in shape, but usually 
moderately elongate. Each whorl has 4 to 6 spiral rows of from 1 8 to 2 2 small 
rounded beads. The beads are slightly larger in the middle row. There are 
usually a number of fairly large, former varices. Color variable: all white or 
cream, or with reddish brown blotches. Very common in shallow water. 
C. versicolor C. B. Adams is this species. Compare with algicola which may 
ultimately prove to be a genetic form of this species. 

Cerithiwn algicola C. B. Adams Middle-spined Cerith 

Plate I9P 

Southern third of Florida and the West Indies. 

I inch in length, similar to eburneum, but characterized by each whorl 
having the middle spiral row of 9 to 12 beads fairly large and pointed. These 
large beads may be axially drawn out to form low ribs. Former varices are 
not often present. Color as in ehumewn. Common in the West Indies. C. 
liter atum has its strongest row of spine-like beads just below the suture. 

Certthiu7n variabile C. B. Adams Dwarf Cerith 

Plate 19-0 

South half of Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 


% to /4 inch in length, not elongate. Apertural side of body whorl 
sometimes flat, i to 2 former varices on last whorl. 3 or 4 spiral rows of 
even-sized fine beads on the whorls of the spire. Color dark brown-black, 
but sometimes whitish with heavy specklings and mottlings and bands of 
reddish brown. Very common under rocks in warm water. Do not confuse 
with Batillaria ininwia (see above). 

Genus Bittium Gray 1847 

Shell small, very slender, spire high and body whorl small. Whorls 
varicose. Nucleus of about 3 glassy, smooth whorls. Aperture ovate, the 
anterior canal broad and stout. 

Subgenus Bittiwn s. str. 
Bittiu?7i altematiim Say Alternate Bittium 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to Virginia. 

Adults very small, % to /4 inch in length, light- to dark-brown in color, 
sometimes translucent or with specklings. Suture impressed, whorls rounded. 
Sculpture on top whorls either cancellate or with 4 to 5 spiral rows of beads, 
or occasionally with axial, nodulated ribs. Base with small spiral cords. Outer 
lip flaring, thin and sharp. Columella short, twisted at the base and stained 
brown. Very abundant from tidal flats to 20 fathoms. 

B. virginicuffi Henderson and Bartsch from Chincoteague, Virginia, is 
similar, but very elongate, more whorls, with a much more flaring and basally 
projecting lip, and with a large, whitish, former varix on the body whorl. 

Bittium variimt Pfeiffer Variable Bittium 

Plate 191 
Maryland to Florida, Texas and Mexico. 

Adults similar to altematiim, but smaller (% inch), nearly always with 
a former, thickened varix. The aperture is proportionately smaller and the 
base of the apertural lip is squarish instead of rounded. The last third of the 
body whorl is generally destitute of sculpturing. Common in eel-grass just 
below low tide. 

Subgenus Stylidium Dall 1907 
Bittium eschrichti Middendorf Giant Pacific Coast Bittium 

Alaska to Crescent City, California. 

156 American Seashells 

% to % inch in length, dirty whitish gray in color with an undertone 
of reddish brown. About a dozen whorls. With wide, flat-topped, raised 
spiral cords between which are depressed, squarish, spiral furrows half as 
wide as the cords. 4 to 5 cords between sutures. Common below low 
water. The subspecies montereyense Bartsch (Crescent City south to Lower 
California) is glossy, whitish with brown maculations and is proportionately 

Bittium quadrifilatmn Carpenter Four-threaded Bittium 

Monterey, Cahfornia, to Lower California. 

% inch in length, similar to atteniiatum, but earliest whorls with about 
a dozen smooth axial ribs which, however, in subsequent whorls become 
beaded as 4 to 5 small spiral threads cross them. The sculpturing may become 
faint at the very last third of the last whorl. Color reddish brown to gray. 
A very common littoral species. 

Bittium attenuatum Carpenter Slender Bittium 

Forrester Island, Alaska, to Lower California. 

/4 inch in length, slender, yellowish brown to dark-brown. Sculpture 
variable. Nuclear whorls with two smooth spiral cords. Early whorls have 
4 to 5 spiral rows of small beads, sometimes arranged axially. In the last 
whorl, the cords gradually become smooth and flat-topped and resemble those 
of eschrichti. Common just ofl^shore to 35 fathoms. 

Subgenus Lirobitthmi Bartsch 191 1 
Bittium interfossum Carpenter White Cancellate Bittium 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

/4 inch in length, pure-white; whorls in spire with 2 rows of sharp beads 
connected by small axial and spiral threads or small cords. Base of shell with 
3 very strong, rounded, smooth spiral cords. Moderately common under 
rocks at low tide. 

Genus Litiopa Rang 1829 

Litiopa melanostojna Rang Brown Sargassum Snail 

Plate 2ik 

Pelagic in floating sargassum weed. 


%6 to % inch in length, fragile, light-brown; moderately elongate, with 
7 whorls, the last being quite large. Nuclear whorls extremely small. Sur- 
face glossy, smooth, except for numerous, microscopic, incised spiral lines. 
Characterized by the strong ridge just inside the aperture on the columella. 
Often washed ashore with floating sargassum weed, and frequently dredged in 
a dead condition at any depth. This is L. bombix Kiener and L. bomhyx 

Genus Cerithiopsis Forbes and Hanley 1849 

Cerithiopsis greeni C. B. Adams Green's Miniature Cerith 

Plate 1 9V 

Cape Cod to both sides of Florida. 

Ys inch in length, elongate, slightly fusiform in shape, glossy-brown 
in color. 9 whorls, the first 3 embryonic, translucent-brown and smooth, 
the remainder with 2 to 3 spiral rows of large, glassy beads connected by 
weak spiral and axial threads. Columella arched in young specimens, but 
straight and continuous with the short siphonal canal in adults. Lip in adults 
smoothish, slightly flaring. C. virginica Henderson and Bartsch and C. van- 
hyningi Bartsch are possibly variations of this species. Common in shallow 

Subgenus Laskeya Iredale 191 8 
Cerithiopsis subulata Montagu Awl Miniature Cerith 

Plate 19W 

Massachusetts to the West Indies. 

/4 to % inch in length, rather strong, slender and with about 14 whorls. 
Sides of whorls flattish, with 3 rows of distinct, raised, roundish beads (about 
28 per row on the last whorl). There may be faint axial riblets connecting 
the beads. The middle row of beads may be reduced to a mere thread in 
specimens from southern localities. Base concave and with fine axial growth 
lines. Color chocolate-brown, with the beads a lighter shade. Some shells 
become eroded and colored an ash-gray or chalky-brown. C. emersoni 
C. B. Adams is probably a synonym. Common from i to 33 fathoms. 

Cerithiopsis carpenteri Bartsch Carpenter's Miniature Cerith 

Crescent City, California, to Ensenada, Mexico. 

% to /4 inch in length, dark chocolate-brown with whitish beads. 
Whorls in spire with 3 spiral rows of evenly sized, glassy, rounded beads. 

158 American Se ash ells 

Base of shell with 2 large, smoothish, spiral cords. C. grippi Bartsch and 
C. pedroana Bartsch are possibly dwarf forms of this species whose beaded 
sculpture is more variable than is generally suspected. 

Genus Seila A. Adams 1861 

Shell small, very slender, whorls flat-sided, nucleus glassy-smooth and 
of about 3 whorls. Small, short siphonal canal. Sculpture of strong spiral 
cords between which lie microscopic axial threads. 

Seila adamsi H. C. Lea Adams' Miniature Cerith 

Plate 2 2t 

Massachusetts to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

/4 to /4 inch in length, resembling a miniature Terebra, with about 
a dozen whorls. Long, slender, flat-sided, dark-brown to light orange-brown 
in color, and characterized by 3 strong, squarish, spiral cords on each whorl 
(4 on the last whorl). Occasionally with minute axial threads showing be- 
tween the spiral cords. Base of shell smoothish, concave. Outer Hp fragile, 
wavy and sharp. Suture indistinct. This is S. terebralis C. B. Adams. Common 
from shore to 40 fathoms. 

Seila monterey ensis Bartsch Monterey Miniature Cerith 

Monterey, California, to the Gulf of California. 

% to /4 inch in length, yellowish to reddish brown. Whorls and spire 
flat-sided. Whorls in spire with 3 raised, flat-topped, evenly spaced, smooth 
cords between which are numerous, microscopic, axial threads. Last whorl 
with 5 cords. Base smoothish, concave. Common from low tide to 35 fathoms. 

Genus Alabma Dall 1902 

Shell small, slender. Nucleus slender, of 3 to 4 glassy, smooth whorls. 
Aperture subcircular. Lower part of the outer lip extended and flaring. 
Umbilicus very narrow and very small. With obscure, narrow, curved axial 
ribs and prominent spiral threads. This genus is put in the family Diastomidae 
by some workers. 

Alabifia tenuisculpta Carpenter Sculptured Alabine 

San Pedro, California, to Lower California. 

/4 inch in length, slender, 8 to 9 whorls, ashen gray with a light-brown 
undertone. Outer lip thin; umbilicus small. Spiral sculpture of 4 to 6 weak 


cords or threads. Axial sculpture of weak, obsolete or sometimes strong, very 
tiny, rounded riblets. A. t. diegeiisis Bartsch is a strongly sculptured form 
of this species. 

Genus Triphora Blainville 1828 

Shell left-handed (sinistral), very small, and slender. Aperture subcir- 
cular. Siphonal canal short, curved backward, slightly emarginate, upper 
part almost or completely closed. Posterior canal very slightly developed. 
Sculpture of spiral rows of neat beads, often joined by axial threads. 

Triphora nigrocincta C. B. Adams Black-lined Trifora 

Plate i9y 

Massachusetts to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

Vs ^o Vi inch in length, left-handed, with lo to 12 slightly convex 
whorls; dark chestnut-brown with 3 spiral rows of prominent, grayish, glossy 
beads. Darker band of black-brown is just below the suture. Aperture and 
columella brown. A common species found on seaweed at low tide. Some- 
times considered a subspecies of perversa from Europe. 

Triphora decorata C. B. Adams Mottled Trifora 

Plate 19ZZ 

Southeast Florida, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

^ inch in length, left-handed, with about 20 flat-sided whorls which 
bear 3 spiral rows of large beads (28 per row per whorl). Color of shell 
cream to gray with large, irregular maculations of reddish brown. Moderately 
common from i to 40 fathoms. T. ornata Deshayes from the same area is 
very similar, but half as large, the spire slightly concave instead of being flat. 

Triphora pule hell a C. B. Adams Beautiful Trifora 

Plate 19Z 

Southeast Florida and the \\'est Indies. 

%6 inch in length, left-handed, spire slightly convex; 15 whorls slightly 
convex, and with 3 spiral rows of beads which are joined axially and spirally 
by small, low, smooth threads. Suture well-indented. Upper third of whorl, 
including beads, colored light-brown, lower two thirds white. Uncommon 
in shallow water down to 56 fathoms. 

Triphora pedroajja Bartsch San Pedro Trifora 

Redondo Beach, California, to Lower California. 

160 American Se ash ells 

Yi inch or less in length, slightly fusiform with very slightly convex 
sides to the spire. Suture almost impossible to see. Color glossy yellow-brown 
with 2 rows of glassy, whitish, rounded beads. A third much weaker row 
of beads, or an additional spiral thread, may appear in the last 2 or 3 whorls. 
Axial threads connecting the beads are weak and form small pits. Fairly 
common under stones along the low-tide zone. 


Genus Janth'ma Roding 1798 

Subgenus Janthina s. str. 

Janthina janthina Linne Common Purple Sea-snail 

Plate 4) 
Pelagic in warm waters; both coasts of the United States. 

I to 1/4 inches in diameter. Whorls slightly angular. Two-toned, 
with purplish white above and deep purplish violet below. Outer Hp very 
slightly sinuate. Common after certain easterly blows along the south- 
eastern United States, especially from April to May. This is /. fragilis 

Subgenus Violetta Tredale 1929 
Janthina globosa Swainson Globe Purple Sea-snail 

Plate 4k 

Cast ashore along both coasts of the United States. 

/4 to % inch in diameter. Whorls globose, well-rounded. Color violet 
throughout. Outer lip very slightly sinuate. Not very common. 

Subgenus Jodina Morch i860 
Janthina exigua Lamarck Dwarf Purple Sea-snail 

Plate 4I 

Cast ashore in most warm seas. 

% inch in length. Whorls slightly flattened from above. Outer lip with 
a prominent notch. Light-violet, banded at the suture. Fairly common. 
/. bifida Nuttall is probably this species. 



The families Pyrafiiidellidae, Aclididae, Eulimidae, Styliferidae and 
Efitoconchidae, most of which are small parasitic gastropods, have in the 
past been placed here among the prosobranchs, but are now considered to 



be opisthobranchs and related to the bubble shells. Recent work on the 
embryology and anatomy appears to justify this radical change in classifica- 
tion. They are located in this book on page 288. 

Superfa7mly EPITONIACEA 



Genus Sthenorytis Conrad 1862 

Sthenorytis perno bills Fischer and Bernardi Noble Wentletrap 

Figure 40c 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and to Barbados. 

I to 1^2 inches in length, solid, pure-white to grayish; angle of spire 
about 50 degrees. The 10 whorls are globose and each bears about 14 very 
large, thin, blade-like ribs. Apertural rim round, solid. A very choice col- 
lector's item. It is the only member of the genus in Western Atlantic waters, 
S. cubana Bartsch, 5. hendersoni Bartsch and 5. epae Bartsch being minor 
forms of this rare species. 


Figure 40. Atlantic Wentletraps. a, Cirsotrema dalli Rehder, i^ inches; b, 
A?mea mitchelli Dall, 2 inches (Texas); c, Sthetiorytis pernobilis Fischer and 
Bernardi, i inch; d, Ajmea retifera Dall, i inch; e, Epitonium krebsi Morch, 

% inch. 

Genus Cirsotrema Morch 1852 
Cirsotrema dalli Rehder 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and to Brazil. 

Dall's Wentletrap 

Plate 22c; figure 40a 

162 Avierican Seashells 

I to 1/4 inches in length, rather slender, with a quite deep suture, thus 
giving the whorls a shouldered appearance. No umbilicus. Color a uniform, 
chalky grayish white. Outer lip with a thickened varix. Whorls with numer- 
ous groups of foliated costae. Surface pitted with small holes when the 
costae or ribs are closely crowded. Uncommon from i8 to 75 fathoms. 
C. arcella Rehder is believed to be the young of this species. 

Genus Actrsa Morch 1857 

Acirsa costulata Mighels and Adams Costate Wentletrap 

Arctic Ocean to Massachusetts. 

% to 1% inches in length, rather turreted in shape and fairly thin in 
structure. 8 to 9 moderately convex whorls are devoid of sculpture except 
for weak, incised spiral lines and, in the early whorls, numerous but incon- 
spicuous costae. Color straw to whitish, rarely with brown lines. Uncom- 
mon from low water to 50 fathoms. This is Scalaria borealis Beck. 

Genus Opalia H. and A. Adams 1853 
Subgenus Demise ala de Boury 1886 

Opalia hotessieriana Orbigny Hotessier's Wentletrap 

Plate 2 2g 

Southeast Florida and the Caribbean. 

H to /4 inch in length, moderately slender. Characterized by 10 to 14 
large, square notches along the suture of each whorl. Ribs are rather weak. 
Surface, in fresh specimens, microscopically pitted. Color grayish white. 
Not uncommon from low water to 90 fathoms. O. crenata Linne (same 
range, but also the Eastern Atlantic) is larger, its whorls more strongly 
shouldered, and the notches at the suture are much weaker and more nu- 

Opalia UDrobleiDskii Morch Wroblewski's Wentletrap 

Plate 20) 

Forrester Island, Alaska, to off San Diego. 

I to I M inches in length, slender, heavy; looks beachworn; grayish white 
in color, often stained purple from the animal's dye gland. With 6 to 8 low, 
pronounced, axial, wide ribs. Base of shell bounded by a strong, smooth, 
low, spiral cord. Fairly common. O. chacei (Chace's Wentletrap) is probably 
a southern representative of this species. 

Opalia insculpta Carpenter Scallop-edged Wentletrap 

Southern California to west Mexico. 


Vo X.0 % inch in length, dull whitish, 7 to 8 whorls, moderately slender. 
Characterized by the smoothish sides of the whorls and by the spiral ramp 
below the suture which bears 12 to 14 short, horizontal ribs per whorl. 
Early whorls may have weak axial ribs running from suture to suture. Spinal 
sculpture of microscopic, numerous scratches. O. crenimarginata Dall is this 
species. Very common among rocks at low tide. 

Genus Ainaea H. and A. Adams 1854 
Amaea iititchelU Dall Mitchell's Wentletrap 

Plate 2zi\ figure 4oh 

Texas coast to Yucatan. 

I % to 2% Inches in length, thin but strong; without an umbilicus. With 
about 1 5 rather strongly convex, pale-ivory whorls which have a dark brown- 
ish band at the periphery and a solid brown area below the basal ridge. 
About 22 low, irregular costae per whorl. Numerous spiral threads are fine, 
and produce a weak, reticulated pattern. Not very common, but occasionally 
washed up on Texas beaches. 

Subgenus Scalina Conrad 1865 
{Ferminoscala Dall 1908) 

Amaea retifera Dall Reticulate Wentletrap 

Figure 4od 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida to Barbados. 

I inch in length, elongate, thin but strong; with about 16 whorls which 
are beautifully reticulated by strong, sharp threads. Color straw to pale- 
brown with 2 light and narrow brownish bands, one above and one below 
the periphery. Commonly dredged off Florida from 13 to 120 fathoms. 

Genus Epitonhnn Roding 1798 (Scala) 
Subgenus Epitonium s. str. 

Epitonium krebsi Morch Krebs' Wentletrap 

Figure 406 

South half of Florida to the Lesser Antilles. 

V2 to % inch in length, stout. With umbihcus fairly narrow to wide, and 
very deep. 7 to 8 whorls attached by the costae (10 to 12 per whorl). 
China-white, rarely with a trace of brown to pinkish brown undertones. 
Moderately common from a few feet to 160 fathoms. E. swifti Morch and 
E. contorqiiata Dall are this species. 

Do not confuse with E. occidentale Nyst (Western Atlantic Wentletrap) 
from the same areas. It is not so stout, has 1 2 to 15 costae per whorl, a very 

164 American Seashells 

small umbilicus or none, and the shoulder of the whorls is somewhat flattened. 
It is not common. 

Epitonmm tollini Bartsch Tollin's Wentletrap 

West Coast of Florida. 

Y2 inch in length, slender, no umbilicus. 9 to 10 whorls strongly convex; 
suture deep. Each whorl has from 11 to 16 costae which are not shouldered, 
but are rounded, on top. They often line up one below the other. Outer lip 
thick and reflected. Inner lip much smaller. Color china-white, with the 
first few whorls a very faint amber-brown. Fairly common just off the outer 
beaches. Do not confuse with E. humphrey si whose costae are angular at 
the top, 

Epitonium humphrey si Kiener Humphrey's Wentletrap 

Plate 2 2d 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Florida and to Texas. 

% to % inch in length, fairly slender, thick-shelled, and without an 
umbilicus. Color dull-white. Suture deep. The 9 to 10 convex whorls each 
have about 8 to 9 costae that are somewhat angled at the shoulder. Costae 
usually thick and strong. Outer and lower part of the apertural lip thickened 
and slightly flaring. Common from shore to 52 fathoms. Do not confuse 
with E. angulatum which is not so slender, is glossier, has thinner costae that 
are usually more angular at the shoulders. 

Epitonium ehurneum Potiez and Michaud listed by Percy Morris (1951, 
p. 122) does not occur in American waters. His illustrations are probably 
those of E, commune Linne from Europe. 

Epitonium angulatum Say Angulate Wentletrap 

Plate 22b 
New York to Florida and to Texas. 

% to I inch in length, moderately stout to somewhat slender, strong and 
without an umbilicus. 8 whorls with about 9 to 10 strong but thin costae 
which are very slightly reflected backwards and which are usually angu- 
lated at the shoulder, especially in the early whorls. The costae are usually 
formed in line with those on the whorl above and are fused at their points 
of contact. Outer lip thickened and reflected. Color china-white. One of 
the commonest Atlantic wentletraps found in shallow water to 25 fathoms. 
Do not confuse with E. humphrey si. 

Epitonium foliaceicostwm Orbigny Wrinkled-ribbed Wentletrap 

Southeast Florida to the Lesser Antilles. 


% to % inch in length, moderately stout, without an umbilicus, and 
similar to E. angulatum, except that the 7 to 8 costae per whorl are thinner, 
more highly developed and usually quite angular. Moderately common from 
low water to 120 fathoms. Alias muricata Sby., spina-rosae Morch and pre- 
tiosula Morch. 

Subgenus Gyroscala Boury 1887 
Epitonium lamellosum Lamarck Lamellose Wentletrap 

Plate 2 23 

South half of Florida and the Caribbean. Also Europe. 

% to I % inches in length, without an umbilicus. 1 1 whorls whitish with 
irregular, brownish markings. Costae thin, high, always white. Characterized 
by a fairly strong, raised, spiral thread on the base of the shell. Moderately 
common from low water to 33 fathoms. Ahas E. clathrmn of authors, not 

Epitonium rupicola Kurtz Brown-banded Wentletrap 

Plate 2 2e 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Florida and to Texas. 

/4 to I inch in length, moderately stout to slender, and without an um- 
bilicus. Color whitish or yellowish with 2 brownish, spiral bands on each 
side of the suture. Color often diffused. About 1 1 globose whorls, each of 
which has from 12 to 18 weak or strong costae. Former, thickened varices 
sometimes present. Base of shell with a single, fine, spiral thread. Formerly 
known as lineatum Say and reynoldsi Sby. Common from low water to 
about 20 fathoms. 

Epitonium indianorum Carpenter Money Wentletrap 

Forrester Island, Alaska, to Lower California. 

I inch in length, slender, pure white, of 1 1 whorls, each of which has 
13 to 14 sharp costae which are slightly bent backwards. The tops of the 
costae are slightly pointed. Fairly common offshore. 



Genus Cheilea Modeer 1793 

Cheilea equestris Linne False Cup-and-saucer 

Plate 2ip 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

166 American Seashells 

/4 to I inch in size, cap-shaped, dull-white, and with an internal, delicate, 
deep cup which has its anterior third neatly sliced away. The base of the 
cup is attached near the center of the inside of the shell but slightly off in 
the direction in which the apex of the shell points. Exterior has small, axial 
corrugations or tiny cords, rarely spinose. Nucleus minute, spiral and glassy- 
white. Uncommon except in the West Indies. 

Genus Hipponix Defrance 1819 
Hipponix antiquatus Linne White Hoof-shell 

Plate 2 It 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. Crescent City, California, to 

/4 inch in size, white, heavy for its size, cap-shaped, and usually with a 
poorly developed spire which may be located either at one end of the shell 
or near the center. The nuclear whorls are spiral and glassy-white. There 
is a horseshoe-shaped muscle scar inside the shell. Axial sculpture of promi- 
nent, rugose ribs which are crossed by microscopic, incised lines. Periostracum 
absent or very thin and light-yellowish. Moderately common. Found cling- 
ing to rocks and other shells. 

Some Pacific northwest specimens are limpet-like in shape, flattish, cir- 
cular, gray-white, with the apex near the center of the shell, and with smooth- 
ish, strong, circular cords (form cranoides Carpenter). Another form bears 
foliaceous concentric lamellae which are finely striate axially {serratus Car- 
penter from Monterey to Panama). 

Hipponix subrufus subrufus Lamarck Orange Hoof-shell 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

V2 inch in size, similar to antiquatus, but usually stained with light orange- 
brown, and with numerous, small spiral cords crossing concentric ridges of 
about the same size. This frequently gives a beaded surface. Periostracum 
fairly heavy, tufted and light brown. Moderately common. 

Hipponix benthopbilns Dall (Dall's Deepsea Hoof-shell) is well-spired 
in one plane and is entirely smooth. It is rare and comes from deep water 
off" Florida and throughout the West Indies. 

Hipponix szibruftis tiimens Carpenter Pacific Orange Hoof-shell 

Crescent City, California, to Lower California. 

Very close in characters to the Atlantic subrufus subrufus, but the shell 


is white in color (although the periostracum is yellow-brown), with more 
prominent spiral threads, and with coarser spiral threads in the young. Found 

Hipponix barbatus Sowerby (Bearded Hoof-shell) from the same region 
is limpet-shaped, with coarse, nodulated ribs which are largest on the anterior 
slope of the shell. The edge of the shell is strongly serrated with cut lines. 
The periostracum is very shaggy especially on the middle of the anterior slope. 

Genus Vanikoro Quoy and Gaimard 1832 

Vanikoro oxychone Morch West Indian Vanikoro 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Vz inch in length, solid, strong and pure white. With 3 whorls. Charac- 
terized by its large aperture, by its deep, narrow, arched umbilicus and 
straight, rounded, pillar-like columella and by the 10 or 12 beaded, spiral 
cords on the last whorl. Small axial threads tend to give a slightly cancellate 
sculpture. Apex glassy and smooth. Suture well-indented. Uncommon in 
shallow water. 



Genus Trichotropis Broderip and Sby. 1829 

Trichotropis borcalis Broderip and Sowerby Boreal Hairy-shell 

Plate 24d 

Arctic Seas to Maine. Arctic Seas to British Columbia. 

V2 to % inch in length, with 4 to 5 carinate whorls. Shell not very 
strong, chalky-white and covered with a thick, brownish periostracum which 
has hairy spicules on the region of the shell's 3 major spiral cords. UmbiHcus 
chink-like, bordered by a large, spiral cord. Spire usually eroded badly. 
Numerous, crowded axial threads present. A common cold-water species 
found from below low water to 90 fathoms. 

Trichotropis cancellata Hinds Cancellate Hairy-shell 

Plate 24b 
Bering Sea to Oregon. 

% to I inch in length, 5 to 6 rounded whorls bearing between sutures 
4 to 5 strong spiral cords, between which there may be small axial ribs which 
produce a cancellate sculpturing. Spire high, rather pointed. Aperture a little 

168 American Seashells 

more than H the length of the shell. Periostracum thick, brown and with 
long spicules over the region of the cords. Commonly dredged in cold, 
shallow water. 

Trichotropis bicarinata Sowerby Two-keeled Hairy-shell 

Plate 24a 

Arctic Ocean to Alaska. Arctic Ocean to Newfoundland. 

I % inches in length, equally wide, with about 4 whorls. Characterized 
by 2 strong, spiral carinae at the periphery, by the wide, flattened columella 
and by the flaky, brown periostracum which is grossly spinose on the carinae. 
Uncommon just ofl^shore in cold water. 

Trichotropis insignis Middendorfl^ Gray Hairy-shell 

Plate 24c 

Alaska to northern Japan. 

I inch in length, similar to T. bicarinata but smaller, with a much heavier 
shell, weakly carinate with other numerous, uneven, spiral threads, and with 
a thin, grayish periostracum. Both this species and bicarinata are easily distin- 
guished from the more common cancellata by their much shorter spires and 
large flaring apertures. Uncommon just offshore. 

Genus Capulus Montfort 18 10 
Subgenus Krebsia Morch 1877 

Capulus incurvatus Gmelin Incurved Cap-shell 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in size, cap-shaped, white to cream, and with a very large, cir- 
cular to slightly oval aperture, i /4 to 2 whorls. Spire small, usually tightly 
coiled, but sometimes partially free. Early whorls usually with small spiral 
cords, but these are frequently worn smooth. Sculpture of small, irregular, 
rounded growth lines which are crossed by numerous spiral cords which 
may be rounded or sharp. Periostracum thick, light-brown, with spirally ar- 
ranged rows of small tufts. Muscle scar within the aperture is horseshoe- 
shaped with the swollen end just inside the columella. Uncommon on rocks 
just below low water. I believe that C intortus Lamarck is merely a variant 
of this species. Compare with Hipponix antiquata which is much heavier, 
lacks the spiral cords and is more coarsely sculptured. 

Capulus calif ornicus Dall Californian Cap-shell 

Redondo Beach to Lower California. 


I % inches in diameter, Vs as high, obhquely ovate, fairly thin, and with 
a small, hooked-over apex. Shell w^hite, covered by a soft, fuzzy, light-brown 
periostracum. Interior glossy-white. A rather rare species found in 20 to 
30 fathoms attached to Pecten diegensis. 

Genus Calyptraea Lamarck 1799 

Calyptraea centralis Conrad Circular Cup-and-saucer 

Plate 21-0 

North Carolina to Texas and the West Indies. 

/4 to % inch in diameter, cap-shaped, with a circular base, and pure 
white in color. Apex central, small, minutely coiled and glossy-white. The 
shelly cup is attached to the inside of the shell and is flattish, arises near the 
center of the shell and flares out to the edge. Its free side is thickened into a 
columella-like, rounded edge. Commonly dredged in shallow water, espe- 
cially off southeast Florida. Formerly known as C. candeana Orbigny. 

Calyptraea fastigiata Gould Pacific Chinese Hat 

Plate 20I 

Alaska to southern California. 

Ys to I inch in diameter, about H to % as high; the outline of the base 
of the shell is perfectly circular, and the apex is at the center of the shell. 
Interior glossy-white with the sinuate edge of the internal cup arising at the 
apex of the shell as a thickened, twisted columella and ending in fragile at- 
tachment near the edge of the shell. Young forms (C. contorta Cpr.) are 
relatively higher-spired. Exterior chalky-white with a thin, brownish perios- 
tracum. Dredged moderately commonly from lo to 75 fathoms. 

Genus Crucibulum Schumacher 18 17 
Crucibulum auricula Gmelin West Indian Cup-and-saucer 

Plate 2 IS 

West Florida to the Lower Keys and West Indies. 

I inch in diameter, similar to C. striatum, but the edges of the inner cup 
are entirely free. The edges of the main shell are crenulated, the external 
ribs are coarser, and the interior is sometimes pinkish. The outer surface may 
show coarse diagonal ribs if the specimen has lived attached to a scallop or 
other ribbed mollusk. Uncommonly dredged in shallow water and occasion- 
ally washed ashore. 

170 American Seashells 

Crucibulum spinosum Sowerby Spiny Cup-and-saucer 

Figure yi 

Southern California to Chili. 

% to I inch in diameter, variable in height ( % to % as high), and usually 
with an almost circular base. Exterior with a smoothish apical area, the re- 
mainder of the shell with radial rows of small prickles or sometimes erect, 
tubular spines. Interior glossy, chestnut-brown, sometimes with light radial 
rays, and with a delicate white cup attached by one side. A very common 
species from low water to 15 fathoms. Albino shells are sometimes found. 

Subgenus Dispotaea Say 1826 
Crucibulum striatum Say Striate Cup-and-saucer 

Plate 2ir 

Nova Scotia to South Carolina (and Florida?). 

I inch in diameter, cap-shaped, base round, edge smoothish and the 
slightly twisted apex near the center of the shell. Interior of shell with a 
small, shelly cup, of which only 73 is free from attachment to the main 
shell. Apex wax color and smooth; remainder of exterior with small, wavy, 
radial cords. Interior glossy, yellow-white or tinted with light orange-brown. 
Commonly dredged in shallow water. 

Genus Crepipatella Lesson 1830 
Crepipatella lingiilata Gould Pacific Half-slipper Shell 

Plate 20k 

Bering Sea to Panama. 

H to % inch in diameter, thin, almost circular, low and with the apex 
near the edge of the shell. Characterized by its tannish to mauve-white, 
glossy interior which has a shallow deck which is attached to the main 
part of the shell only along one side. The middle of the deck often has a 
weakly raised ridge. Exterior wrinkled and brownish. A very common 
species found on rocks and on the shells of living gastropods. 

Genus Crepidula Lamarck 1799 

Crepidula fornicata Linne Common Atlantic Slipper-shell 

Plate 2im 
Canada to Florida and to Texas. 

% to 2 inches in size. Shelly deck extending over the posterior half on 
the inside of the shell. The deck is usually concave and white to buff. Its 
edge is strongly sinuate or waved in two places. Exterior dirty-white to 
tan, sometimes with brownish blotches and rarely with long color lines. 


Variable in shape, rarely quite flat, sometimes high and arched. They may 
be corrugated if the individual has lived attached to a scallop or ribbed 
mussel. A common littoral species. When collecting on the west coast of 
Florida, do not confuse with C. maculosa. C. fornicata has been introduced 
to the West Coast of the United States. 

Crepidula maculosa Conrad Spotted Slipper-shell 

AVest Coast of Florida to Vera Cruz, Mexico. 

Resembling C. fornicata, but often spotted with small, mauve-brown 
blotches and sometimes streaked. The edge of the deck is straight or only 
very slightly convex. There is an oval muscle scar on the inside of the shell 
just below and in front of the right anterior edge of the deck and the main 
shell. The young are very much like southern forms of C. convexa Say. 

Crepidula convexa Say Convex Slipper-shell 

Plate 2 in 

Massachusetts to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

^ to ^ inch in size, usually highly arched and colored a dark reddish to 
purplish brown. Interior, including the deck, chestnut to bluish brown. 
Some specimens may be spotted. The edge of the deck is almost straight. 
There is a small muscle scar inside the main shell on the right side just under 
the outer corner of the deck (see also maculosa). Some specimens are thick 
and heavy, others quite fragile, the latter type found attached to other shells. 
Common just offshore down to 1 16 fathoms. 

The form glauca Say is H inch long, thin-shelled, usually dark-brown 
or translucent-tan, and with a white deck. It is found in over-crowded col- 
onies on eel-grass where specimens become long and narrow. C. acuta Lea 
is this form also. 

Crepidula aculeata Gmelin Spiny Slipper-shell 

Plate 2iq 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

/4 to I inch in size, similar to foniicata, but characterized by its rough, 
spinose exterior, thinner and flatter shell and by its irregular edges. Color 
whitish, although often heavily mottled with reddish brown. The exterior 
is sometimes stained green by algal growths. A common species found at- 
tached to stones, mangroves and other shells. Occasionally dredged. 

Crepidula onyx Sowerby Onyx Slipper-shell 

Plate 2of 

Monterey, California, to Peru. 

172 American Seashells 

I to 2 inches in length, fairly thick-shelled, characterized by its glossy, 
dark-chocolate to whitish brown interior, and by the large, slightly concave, 
pure-white deck inside which has a sinuate free edge. Very common from 
shallow estuaries to 50 fathoms on rocks, on other shells, or stacked up on 
top of each other. 

Crepidula excavata Broderip Excavated Slipper-shell 

Monterey, California, to Peru. 

I inch in size, rather thin; back strongly arched with the apex distinct 
and hooked under itself near the posterior margin of the shell. Characterized 
by its light brownish white color, by the straight or slightly curved edge of 
the interior deck, and by a weak muscle scar on each side just under the deck. 
Found commonly attached to rocks and other shells. 

Subgenus Janacus Morch 1852 
Crepidula plana Say Eastern White Slipper-shell 

Canada to Florida and the Gulf States. Rare in the West Indies. 

34 to I % inches in size, very flat, either convex or concave, and always 
a pure milky white. The apex is very rarely turned to one side. It commonly 
attaches itself to the inside of large, dead shells, and rarely, if ever, "piles up" 
like fornicata. A common shallow-water species. 

Crepidula ninmnaria Gould Western White Slipper-shell 

Alaska to Panama. 

% to I ^ inches in length, characterized by its glossy-white underside, 
flattened shell, large deck which usually has a weak, raised ridge (or some- 
rimes a hint of an indentation) running from the apical end forward to the 
leading edge. Exterior with or without a yellowish periostracum. Found 
in rock crevices and apertures of dead shells. 

Super fajmly STROMBACEA 


Genus Xenophora Fischer von W. 1807 

This group of gastropods is noted for its peculiar habit of cementing 
to its own shell fragments of other shells, stones, bits of coral and coal. The 
animals resemble those of the Strombus conchs, but the operculum is much 
wider and not sickle-shaped. B. R. Bales once humorously observed: 



"It is generally admitted that the camouflage of Xe?iophora is for protection 
rather than ornamentation, for it would be inconceivable that a female 
Xenophora would call over the back fence to her girl friend with, 'Come 
and see the perfect dream of a shell I picked up today and tell me if I have 
it on straight.' " 

There are 3 species in the Atlantic, one a shallow water species, the other two 
(longleyi Bartsch, pi. 23d, and caribaea Petit, pi. 2 3e) deep water inhabit- 

Xenophora conchy liophor a Born Atlantic Carrier-shell 

Plate 5b 

North Carolina to Key West and the West Indies. 

2 inches in diameter, not including foreign attachments. No umbilicus. 
From above, the shell with its attached rubble and shells looks like a small 
heap of marine trash. It will attach any kind of shell to itself, but in some 
areas has access to only one kind, say Chione cancellata. Animal bright-red. 
Seasonally not uncommon. Johnsonia is in error in calling this trochiformis 
Bom 1778 (not 1780), which is the Peruvian shell known formerly as 
Trochita radians Lam. 

Genus Aporrhais da Costa 1778 

Aporrhais Occident alis Beck American Pelican's Foot 

Plate 23c 

Labrador to off North Carolina. 

2 to 2% inches in length, spire high, whorls well-rounded and with 
about 15 to 25 curved axial ribs per whorl. Many minute spiral threads 
present. Outer hp greatly expanded and its edge heavily thickened. Color 
ashen-gray to yellowish white. Operculum small, corneous, brown, claw-like, 
but with smooth edges. Commonly dredged off New England from a few 
to 200 fathoms. 

The form mainensis C. W. Johnson (Nova Scotia to Mt. Desert) differs 
in having 14 axial ribs, instead of about 22 to 25 as in the typical form, 
but specimens intergrade. The form labradorensis C. W. Johnson is smaller, 
more slender, and with up to 29 ribs per whorl. 

Genus Strom bus Linne 1758 

Strombus pugilis Linne West Indian Fighting Conch 

Plate 5g 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

174 A?7ierican Seashells 

3 to 4 inches in length. Always with spines on the last whorl, but those 
on the next to the last whorl are nearly always the largest. Shoulder of 
outer lip nearly always turns slightly upwards. Color a rich cream-orange 
to salmon-pink throughout, except for a cobalt-blue splotch of color on the 
end of the canal. Periostracum very thin and velvety. This is primarily a 
West Indian species, and apparently will not interbreed with the mainland 
species, S. alatus. An aberrant form which has club-like spines was unneces- 
sarily named sloani Leach 1814 and pecidiaris M. Smith 1940. Percy Morris' 
colored figure (1951, pi. 19, fig. 9) is not pugilis, but alatus. 

Strombus alatus Gmelin Florida Fighting Conch 

Plate 5h 
South Carolina to both sides of Florida and to Texas. 

3 to 4 inches in length. With or without short spines on the shoulder 
of the last whorl. Shoulder of outer lip slopes slightly downward. Color 
a dark reddish brown, often mottled with orange-brown or having zigzag 
bars of color on the shiny parietal wall. Periostracum very thin and velvety. 
A very common shallow water species, especially on the west coast of Florida. 
Not found in the West Indies. Do not confuse with 5. pugilis. 

Strombus gigas Linne Queen Conch 

Plate 23a 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. Bermuda. 

6 to 1 2 inches in length. Characterized by its large size, large and flaring 
outer lip, and the rich pinks, yellows and orange shades in the aperture. Peri- 
ostracum fairly thick and horny. It flakes off in dried specimens. A malform 
with flattened spines was named borridus M. Smith. A form with a deep chan- 
nel at the suture occasionally turns up in the Bahamas. It was named canali- 
culatus L. Burry. S. gigas verrilli McGinty is a form of questionable value 
described from Lake Worth, Florida. Very common in the West Indies, 
becoming uncommon in the Florida Keys from over-fishing. Also called the 
Pink Conch. 

Strombus costatus Gmelin Milk Conch 

Plate 23b 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

4 to 7 inches in length. Shell very heavy usually, and with low, blunt 
spines. Parietal wall and thick outer lip highly glazed with cream-white 
enamel. Outer shell a yellowish white. The periostracum in dried specimens 
flakes off. Common in the West Indies. 5. spectabilis A. H. Verrill is this 


Strombus ranimis Gmelin Hawk-wing Conch 

Plate 5c 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 4 inches in length. Shell bluntly spinose with the last two spines 
on the last whorl by far the largest. Outer lip points upward at the top. 
Color of outer shell a brownish gray with chocolate-brown mottlings. Aper- 
ture cream-colored with a salmon-pink interior. Common in the West Indies. 
S. bitiiberculatus Lamarck is the same species. 

Strombus gallus Linne Rooster-tail Conch 

Plate 56 
Southeast Florida (rare) and the West Indies. 

4 to 6 inches in length, characterized by the long extension of the poste- 
rior end of the outer lip and the rather high spire. This species is not at all 
common, although it may be obtained in fair numbers along the north coast of 

Superfmiily CYPRAEACEA 


Genus Lamellaria Montagu 1815 

Lamellaria diegoensis Dall San Diego Lamellaria 

Figure 43d 

Southern California. 

% inch in length, equally wide, quite fragile and transparent-white in 
color. 3 whorls moderately globose, the last large. Aperture very large. 
Columella very thin. Surface smoothish, except for fine, irregular growth 
lines. Periostracum thin, clear and glossy. Uncommon offshore. 

Lamellaria rhombic a Dall (Washington to Lower California) is the same 
size, much flatter and thicker-shelled, and is opaque-white in color. Its colu- 
mella is thicker and ridge-like. This species is more common than the pre- 
ceding and is commonly washed ashore. 

Genus Velutina Fleming 1821 

Velutina laevigata Linne Smooth Velutina 

Plate 2 2n 

Labrador to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Alaska to Monterey, Cahfomia. 

34 to % inch in length, very thin and fragile, translucent amber, and 
covered with a thick, brownish periostracum which is spirally ridged. Colu- 
mella arched and narrow. Common offshore from 3 to 50 fathoms. V. undata 

176 American Seashells 

Brown {zonata Gould is the same) from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Cape 
Cod is similar, but rarely over % inch in length, with a flattened shelf -like 
columella, and often colored with narrow, spiral bands of brown. 

Genus Fossarus Philippi 1841 

Fossarus elegans Verrill and Smith Elegant Fossarus 

Plate 25c 

Massachusetts to North Carolina. 

2 to 3 mm. in length, turbinate in shape, with 4 whorls, chalky-white 
to gray in color and characterized by its delicate sculpturing which consists 
of 2 strong carinae on the periphery and 3 smaller ones below and a large 
one bordering the chink-like umbilicus. Between the cords are numerous, 
distinct, arched riblets. Outer lip thickened by a large varix. 2 or 3 smaller, 
former varices commonly present on the last whorl. The base of the arched 
columella is projecting. Uncommon below 70 fathoms. 


S7ibfa77iily ERATOINAE 

Genus Erato Risso 1826 

Subgenus Hespererato Schilder 1932 

Erato 77iaugeriae Gray Mauger's Erato 

Plate 2 2\v 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

ViQ inch in length, resembling a small Marginella, but the curled-in, 
thickened outer lip has a row of about 1 5 small, even-sized teeth. Upper end 
of the outer lip is well-shouldered. Shell glossy, tan with a pinkish or yellow- 
ish undertone. Apex bulbous. Commonly dredged on either side of Florida 
from 2 to 63 fathoms. 

Erato colim7beUa Menke Columbelle Erato 

Monterey, California, to Panama. 

% inch in length, glossy-smooth, slate-gray in color with a whitish, 
thickened outer lip. Spire elevated, nucleus brown. Outer lip markedly 
shouldered above, and bearing about a dozen extremely small teeth. Siphonal 
canal stained inside with purple-brown. Not uncommon from shore to 50 
fathoms. Occasionally washed ashore with kelp weed. 

Erato vitellina Hinds Apple Seed 

Plate 20-0 

Bodega Bay, California, to Lower California. 


^ inch in length, resembling a "beach-worn Columbella," and glossy- 
smooth. Body whorl with a large purple area bounded by a faint whitish 
line; remainder of shell, including the spire which is often glazed over, is 
dark brownish cream. Columella arched, bearing 5 to 8 small, whitish teeth. 
Lower % of slightly incurled outer lip is with 7 to lo small, whitish teeth. 
Moderately common in fairly shallow water. Occasionally washed ashore 
with kelp weed. 

Subfamily TRIVIINAE 
Genus Trivia Broderip 1837 

Resembling miniature cowries (Cypraea), but characterized by strong 
wrinkles or riblets running around the shell from the slit-like aperture to the 
center of the back of the shell. We have carefully reviewed and included 
all of the Western Atlantic species, but have not followed the Schilderian use 
of numerous genera, such as Piisiila Jousseaume. 

Trivia pediculus Linne Coffee Bean Trivia 

Plate 2ibb 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, characterized by its tan to brownish pink color with 
3 pairs of large, irregular, dark-brown spots on the back, and in having 16 to 
19 (usually 17) ribs crossing the outer lip. The center pair of spots on the 
back are the largest. Some specimens may be quite pink. 

In some areas, a dwarf form of this species occurs (named piillata Sby.) 
which is \i inch in length, with a pink base, 13 to 17 riblets on the outer lip, 
and often with the brown mottlings spread over most of the back. Do not 
confuse this form with the species suffusa which is light-pink, with a white 
(not pink) outer lip crossed by 19 to 24 riblets, and with a pink blotch on 
each side of the anterior canal. 

T. pediculus is a common species found from low water to 25 fathoms. 

Trivia suffusa Gray Suffuse Trivia 

Plate 2iaa 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

^ to ^ inch in length, elongate-globular, bright-pink with suffused 
brownish splotches and fine specklings. Anterior canal with a weak pinkish 
blotch on each side. Riblets on back somewhat beaded. Dorsal groove fairly 
well-impressed. Outer lip white and crossed by 18 to 23 (usually 20) riblets. 
Quite common in the Bahamas and Lesser Antilles. T. armandina Kiener is 
the same. 

178 Afjierican Seashells 

Trivia maltbiana Schwengel and McGinty Maltbie's Trivia 

Plate 2IZ 

North Carolina to Florida and the Caribbean. 

/4 to /4 inch in length, globose, slightly flattened above, and character- 
ized by its pale tannish pink, translucent color, by its fine riblets, and by 
having 24 to 28 ribs crossing the outer lip. Areas between the ribs are micro- 
scopically granular. Nuclear whorls visible through the last whorl. The dor- 
sal groove is slight and the riblets nearly cross it. Moderately common just 
offshore to 50 fathoms. 

Trivia quadripiinctata Gray Four-spotted Trivia 

Southeast Florida, Yucatan and the West Indies. 

% to Yk inch in length, very similar to siiffiisa, but smaller, brighter pink, 
and with 2 to 4 very small, dark red-brown dots on the center line of the 
back. Riblets very fine, 19 to 24 crossing the outer lip. A very common 
species frequently found on beaches with the color dots worn away and the 
pink background rather faded. The riblets on the back are never pustulose 
as they tend to be in suffusa, nor is there any fine color speckling. 

Trivia antillarinn Schilder Antillean Trivia 

Southeast Florida and the Antilles. 

% to /4 inch in length, characterized by its deep reddish or brownish 
purple color. Elongate-globular in shape. Riblets smooth. With or without 
a faint dorsal groove over which the riblets usually cross. Outer lip with 1 8 
to 22 teeth. Dredged from 30 to 100 fathoms and rarely cast upon the beach. 
Formerly T. subrostrata Gray. 

Trivia candidula Gaskoin Little White Trivia 

Plate 2 ICC 

North Carolina to southeast Florida to Barbados. 

Vs, to ^ inch in length, characterized by its fairly globular shape, pure- 
white color, somewhat rostrate ends and by the smooth riblets that pass over 
the back. There is no dorsal furrow. Many specimens have only a few 
rather strong riblets of which 1 7 cross the inside of the outer lip. Another 
common form has more riblets (20 to 24 over the outer lip). It has been 
named leucosphaera Schilder {globosa of authors, not Gray). The forms 
intergrade. Trivia nix is also white, but is larger, more globose and with a 
strong dorsal groove interrupting the ribs. 


Trivia 7tix Schilder White Globe Trivia 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, globular, pure-white in color. Characterized by about 
2 2 to 26 riblets. Back with a strong groove interrupting the riblets. Alias 
T. nivea Gray. This is the largest and most globular of the white species 
found in the Western Atlantic. It is moderately uncommon. 

Trivia ritteri Raymond Ritter's Trivia 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

% inch in length, globular, pure-white in color. Characterized by about 
15 fine riblets that run over the bottom, sides and back of the shell without 
being interrupted by a dorsal groove. Uncommonly dredged on gravel bot- 
tom from 25 to 60 fathoms. 

Trivia califorfiiana Gray Californian Trivia 

Plate 20V 

California to Lower California. 

Vs to just less than K' inch in length, rotund, and characterized by its 
mauve color, white, slightly depressed crease on the midline of the back, and 
by the fairly coarse riblets crossing over the entire shell (outer lip with 
about 15). A common littoral species, often washed ashore with seaweed. 
Also lives as deep as 40 fathoms. Trivia sangninea Sowerby, a more south- 
erly species, is larger, deeper purple, without the prominent white streak on 
the back and with finer, more numerous riblets (outer lip with about 20). 

Trivia soIa?idri Sowerby Solander's Trivia 

Plate 20U 

Catalina Island to Panama. 

% to % inch in length, rotund, and characterized by the strong, raised, 
smooth riblets running over the lip and up onto the back. Dorsal groove 
deep, cream-colored and flanked by 8 to 10 cream nodules on each side. 
Ground color of shell dark purplish brown. Moderately common in the lit- 
toral zone. 

Trivia radiajzs Lamarck (Lower California to Ecuador) is larger, flatter, 
and with a brownish spot on the back which discolors the central groove. It 
is fairly common. 

180 American Seashells 


Genus Cypraea Linne 1758 

Subgenus Trona Jousseaume 1884 

Cypraea zebra Linne Measled Cowrie 

Plate 6d 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3/4 inches in length, oblong, light-faun to light-brown, with large, 
round, white dots over the back. Toward the base of the shell these white 
dots have a brown center. The shell is darker brown, narrower and less 
inflated than cervus. Moderately common in intertidal waters. Formerly 
called C. exanthema Linne. A light orangish form, probably due to being 
buried in sand for some time, was described from Cuba (form vallei Jaume 
and Borro 1946). 

Cypraea cervus Linne Atlantic Deer Cowrie 

Plate 6i 
Southern half of Florida and Cuba. 

3 to 5 inches in length, similar to zebra, but usually with smaller and 
more numerous white spots, with a more inflated and larger shell, and never 
has ocellated spots on the base of the shell. Moderately common from low 
tide to several fathoms. 

Subgenus Liiria Jousseaume 1884 
Cypraea cinerea Gmelin Atlantic Gray Cowrie 

Plate 6c 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I /4 inches in length, rotund, with its back brownish mauve to light 
orange-brown which may be flecked with tiny, black-brown specks. Base 
cream to old ivory with light mauve-brown between some of the teeth, or 
sometimes with tiny flyspecks of brown. A moderately common species 
found under rocks on reefs. 

Subgenus Eros aria Troschel 1863 
Cypraea spurca aciciilaris Gmelin Atlantic Yellow Cowrie 

Plate 6a 

South half of Florida, Yucatan and the West Indies. 

% to 1/4 inches in length; back irregularly flecked and spotted with 
orange-brown and whitish. Base and teeth ivory-white. Lateral extremities 
often with small pie-crust indentations. Distinguished from cinerea in being 
flatter and without color on the base. A moderately common species found 
under rocks at low tide. True spurca L. is from the Mediterranean. 


Cypraea mus Linne (pi. 6e) is often found in American collections al- 
though it is limited to the southern part of the Caribbean. It is 2 inches in 
length, mouse-gray (Mouse Cowrie), and has a pair of irregular black-brown 
stripes on the back. It is frequently deformed with one or two small bumps 
on the back. 

Subgenus Zonaria Jousseaume 1884 
Cypraea spadicea Swainson Chestnut Cowrie 

Plate 6b 

Monterey, California, to Cerros Island, Lower California. 

I to 2 inches in length, half as high, with a hard, glossy enamel finish. 
Base white, with about 20 to 23 teeth on each side of the long, narrow aper- 
ture. Sides bluish to mauve-gray, above which there is dark-chocolate fading 
on top to light chestnut-brown with a bluish undertone. Moderately com- 
mon at certain seasons at low tide among seaweed, and also down to 25 


Genus Frimovula Thiele 1925 

Subgenus Pseiidosbnnia Schilder 1927 

Frimovula carnea Poiret Dwarf Red Ovula 

Plate 2 2q 

Southeast Florida, the West Indies and the Mediterranean. 

% to ^/2 inch in length. This species resembles a miniature cowrie. The 
body whorl is rotund, pink to yellow in color and with numerous, fine spiral, 
incised lines. Aperture narrow, arched, and with a canal at each end. Outer 
lip curled in like that of a cowrie, and with about 20 small, rounded, whitish 
teeth. Upper parietal wall with a large, rounded, short ridge or tooth. Apex 
not showing. Rare from 25 to 100 fathoms. 

Genus Pedicidaria Swainson 1840 
Subgenus Pediculariella Thiele 1925 

Fedicularia decussata Gould Decussate Pedicularia 

Plate yd 

Georgia to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to V2 inch in length, moderately thick-shelled, with a long and flaring 
aperture, and pure-white in color. Sculpture of fine reticulations with the 
spiral threads the strongest. Columella a straight ridge with the parietal wall 
concavely dished. The entire shell has a distorted, "squeezed" appearance. 
Nuclear whorls obese, translucent-brown, reticulated, and with a sinuate lip 

182 American Seashells 

when in its free-swimming, larval stage. An uncommon species found cling- 
ing to coral stems in moderately deep water. This is the only Eastern Ameri- 
can species in this genus. 

Pedicularia californica Newcomb Californian Pedicularia 

Plate 7b, c 

Farallon Islands to San Diego, California. 

% to /4 inch in length, solid, aperture greatly enlarged and flaring. Apex 
hidden by the expanded lip. Early whorls showing minute decussations, the 
rest of the shell with small spiral threads. Interior uneven and glossy. Color 
rose with the outer lip whitish. Uncommon. Found attached to red hydro- 
coraUine, Allopora californica Verrill. We have also illustrated the form 
ovulifor7ms Berry (pi. 7c). 

Genus Neosimnia Fischer 1884 
Neosimnia acicularis Lamarck Common West Indian Simnia 

Plate 7a 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, narrow, glossy, thin-shelled but strong, and with a 
long, toothless aperture. Color deep lavender or yellowish. Columella area 
flattened or sometimes slightly dished and, in adults, always bordered by a 
long, whitish ridge, one inside the aperture, the other on the body whorl. 
Posterior end of columella sometimes slightly swollen. A common species 
which attaches itself and its tiny egg-capsules to purple or yellow seafans. 

Neosivmia iiniplicata Sowerby Single-toothed Simnia 

Plate 76 

Virginia to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

V'2 to % inch in length, similar to acicularis, but with only the innermost, 
longitudinal ridge on the columella, and with a twisted, spiral plication at the 
posterior end of the columella. Moderately common on seafans. 

'Neosimnia piragua Dall Dall's Treasured Simnia 

Plate ^i 
Between Jamaica and Haiti. 

I inch in length, extremely narrow, with the ends greatly produced. 
Columella area bordered by two longitudinal ridges, the inner one tinted with 
rose. Remainder of shell yellowish white. One of the rarest of the Western 
Atlantic mollusks. 23 fathoms. 


Neosimnia avena Sowerby Western Chubby Simnia 

Plate 7g 

Monterey, California, to Panama. 

/4 inch in length, oblong, with short extremities. Lower end of the 
aperture wide, upper end narrow where the columella has a spiral swelling. 
Inner and lower part of the columella with a long, light-colored ridge. Exte- 
rior of whorls with numerous, microscopic, wavy, incised scratches. Color 
mauve to deep-rose with the varix and extremities a lighter pink. Rare in 
California, uncommon southward. 5. smilis Sowerby is probably this species. 

Neosimnia loebbeckeana Weinkauff Loebbeck's Simnia 

Plate yi 

Monterey, California, to the Gulf of California. 

% inch in length, translucent yellowish, rather fragile, and fusiform in 
shape with the extremities narrow and the middle gently swollen. Columella 
rounded, usually smoothish, but sometimes with a hint of flattening and sub- 
sequent thickening of the lower part of the columella. Upper end of the 
columella with a weak, spiral fold. Two subspecies have been described 
{barbarefisis Dall and catalinensis Berry) but their distinctiveness has not 
been clearly demonstrated as yet. Not uncommonly dredged in association 
with seafans from 20 to 50 fathoms. 

NeosiTtmia inflexa Sowerby Inflexed Simnia 

Plate 7h 

Monterey, California, to Panama. 

% inch in length, a very vivid and dark lavender-rose or reddish purple. 
Shell elongate; columella flattened, bordered within and also somewhat on 
the body whorl by a long, axial, lighter-colored ridge. N. variabilis Carpenter 
is this species, and detailed studies of the animals may also show that N. 
aequalis Sowerby is a synonym. 

Genus Cyphoma Roding 1798 
Cyphoma gibbosum Linne Flamingo Tongue 

Plates 8; 4r 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in length, glossy-smooth, chubby, and colored a rich cream- 
orange to apricot-buff except for a small whitish rectangle on the back. 
Callus on sides of shell indistinct and extending high up on the back with 
poorly defined edges. Mantle of animal pale-flesh with numerous squarish, 
black rings. Fairly common on gorgonians below low water. 


Avier'ican Seashells 

Cyphoma mcgintyi Pilsbry McGinty's Cyphoma 

Plates 8; 4s 

Lower Florida Keys and the Bahamas. 

Similar to gibbosa, but more elongate, whitish with tints of lilac or pink 
on the back. The side callus on the right is thick and narrow. Aperture 
cameo-pink. Mantle with numerous solid spots which are roughly round or 
in the shape of short bars. Not uncommon. 

Fingerprint Cyphoma 

Plate 4t 

Cyphovta signatum Pilsbry and McGinty 

Lower Florida Keys. 

Similar to mcgintyi, but with the transverse ridge on the back much 
weaker, and the anterior end of the aperture more dilated than in the two 
preceding species. Color light-buff with a cream-buff tint deep inside the 
aperture. Mantle pale-yellow with numerous, crowded, long, black trans- 
verse lines. The rarest of the Florida Cyphomas. 

Superfamily HETEROPODA 

Genus Atlanta Lesueur 181 7 

Atlanta peroni Lesueur Peron's Atlanta 

Figure 41 

Atlantic and Pacific warm waters; pelagic. 

^ inch in diameter, planorboid, compressed from above, fragile, trans- 
parent and glassy. Later whorls openly coiled but connected by a sharp 
peripheral keel. Outer lip notched in the region of the shell. Often washed 
ashore after storms, and frequently brought up in dredge hauls. Five other 
species have been reported from American waters. 

Figure 41. Shell of the hcteropod, Atlanta peroni Lesueur, y, inch. 
Genus Oxy gyrus Benson 1835 
Oxy gyrus keraudreni Lesueur Keraudren's Atlanta 

Atlantic warm waters; pelagic. 


^ inch in diameter, planorboid, nuclear whorls not visible; narrowly 
umbilicate on both sides. Whorls keeled only near the aperture. Body whorl 
near the aperture and the keel are corneous. No apertural slit. Operculum 
small, trigonal and lamellar. A common pelagic species, and the only one 
reported from our waters. 

Genus Camiaria Lamarck 1801 

Carinaria lamarcki Peron and Lesueur Lamarck's Carinaria 

Figure 42 

Atlantic warm waters; pelagic. 

Body up to 10 inches in length, tissues transparent; proboscis large and 
purple. Shell K the size of the animal, cap-shaped, very thin, fragile and 
transparent. Its apex is hooked. The shell is borne on top of the animal. This 
is a valuable collector's item, and in former years it brought fancy prices. 
Formerly known as C. mediterrafiea Lamarck and erroneously attributed 
under that name to Peron and Lesueur. 

Figure 42. The heteropod, Carinaria lamarcki Peron and Lesueur, lives a pelagic 
life in warm seas. The animal mav reach a length of 10 inches. It lives in an upside 

down position at the surface. 

Super jainily NATICACEA 



Genus Polijiices Montfort 1810 

Polinices lacteiis Guilding Milk Moon-shell 

Plate 111 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to 1^/2 inches in length, glossy, milk-white, umbilicus deep with its 
upper portion covered over by the heavy callus of the parietal wall. Peri- 
ostracum thin, smooth, yellowish. Operculum, corneous, thin, transparent, 
either wine-red or amber. Common in sandy, intertidal areas. P. uberinus 

186 American Seashells 

Orbigny is /4 to /4 inch in length, with its umbilicus not so much covered, 
and it may be only a form of this species. 

Polinices ififmaculatus Totten Immaculate Moon-shell 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to North Carolina. 

% inch in length, subovate, smooth, milk-white and glossy when de- 
prived of its thin greenish-yellow periostracum. The ivory-white, thickened 
callus does not encroach upon the small, round, deep umbilicus. Operculum 
corneous, thin, light-brown. Commonly dredged off New England, and 
often found in fish stomachs. 

Polinices bnmneiis Link Brown Moon-shell 

Plate 5) 

Southeast Florida (rare), West Indies (Texas?). 

I to 2 inches in length, heavy, glossy-smooth, with a deep, white umbili- 
cus and small, low spiral callus. Exterior tan to orange-brown. Operculum 
corneous, thin, amber-brown. 

Polinices uberinus Orbigny Dwarf White Moon-shell 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the Caribbean. 

^ inch in length, very similar to lacteiis, but the umbilical opening is 
larger, the callus is button-shaped and located against the columella near the 
center, and there is a large, rounded ridge running back from the callus into 
the umbilicus. Commonly dredged from 15 to 100 fathoms. Rarely in beach 

Subgenus Neverita Risso 1826 
Polinices duplicatus Say Shark Eye 

Plates 5k; 22h 

Cape Cod to Florida and the Gulf States. 

I to 2>2 inches in length, glossy-smooth; umbilicus deep but almost cov- 
ered over by a large, button-like, brown callus. Color slate-gray to tan; base 
of shell often whitish. Columella white. The shell is generally flattened and 
much wider than high, but some specimens (pi. 2 2h) are as wide as high and 
globose in shape. Operculum corneous, brown, and thin. This is a very com- 
mon sand-lover found along our eastern coasts. Compare young specimens 
with Natica livida. 


Subgenus Glossaulax Pilsbry 1929 
Polinices reclusianus Deshayes Recluz's Moon-shell 

Plate 2oi 

Crescent City, California, to Lower California. 

1V2 to 1V2 inches in length, very heavy for its size. Spire moderately to 
quite vi^ell elevated. Exterior semi-glossy, grayish with rusty-brown or green- 
ish stains. Characterized by a large, tongue-like callus, brownish or white in 
color, which may or may not cover the entire umbilicus. There is a strong 
white, reinforcing callus at the top of the inside of the aperture. Operculum 
translucent, reddish brown. The shape of shell and degree of development of 
the umbilical callus is variable, and has received various names — alms Arnold 
and imperforatus Dall. A common shallow water species also found as deep 
as 25 fathoms. 

Polmices draconis Dall Drake's Moon-shell 

Figure 43a 

Alaska to Lower California. 

2 to 2 % inches in length, very similar to Lunatia leivisi, but with a wider 
more elongate umbilicus, and with a very small, almost obsolete callus above 
the umbilicus. Uncommon in waters from i o to 2 5 fathoms. 

Genus Sigatica Meyer and Aldrich 1886 
Sigatica carolinensis Dall Carolina Moon-shell 

Plate 22I 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

^/4 inch in length, white, glossy, ovate, fairly thin-shelled; umbilicus 
deep, round, without a callus. Characterized by 2 smooth nuclear whorls, 
followed by 3 whorls which are finely grooved by about 20 spiral lines. 
Suture well-channeled. Operculum paucispiral, corneous, its early whorls 
thickened and raised somewhat. S. holograpta McGinty is so similar that it 
may well be this species. Dredged 20 to 95 fathoms; not uncommon. 

5. se?nisulcata Gray from West Florida and the West Indies reaches 34 
inch in size, has 5 to 6 spiral Hnes cut into the top third of the whorl, and a 
few within the umbilicus. Often confused with Polinices lacteus. Rare. 

Genus Amauropsis Morch 1857 
Amaiiropsis islandica Gmelin Iceland Moon-shell 

Plate 2 2r 

Arctic Seas to off Virginia. 

I to 1^/2 inches in length, % as wide, rather thin, but strong. Suture 


Am eric ail Se ash ells 

smooth and narrowly channeled. Shell smooth, yellowish white and covered 
with a thin, yellowish brown periostracum which flakes off when dry. Um- 
bilicus absent or a very slight slit. Operculum paucispiral, horny, translucent- 
brown and with microscopic, spiral lines. A moderately common, cold-water 
species found just offshore down to 70 fathoms. 

Its counterpart, A. purpurea Dall, common in Alaska, is very similar, but 
% inch in length and with a greenish and darker periostracum. 

Oldroyd's Fragile Moon-slieli 

Figure 4^^- 

Genus Eunaticina Fischer 1885 
Eunaticina oldroydi Dall 

Oregon to San Diego, California. 

1/4 to iVi inches in length, resembling Lunatia leivisi, but much lighter 
in weight, with a more pointed spire, without the heavy, brownish callus and 
having, instead, the upper part of the columella expanded into a white, thin 
area which partially obscures the umbilicus. Micro-sculpturing on shell exte- 
rior is prominent. Moderately common; dredged offshore 30 to 70 fathoms. 

Figure 43. a, Polifiices draconis Dall, 2 inches (Pacific Coast); b, Natica clausa 

Bred, and Sby., i inch (Arctic waters); c, Jjiimtia pallida Bred, and Sby., 1^-2 

inches (Arctic waters); d, Lamellaria diegoensis Dall, Y^ irich ( Calif oi-nia); e, 

Eunaticina oldroydi Dall, 2 inches (Pacific Coast). 


Genus Lunatia Gray 1847 
Lunatia beros Say Common Northern Moon-shell 

Figure 22a 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to off North Carolina. 

2 to 4% inches in length, not so wide; globular in shape; umbilicus deep, 
round, not very large, and only slightly covered over by a thickening of the 
columellar wall. Color dirty-white to brownish gray. Aperture glossy, whit- 
ish or with tan or purplish brown stains. Periostracum thin, hght yellow- 
brown. Operculum corneous, light-brown and thin. A very common inter- 
tidal species in the New England area. The t^^ case is a wide, circular ribbon 
of sand, about the thickness of an orange peel and easily bent when damp. 
The tiny eggs are embedded in the ribbon. 

Lunatia triseriata Say Spotted Northern Moon-shell 

Plate 22m 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to North Carolina. 

^ inch in length, similar to young heros but the last whorl usually has 
three spiral rows of 12 to 14 bluish or reddish brown, squarish spots. The 
borders of the egg case are crenulated in contrast to the smooth borders of 
that in heros. This is a moderately deep-water species. Not uncommon from 
I to 63 fathoms. 

Lunatia groenlandica Moller Greenland Moon-shell 

Plate 22k 

Arctic Seas to off New Jersey. 

% to I inch in length, 4 to 5 well-rounded whorls. Spire about ^ the 
total length of the shell. Umbilicus very small, mostly covered over by the 
callus-like swelling of the top of the columella. Suture fine, deeply indented, 
bordered below by a weakly raised spiral swelling. Shell white, covered by 
a thin, smooth, greenish-yellow periostracum. Operculum chitinous, trans- 
lucent, light-tan, paucispiral. Moderately common offshore. 

Lunatia leivisi Gould Lewis' Moon-shell 

Plate 2411 

British Columbia to Lower California. 

3 to 5 inches in length, moderately heavy. Whorls globose, slightly 
shouldered a little distance below the suture. Umbilicus deep, round and 
narrow. Characterized by the brown-stained, rather small, button-like callus 
partially obscuring the top edge of the umbilicus. A very common species 
found in shallow water to 25 fathoms. They are more commonly found in 
the summer months. Do not confuse with P. draconis. 

190 Afnerican Seashells 

Lunatia pallida Broderip and Sowerby Pale Northern Moon-shell 

Figure 43c 

Arctic Seas to off North Carolina. Arctic Seas to California. 

1% to 1% inches in length, not quite so wide, smooth, pure-white in 
color, and covered with a thin, yellowish white periostracum. Parietal wall 
moderately thickened with a white glaze. Umbilicus almost closed to slischtlv 
open. Commonly dredged offshore in cold northern waters. In the Atlantic, 
this species rarely exceeds i inch in length. P. groenlandica Moller may be 
this species. 

Subfamily SININAE 
Genus Sinum Roding 1798 

Sinum perspectivum Say Common Baby's Ear 

Plate 22s 
Virginia to Florida and the Gulf States. The West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in maximum diameter, but very flat, with very large white 
aperture and strongly curved columella. Numerous fine spiral lines on top of 
whorls. Color dull-white with a light-brown, thin periostracum. Animal 
envelops the shell. Commonly found in shallow, sandy areas, especially in 
the Carolinas and the west coast of Florida. 

Sinum maculatum Say Maculated Baby's Ear 

Carolinas and west coast of Florida. 

Similar to perspectivum, but shell not so flat, with weaker spiral sculp- 
ture, and colored dull-brown or with yellowish brown maculations. 

Sinum scopulosum Conrad Western Baby's Ear 

Monterey to Todos Santos Bay, Lower California. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, 4 whorls, the early ones being very smooth, 
the last whorl very large. Numerous spiral grooves can be seen with the 
naked eye. Shell chalky-white, but usually covered with a thin, yellowish, 
translucent periostracum. The spire is more elevated and the whorls more 
inflated than those in S. debile Gould, from Catalina Island to the Gulf of 
California. S. scopulosum is moderately common, and is the same as S. cali- 
fornicum Oldroyd. 


Subjainily NATICINAE 

Genus Natica Scopoli 1777 

Subgenus Naticarius Dumeril 1806 

Natica canrena Linne Colorful Atlantic Natica 

Plate 5I 

North Carolina to Key West and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in length, glossy-smooth, except for weak wrinkles near 
the suture. Color pattern variable; sometimes with axial, wavy, brown lines 
and with 4 spiral rows of arrow-shaped or squarish brown spots. Umbilicus 
and its large round, internal callus white. Exterior of hard operculum with 
about 10 spiral grooves. Uncommon in eastern Florida; common in the West 

Natica livida Pfeiffer Livid Natica 

Plate 22-0 
Southeast Florida, Caribbean and Bermuda. 

% inch in length, glossy-smooth, exterior lead-gray with vague, spiral, 
darker-gray bands. Aperture and columella brown; callus which almost fills 
the umbilicus characteristically dark to light chocolate-brown. Moderately 
common on intertidal sand flats. Do not confuse with Folinices duplicatus, 
which is much flatter and has a corneous operculum, but which also has a 
brown to purplish brown callus. 

Subgenus Cryptonatica Dall 1892 
Natica clausa Broderip and Sowerby Arctic Natica 

Figure 43b 

Arctic Ocean to North Carolina. Arctic Ocean to off southern Cali- 

I to I % inches, in length, fairly thin, smooth, yellow-white, with a 
smooth, gray to yellowish-brown periostracum. Umbilicus sealed over by a 
small, flat callus. Operculum, calcareous, thin, slightly concave, smooth, 
white and paucispiral. Commonly dredged in moderately deep water, and 
occasionally found intertidal north of Massachusetts. The sand-collar egg- 
case has smooth edges, and has a pimpled surface caused by the small com- 
partments of young. 

Natica pusilla Say Southern Miniature Natica 

Plate 22) 

Cape Cod to Florida, the Gulf States, and the West Indies. 

/4 to Va inch in length, glossy-smooth, similar to clausa, but more ovate, 
often with a small, open chink next to the umbilical callus, and is a much 

192 Avierican Seashells 

smaller shell. Nucleus of operculum often stained with brown. Color white, 
but often with weak, light-brown color markings. Commonly dredged in 
shallow water to 1 8 fathoms. 

Super jamily TONNAGE A 

Genus Sconsia Gray 1847 

Sconsia striata Lamarck Royal Bonnet 

Southeast Florida to off Texas and the West Indies. 

Plate 9h 

1/4 to 2% inches in height. Shell hard, polished, often with numerous 
fine, spiral incised lines. Usually two old varices are present. Rare, but re- 
cently being brought in by shrimp trawlers in the Gulf of Mexico. A choice 
deep-water species. 

Genus Morum Roding 1798 

Moru77t oniscus Linne Atlantic Wood-louse 

Plate 25s 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in height. Whorls with 3 spiral rows of rather prominent 
bulbous low tubercles. Parietal wall glazed over and ingrained with numer- 
ous white dots which are developed into minutely raised pustules. Color 
(with thin, velvety, gray periostracum removed) whitish with specklings or 
mottlings of brown or black-brown. Nucleus papilliform, white or pink. 
Operculum very small, corneous, and with its nucleus on the side. Nocturnal. 
Just below low-tide mark under coral slabs. 

Genus Vhaliwn Link 1807 

These are miniature helmet shells which rarely exceed a length of 5 
inches. The Scotch Bonnet of Florida (Phaliiim grajiulatwn) is well-known 
to most collectors. This genus differs from Cassis in having much smaller 
shells which do not have an extended, upturned siphonal canal and do not 
develop a massive parietal shield. Typical Fhalium which has 4 or 5 tiny 
spines on the base of the outer lip (as for example in the Indo-Pacific geno- 
type, P. glaiicwn Linne) is not represented in American waters. Our two 
species belong to the subgenus Seinicassis which lacks these tiny spines. 
Operculum as in Cassis. 

Subgenus Semicassis Morch 1852 
Fhalium granulatum Born Scotch Bonnet 

Plate 96 

North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 


1% to 3 inches in length, with about 20 spiral grooves on the body 
whorl. Weak axial ribs sometimes present which make the shell coarsely 
beaded. Lower parietal area pustulose. Outer lip may be greatly thickened 
occasionally. Not uncommonly washed ashore. It is also present on the 
west coast of Central America as the subspecies centiqiiadrata Valenciennes. 
Formerly known as Semicassis abbreviata Lamarck and S. inflatum Shaw. 

Phalium cicatricosiim Gmelin Smooth Scotch Bonnet 

Plate 9f 

Southeast Florida, Bermuda and the Caribbean. 

Shell i'V2 to 2 inches in length, similar to P. granulatum but without 
the spiral grooves; sometimes smaller specimens have nodules on the shoulder 
of the whorl. Rare in Florida. Meuschen named this shell first, but his 
works are now ruled out as invalid. The nodulated, smaller variety was 
named peristephes Pilsbry and McGinty. 

Genus Cassis Scopoli 1777 

The helmet shells are large, handsome mollusks which have been used 
by man for centuries. Large numbers of cameos are still cut from them, 
the meat is often used in chowders, and the uncut shells serve as attractive 
doorstops or mantel-pieces. In the Pacific, they are sliced in half and the 
body whorl used either as a cooking container or boat-bailer. The half dozen 
known species are found only in the West Indies and Indo-Pacific area. They 
live in moderately deep water and although sometimes are obtained in knee- 
deep waters, they usually must be dived for in 10 to 20 feet of water. The 
helmet shells are carnivorous and include the spiny sea urchins in their diet. 
Operculum semicircular, corneous and concentric. 

Cassis tuberosa Linne King Helmet 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Adults 4 to 9 inches in length, massive, with a finely reticulated sculp- 
ture. Color brownish cream with black-brown patches on the lip and a 
large patch of brown at the center of the parietal shield. This species may 
be easily confused with the Flame Helmet (Cassis fiaminea Linne) which 
occurs in the Bahamas and Antilles. The latter lacks the reticulated sculpture, 
lacks brown color between the teeth on the outer lip, has a rounded (not 
triangular) parietal shield and is from 3 to 5 inches in length. Rare in Florida 
(10 fathoms), common to the south in shallow water. 

Cassis 7nadagascariensis Lamarck Emperor Helmet 

Plate 23V 

Southeast Florida, the Bahamas and the Greater Antilles. 

194 American Seashells 

Adults 4 to 9 inches in length, massive. Three spiral rows of large blunt 
spines; the topmost spine of the first row generally the largest. Color pale- 
cream on the outer surface. Parietal shield and outer lip pale- to deep-salmon. 
Teeth white, brown sometimes between them. Moderately common from 
5 to 10 fathoms in the Bahamas. Very rare in Florida where it is replaced 
by the Clench's Helmet, the subspecies spinella Clench. 

Cassis madagascariensis spinella Clench Clench's Helmet 

Off Beaufort, North Carolina (fossil?), and the Florida Keys. 

Similar to the typical madagascariensis, but with numerous small, evenly 
sized spines, more noticeable on the top row. Frank Lyman has collected 
this novel form or subspecies by the dozen in 20 feet of water off the Florida 
Keys. It is not a rarity and has been in old collections for many years. We 
have seen specimens labelled as coming from the Bimini Islands, Bahamas, 
but the record needs confirmation. 

Genus Cypraecassis Stutchbury 1837 
Cypraecassis testiculus Linne Reticulated Cowrie-helmet 

Plate 9c 

Southeast Florida, Bermuda and the West Indies. 

I to 3 inches in length. Body whorl closely sculptured by small, distinct, 
longitudinal ridges which are crossed by a dozen or so spiral grooves, thus 
producing a reticulated surface. The shoulder of the body whorl in a very 
few specimens may have pinched-up, low tubercles or ribs. It is only a 
form. Entire animal light brownish orange, with underside of foot smeared 
with darker shades of orange. No periostracum. No operculum. Eggs laid 
under small rocks in greenish-brown clusters of 100 or so, teardrop-shaped, 
translucent capsules. Reef inhabitant, below low-water level. 


Genus Argobiiccinwn Bruguiere 1792 

Subgenus Fusitriton Cossmann 1903 

Argobuccinu?/! oregoveiisc Redfield Oregon Triton 

Plate 24g 

Bering Sea to San Diego, California. 

4 to 5 inches in length, about 6 whorls. Characterized by its fusiform 
shape, convex whorls, which each bear 16 to 18 axial ribs nodulated by the 
crossing of smaller spiral pairs of threads. The epidermis is heavy, spiculose, 
bristle-like and gray-brown. Aperture and siphonal canal interiors are 


enamel-white. Enamel, single tooth on parietal wall near the top of the aper- 
ture. Operculum chitinous, thick, brown. A common offshore species in 
its northern range. 

Genus Cymatium Roding 1798 
Subgenus Cymatiufn s. str. 

Cymatium femorale Linne Angular Triton 

Plate 5d 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

3 to 7 inches in length, with 2 or 3 former varices; outer lip flaring, 
thickened into a noduled varLx which is drawn up to a point posteriorly. 
Columella with i small fold and above it sometimes several much smaller 
ones. Color varies from brownish to reddish orange. Not uncommon in the 
West Indies in shallow water among eel-grass. 

Subgenus La?npusia Schumacher 1817 
Cymatium martinianum Orbigny Atlantic Hairy Triton 

Plate 9I 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

1% to 3 inches in length; old varices strong, beaded, and spaced % of 
a whorl apart. Spiral sculpture of a dozen or so squarish, irregularly sized, 
weakly beaded cords. Aperture orange-brown with the parietal area dark- 
brown between the white teeth. Periostracum very thick, matted, light- 
brown. The embryonic shell is about 4 mm. in length, glossy-brown, with 
a flaring lip which has a small stromboid notch. Dissentoma prima Pilsbry 
1 945 is this species. C. velei Calkins is also a synonym. C. aquatile Reeve and 
C. pileare Linne are names applied to Indo-Pacific forms, and not this species. 
Common in shallow water. 

Do not confuse with C. chlorostomum which has just inside its outer lip 
a series of single, rather large, whitish teeth, instead of smaller, paired, 
yellowish brown teeth. 

Cymatium gracile Reeve Dwarf Hairy Triton 

Plate 2511 

North Carolina to Key West and the West Indies. 

I inch in length, with only one or no former varix. Whorls squarish 
at the shoulder where there are 2 spiral rows of prominent beads. The last 
whorl has only i row of about 6 to 8 rather large tubercles in addition to 
spiral and axial threads. Siphonal canal moderately long, slender. Color 
whitish with i or 2 orange-brown bars on the varix. Periostracum rather 
thick, gray-brown. Uncommon below low-water line. 

196 Afiierican Seashells 

Cymatiu77t chlorostomwn Lamarck Gold-mouthed Triton 

Plate 25q 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. Bermuda. 

% to 2% inches in length; coarsely corrugated by spiral, noduled cords; 
varices spaced 73 of a whorl apart. Shell ash-gray with brown flecks and 
characterized by an orange mouth with white teeth. A common West Indian 
species which is also abundant in the Indo-Pacific. See differentiating re- 
marks under C. martinianum. 

Subgenus Tritoniscus Dall 1904 
Cymatium labiosum Wood Lip Triton 

Plate 25m 

Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

Shell % inch in length, much like Cyinatiwn gracile, but heavier, with 
a much shorter siphonal canal, slightly umbilicated, and with strong spiral 
cords on the base of the shell. Uncommon in intertidal reef areas. 

Subgenus Gutturnium Morch 1852 
CymatiuTn muricinum Roding Knobbed Triton 

Plate 251 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. Bermuda. 

I to 2 inches in length; characterized by a thickened cream parietal 
shield and a long, bent back siphonal canal. Color ash-gray, sometimes dark- 
brown with a narrow cream, spiral band. Not uncommon in intertidal 
reef areas. Interior of aperture brownish red to yellowish white. C. tube- 
rosum Lamarck is a later name for this species. 

Subgenus Ranularia Schumacher 181 7 
Cymatium cynocephahwi Lamarck Dog-head Triton 

Plate 9J 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

1V2 to 2^ inches in length; with globular whorls which are squarish 
at the shoulder. Siphonal canal long and slender. Usually with only one 
former varix. Apical whorls cancellate; last whorl with slightly noduled, 
spiral cords. Parietal wall with an oval splotch of dark-brown, over which 
run light-orange spiral cords. Uncommon in Florida. The subgenus Tri- 
tonocauda Dall 1904 is the same as Ranularia. 

Genus Distorsio Roding 1798 
Distorsio clathrata Lamarck Atlantic Distorsio 

Plate 2533 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf States and the Caribbean. 


% to 2^2 inches in length; whorls distorted, aperture with grotesque 
arrangement of the teeth; siphonal canal twisted. Whorls with coarse retic- 
ulate pattern. Parietal shield glossy, reticulated with raised threads, colored 
white to brownish white. Differs from constricta mcgintyi in having a less 
distorted body whorl which is more evenly rounded and more evenly knobbed 
or reticulated. The parietal wall is generally reticulated instead of pustuled. 
Dredged from 5 to 65 fathoms. Frequently brought in by shrimp fisherman. 

Distorsio constricta mcgintyi Emerson and Puffer 1953 McGinty's Distorsio 

Plate 2 52 

North Carolina to south half of Florida. 

I to 2 inches in length, very close to clatbrata, but the body whorl is 
very distorted, bulging and with cruder nodules. The upper and inner corner 
of the aperture usually has only one small, short, white tooth, while in cla- 
tbrata there are usually 2 fairly large, longer, obliquely set teeth. The lower 
parietal wall has a deep, smooth, wide groove separating the two axial rows 
of teeth. Commonly dredged from 25 to 125 fathoms. Formerly called D. 
-ftoridana Olsson and AlcGinty 1951 (not floridana Gardner 1947). Typical 
constricta Broderip is from the Eastern Pacific. 

Genus Charonia Gistel 1848 
Charojiia tritonis nobilis Conrad Trumpet Triton 

Plate 5f 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Adults I to I % feet in length. The early whorls are purplish pink. In old 
specimens these are usually lost. Adults usually have a swollen, angular 
shoulder on the last whorl, a feature which distinguishes our Atlantic sub- 
species from the typical tritonis Linne of the Indo-Pacific area. C. atlantica 
Bowdich is a synonym of the Pacific subspecies, despite the name. Rare in 
Florida; moderately common in the West Indies below low water. 


Genus Bursa Roding 1798 (= Ranella) 

Subgrenus Bursa s. str. 


Bursa thomae Orbigny St. Thomas Frog-shell 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

V2 to I inch in length. Characterized by the varices being placed axially 
one below the other and by the dehcate lavender aperture. Rare in moder- 
ately shallow water. The posterior siphonal canal is prominent and not 
attached to the body whorl. 

198 American Seashells 

Subgenus Tutufa Jousseaume 1881 
Bursa tenuisculpta Dautz. and Fischer Fine-sculptured Frog-shell 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length; with 5 to 7 spiral rows of numerous, evenly 
sized beads. Old varices spaced % of a whorl apart so that the varices do 
not line up under each other. Color dull ash-gray. Dredged on rare oc- 

Subgenus Colubrellina Fischer 1884 

Bursa corrugata Perry Gaudy Frog-shell 

Plate 9k 

Southeast Florida and the Caribbean. Lower California to Ecuador. 

2 to 3 inches in length; flattened laterally; with 2 prominent, knobbed 
varices on each whorl. Just in front of each varix there is a sharp frill. There 
are generally i or 2 rows of blunt nodules on the whorls. This is a rare species 
in the Atlantic, but more frequently encountered on the west coast of Cen- 
tral America. Alias caelata Broderip, ponder osa Reeve and louisa M. Smith. 

Bursa gra?2ularis Roding Granular Frog-shell 

Plate 25-0 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to 2 inches in length, flattened laterally. Varices axially placed one 
below the other. Color orange-brown with 3 narrow, white bands which 
appear as prominent white squares on the varices. Spiral sculpture of several 
rows of small beads, those on the periphery of the whorl having the largest 
beads. Teeth in aperture white. Uncommon. Alias cubajiiana Orbigny and 
affinis Broderip. 

Subgenus Bujonaria Schumacher 18 17 
Bursa spadicea Montfort Chestnut Frog-shell 

Plate 2 5P 

Southeast Florida and the Caribbean. 

I to 2 inches in length, flattened laterally; with strong, rounded varices, 
2 on each whorl and lined up axially one under the other. Surface covered 
with spiral rows of numerous, small beads. Posterior siphon has one wall 
next to the body whorl. Color yellowish with diff^used markings of orange- 
brown. Rare. Dredged off Florida in moderately deep water. Alias B. crassa 


Subgenus Crossata Jousseaume 1881 
Bursa califorfiica Hinds Californian Frog-shell 

Plate 2or 

Monterey, California, to the Gulf of California. 

3 to 5 inches in length, moderately heavy, tan-cream in color and with 
about 6 whorls, each of which has 2 varices, one opposite the other. The 
last varix has 4 to 5 large nodules; in the spire only one nodule shows. Be- 
tween the varices there are 2 stout spines. White aperture with a posterior 
canal almost the size of the anterior (siphonal) canal. Lip crenulate. Com- 
mon offshore, occasionally washed ashore. A scavenger. 

Genus Torma Briinnich 1772 

Toiina maculosa Dillwyn Atlantic Partridge Tun 

Plate gd 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 5 inches in length, thin but strong. Nuclear whorls golden-brown 
and glassy-smooth. Periostracum thin and usually flakes off in dried specimens. 
Do Hum album Conrad is only an albino form. Tonna perdix Linne is not 
this species, but an Indo-Pacific shell which has a more pointed spire, clearer 
squares of color and fewer spiral ribs. Our species is fairly common, espe- 
cially in the West Indies. Adults do not have an operculum in this genus. 

Tonna galea Linne Giant Tun 

Plate 2^{ 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf States and the West Indies. 

5 to 7 inches in length, thin but rather strong, although the lip is easily 
broken. Ground color whitish to light coffee-brown, sometimes slightly 
mottled. With 19 to 21 broad, flatfish ribs. This species also occurs in the 
Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific. The subspecies, brasiliana Morch, known 
only from Brazil, has a pushed-down, flattish spire. Not uncommon below 
low water. 

Genus Eudolium Dall 1889 
Eudoliu7n crosseanum Monterosato Crosse's Tun 

Plate 2 3g 

Ofl^ New Jersey to the Lesser Antilles. 

2 to 3/4 inches in length, moderately thin-shelled, but strong. Each of 
the 6 whorls bears numerous, spiral ridges and fine threads. Nuclear whorls 

200 American Seashells 

smooth, dark-brown. Outer lip turned back, slightly thickened and with its 
inner edge crenulated. Color white to light-cream, with the ridges straw- 
yellow. Periostracum thin and light yellowish brown. No operculum in 
adults. Uncommon from 96 to 300 fathoms. Very rare in private collections. 

Genus Ficus Roding 1798 

Ficus communis Roding Common Fig Shell 

Plate 9! 

North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico. The Bahamas. 

3 to 4 inches in length, thin, rather fragile, and with spiral threads which 
are sometimes made reticulate by axial threads. Uncommon, except on the 
west coast of Florida where it is washed ashore in great numbers. No oper- 
culum present. Formerly known as Pyrula and Ficus papyratia Say, but the 
latter name is preceded by two earlier names, communis Roding 1798 and 
reticulata Lamarck 1816 (as well as 1822). 

Carol's Fig Shell (named after Mrs. Richard W. Foster), Ficus carolae 
Clench, is very rare, and is irregularly spotted with reddish brown on the 
inside of the shell. It was first discovered by Mr. Leo L. Burry of Sarasota off 
Key Largo, Florida, in 100 fathoms. 

Superjamily MURICACEA 


Subfa7mly RAPANINAE 

Genus Forreria Jousseaume 1880 

Forreria belcheri Hinds Giant Forreria 

Plate 24) 

Morro Bay, California, to Lower California. 

3 to 6 inches in length, solid, smoothish, cream-brown; surface with 
10 prominent, pointed, scale-like spines on the shoulder of each whorl. These 
are the tops of the varices which flatten out and are welded closely to the 
lower part of the whorl. Former siphonal canals prominent to the left of 
a narrow, not deep umbilicus. Interior enamel-white. Common in intertidal 
areas near oyster bars. Also down to 15 fathoms. 

Subgenus Austrotrophon Dall 1902 
Forreria cerrosensis cerrosensis Dall Cerros Forreria 

Off southern Lower California. 

Figure 44a, b 



3 inches in length, with a rather long siphonal canal, and bearing 8 long 
axial ribs (or former varices) which are blade-like and are curled into long 
upswept, large spines. With or without small, low, spiral threads which may 
be more pronounced on the last whorl. Color yellowish to brownish white. 
Sometimes with subdued, wide brown lines. The form pinnata Dall is a 
smaller, 8 to 9 ribbed, spirally threaded variant from the same region. Un- 
common from 21 to 74 fathoms. 

Figure 44. a and b, Forreria cerroscusis Dall and, c and d, its subspecies, cataVmen- 
sis Oldrovd, from California. Reduced y_>. 

Forreria cerrosensis catalmensis Oldroyd 
Southern third of California. 

Catalina Forreria 

Figure 44c, d 

2 to 3 inches in length, similar to the typical cerrosensis, but with 7 ribs, 
sturdier shell, with less development of the blade-like ribs, and often with 
more brownish coloration. Formerly thought to be Boreotrophon triangu- 
laris Cpr. Moderately common offshore, sometimes cast ashore. 

Subfainily MURICINAE 

Genus Miirex Linne 1758 

Subgenus Murex s. str. 

Murex cabriti Bernardi 

South % of Florida and the Lesser Antilles. 

Cabrit's Murex 

Plate I oh 

202 Ainerican Seashells 

I to 3 inches in length. The long, slender siphonal canal bears 3 rows of 
long and slender spines. Color drab-white, sometimes a pale yellowish pink 
between the varices. Each varix has 3 to 4 sharp, long spines. Uncommonly 
dredged in moderately deep water. Considered a collector's item. Do not 
confuse with the less rare Murex tryoni Hidalgo of southeast Florida and the 
West Indies, which is much the same except that it lacks spines all down the 
siphonal canal and is almost smooth between the varices. Compare also with 
the next species which is common. 

Murex recurvirostris rubidus F. C. Baker Rose Murex 

South half of Florida and the Bahamas. 

1 to 2 inches in length. Siphonal canal rather long and slender, and with 
3 pairs of short prickly spines near the top. The knobby varices may have 
a short spine at the top. Between the varices are 3 low knobby ribs, 2 of 
which are larger than the third. Color variable: cream, pink, orange or red. 
A spiral band of darker color is found in some specimens. It lives in shallow, 
sandy areas and is commonly washed ashore. Alias inessorhis Sby., anniae M. 
Smith, delicatus M. Smith and citrinus M. Smith. 

True recurvirostris Broderip is found in the Eastern Pacific. M. recur- 
virostris sallasi Rehder and Abbott from the Yucatan, Mexico, area has 3 
equal-sized, finely beaded ribs between each varix, is brightly colored with 
shell-pink and occasionally has fine spiral lines of brown. 

Murex beaui Fischer and Bernardi Beau's Murex 

Plate lod 

South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indies. 

3 to 5 inches in length. The spiny varices usually have prominent, thin, 
wavy webs. Between the varices there are 5 or 6 rows of low, evenly sized 
and evenly spaced knobs. Color cream to pale brownish. Uncommon off- 

Subgenus Hexaplex Perry 1 8 1 1 
Section. ?hyllonotus Swainson 1833 

Murex pomum Gmelin Apple Murex 

Plate lol 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 4^/2 inches in length. Sturdy with a rough surface. No long spines. 
Colored dark-brown to yellowish tan. Aperture glossy, ivory, buff, yellow or 
orangish with a dark-brown spot on the upper end of the parietal wall. 


Outer lip crenulate and with 3 or 4 daubs of dark-brown. A very common 
shallow water species. 

Section Muricanthus Swainson 1840 
Murex fuhescens Sowerby Giant Eastern Murex 

Plate lob 

North Carolina to Florida and to Texas. 

5 to 7 inches in length. Characterized by the large shell, and the strong, 
straight, rather short spines. Exterior milky-white to dirty-gray. Aperture 
enamel white. Thin spiral color lines are usually prominent on the whorls. 
Fairly common along the shallow areas of northeastern Florida where they 
are found abundantly during the breeding season. Well-known to the shrimp 
fishermen whose nets often ensnare them. Murex burryi Clench and Far- 
fante is probably the young of this species. 

Section Murexiella Clench and Farfante 1945 
Murex hidalgoi Crosse Hidalgo's Murex 

Figure 45a 

North Carolina to the Lesser Antilles. 

I to 1/4 inches in length. Spines frondose and long, with webbing in 
between which is exquisitely sculptured with scale-like lamellations. Color 
grayish white to cream. This is probably the rarest of our eastern Murex 
species. Recently, one specimen was dredged oif northeast Florida in a few 
fathoms of water. 

Subgenus Chicoreus Montfort 18 10 
Murex brevifrons Lamarck West Indian Murex 

Plate loa 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

3 to 6 inches in length. Numerous, stout, fairly long spines on the 
varices which arch backwards and bear sharp fronds. Raised, spiral lines 
prominent between the varices. Color variable from cream to dark-brown. 
Uncommon in the Lower Keys, but fairly common to abundant in the West 
Indies. Percy Morris (1951, pi. 14, fig. i) labels this species as Murex 

Murex fiorifer Reeve Lace Murex 

Plate loe 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 3 inches in length. Aperture small, nearly round. 8 to 10 crowded. 


American Seashells 

frondose, scaly spines bordering the outer lip and siphonal canal. Top spine 
sometimes twice as long as the others. Color dark-brown, light-brown, or 
whitish and, in the latter case, the nuclear whorls at the spire are pinkish. 
Usually I axial low ridge between each varix, although occasionally with 
more and smaller axial ribs. 

The Lace Murex is one of Florida's most common species in this genus. 
It lives in a wide variety of habitats from mangrove, muddy areas to protected 
rocks and frequently in clear, sandy areas. The ecological variety, which 
is whitish and with reduced spines, was named arenarius by Clench and 
Farfante. This species differs from the 4 to 5 inch-long M. brevifrons in 
being smaller, in having closely crowded scaly spines, and in having a round 
instead of elongate operculum. For many years this species was called rufus 
Lamarck 1822 (not rufus Montagu 1803). 

Figure 45. a, Murex {Miirexiella) hidalgoi Crosse (Atlantic); b, A/z/r ex (Favartia) 
celhdosiis Conrad (Atlantic); c, Mzirex (Pterynottis) trialattis Shy., form carpenteri 
Dall (Pacific); d, Murex {Maxnjoellia) santarosmm Dall (Pacific). All reduced %. 

Subgenus Favartia Jousseaume 1880 
Murex cellulosus Conrad Pitted Murex 

Figure 45b 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

I inch in length. Shell rough, with 5 to 7 poorly developed fluted varices. 
It rarely develops spines, but when present they are short and stubby with 
a thin webbing connecting each spine in the varix. The siphonal canal 
strongly upturned. Aperture small, almost round. Color a dull grayish white. 

This is one of the smallest and most compact species of Murex on the 
Atlantic Coast and is often found in shallow, intertidal waters, especially near 
oyster beds where it probably does moderate damage to young oysters. Its 
identification is made difficult when the siphonal canal has been broken off 


completely. A deep water form, M. celhilosiis levimilus Dall (pi. 25J), of 
more delicate sculpturing and with brown markings, is found off the coast 
of North Carolina and eastern Florida. An inch-long, chubby subspecies, 
nuceus Morch (pi. 251), with a shorter and wider siphonal canal and heavily 
scaled varices, occurs in the West Indies but has been collected by Dr. J. S. 
Schwengel on Tea Table Key, Lower Florida Keys, and off Fort Walton 
by Mr. L. A. Burry, 

Subgenus Pterynotus Swainson 1833 
Section Pteropurpura Jousseaume 1880 

Murex bequaerti Clench and Farfante Bequaert's Murex 

North Carolina south to Key W'est. 

1 to 2% inches in length. Spire high. No spines. Each varix is a high, 
rounded, thin plate or web. Between these varical webs there is a single, 
low, rounded nob. Color a uniform cream-white. A bizarre species which 
is the least spinose of our American forms. It is being collected in dredging 
operations along the west coast of Florida in increasing numbers, although it 
remains a rarity. It was named after one of our foremost malacologists at 
Harvard University, Dr. Joseph C. Bequaert. Dall identified this species as 
Murex macropterus Desh. 

Murex trialatus Sowerby Western Three-winged Murex 

Figure 45c 

Northern California to Lower California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, with 3 large, wavy, wing-like varices per whorl. 
Siphonal canal closed along its length. The body whorl between each varix 
is smoothish, with or without one low, rounded tubercle, and sometimes with 
2 to 5 weak, spiral cords or threads. Anterior face of each varix with fine, 
crowded, axial fimbriations. Color grayish, dark- or light-brown, or with 
white spiral bands. 

Typical trialatus from southern California and Lower California reaches 
a length of 3 inches, is generally dark chestnut to blackish brown with 4 to 6 
narrow white bands, and has very fine spiral threads which are sometimes 
scaled, beaded or smooth. 

The subspecies carpenter! Dall (fig. 45c) — tremperi Dall and petri Dall 
are ecological forms or color varieties, as is the all-white alba Berry — has 
larger wings which are smooth on the posterior face. The color is generally 
light yellowish brown, all-white or with 2 wide white bands. Common off- 

206 American Seashells 

M. erinaceoides rhyssus Dall is similar to trialatiis, but with scaly fim- 
briations all over, sometimes with numerous, rather strong spiral cords, and 
grayish white in color. Southern CaHfornia, south. Uncommon offshore. 

Subgenus Maxwellia Baily 1950 
Murex gejimm Sowerby Gem Murex 

Plate 246 

Santa Barbara, CaHfornia, to Lower California. 

I to I % inches in length, moderately high-spired, with 6 varices per 
whorl. The varices are swollen, roundish and smooth and connect with each 
other in the middle area of the whorl, but in the area of the suture, and again 
near the base of the shell, the varix is thin, elevated and curled back and may 
bear one or several small spines. There are several spiral low cords colored 
blackish blue which are more obvious on the middle or smoother part of the 
whorl. The spire appears to have squarish pits crudely dug out. Very com- 
mon along rocky areas under protective rubble and masses of worm tubes. 

Murex santarosana Dall Santa Rosa Murex 

Figure 45d 

Santa Barbara Islands to Lower California. 

I /4 inches in length, spire low, and with 6 curled-back, spined varices per 
whorl. Anterior surface of varices strongly fimbriated. Narrow intervarical 
space smooth. Color brownish white. Uncommon to rare on gravel bottom 
just offshore to 30 fathoms. Do not confuse with the common gemma. 

Murex festivus Hinds Festive Murex 

Plate 24I 

Morro Bay, California, to Lower California. 

I /4 to 2 inches in length, spire high, 3 varices per whorl. Color brownish 
cream with numerous fine, dark spiral lines. V^arix, with its thin, fimbriated 
surface, curled backwards. One very large, rounded nodule between varices. 
Very common on rocks or mud flats and down to 75 fathoms. 

Genus Boreotrophon Fischer 1884 
Boreotropho7i clathratus Linne Clathrate Trophon 

Arctic Seas to Maine. 

I to 2 inches in length, with rounded whorls, slightly flaring lip, and 
numerous axial, foliated ribs. Chalk-white in color. There are several forms 




described, and we have figured the subspecies scalariformis Gould, commonly 
dredged in the Grand Banks. 

Handsome Trophon 

Figure /\6d 

Boreotrophon scitulus Dall 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

I to 1% inches in length, rather fragile, pure-white in color, with a 
rather long siphonal canal. Characterized by 5 or 6 spiral rows of long, deli- 
cate, anteriorly hollowed spines. In the spire only two rows show. Oper- 
culum thin, light-brown, chitinous, ungulate. Rare, 50 to 250 fathoms. 


Figure 46. Pacific Coast Trophons. a, Boreotrophon dalli Kobelt; b, B. triangiila- 

tus Cpr.; c, B. iniilticostatiis Esch.; d, B. scitulus Dall; e, B. orpheiis Gould; f, 

B. pacificus Dall. All about natural size. 

Boreotrophon miilticostatiis Eschscholtz Many-ribbed Trophon 

Figure 46c 

Bering Sea to San Pedro, California. Northern Japan. 

I to i^ inches in length, short canal, deep suture, 5 or 6 whorls are 
shouldered above. Characterized by the flaring thin lip, brownish aperture, 
8 to 10 lamella-like ribs per whorl, and weak microscopic spiral threads. 
Moderately common; littoral in Alaska, 10 to 30 fathoms in Puget Sound. 

Stuart's Trophon 

Plate 24) 

Boreotrophon stiiarti E. A. Smith 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

2 inches in length, waxy texture, pure-white to yellow-cream, with 9 
to 1 1 strong, lamella-like, high-shoulder ribs per each of the 7 whorls. Whorls 
in spire cancellated by the 2- or 3 -spiral raised cords. Body whorl with 5 
very weak spiral rounded threads. B. s?mthi Dall is the same. Uncommon 
from low tide (in Alaska) to 25 fathoms. 

208 Auierican Seashelh 

Boreotrophon pacificus Dall Northwest Pacific Trophon 

Figure 46f 

Alaska to off Lower California. 

% to I inch in length, similar to multicostatiis, with the spire % the 
length of the shell, canal twice as long, with 12 to 14 ribs which are shoul- 
dered further below the suture. Suture slightly indented. Fairly common at 
low tide in Alaska. Occurs in very deep water farther south. 

Boreotrophon dalli Kobelt Dall's Trophon 

Figure 46a 

Arctic Ocean to Fuca Strait, Washington 

2 inches in length, spire /4 and canal nearly 34 the length of the shell. 
5 whorls globose, crowned at the shoulder with 12 to 20 short spines per 
whorl. The ribs over the whorl are moderately to obsoletely developed. 
Rare in about 30 to 50 fathoms. 

Boreotrophon triangulatus Carpenter Triangular Trophon 

Figure 46b 

Monterey to San Pedro, California. 

Nearly i inch in length, 7 whorls, with 8 delicate axial ribs which bear 
rather short erect protuberances on the shoulder. Nuclear whorl smooth, 
followed by squarish whorls which bear ribs from suture to suture, and which 
are smooth in between. Siphonal canal rather short. Grayish white with 
enamel-white aperture. B. peregrimis Dall is the same. Formerly confused 
with Forreria (Austrotrophon) cerrosensis cerrosensis and its form, p'mnatiis 
Dall, and its subspecies catal'mensis Oldroyd. The latter group has longer 
spines, longer siphonal canal and the ribs are only on the periphery of the 
early whorls. 

Boreotrophon orpheus Gould Orpheus Trophon 

Figure 46e 

Alaska to Redondo Beach, California. 

% to I inch in length, resembling pacificus but with a spire Yi the length 
of the shell, and with 3 strong, but small, spiral cords showing in the spire, 
but with about the same number and type of axial ribs. It resembles an im- 
mature stuarti, but has more and smaller ribs and its whorls are not so sharply 
shouldered on top nor so strongly cancellate in the spire. Moderately com- 
mon from 1 2 to 80 fathoms. 

Genus Trophonopsis Bucquoy, Dautz. and Dollfuss 1882 
Trophonopsis lastiis Dall Sandpaper Trophon 

Bering Sea to Lower California. 



1% to 2 inches in length; spire half the length of the grayish white shell; 
6 whorls with numerous, indistinct to moderately well-developed, rounded 
ribs and more numerous, small, frequently scaled, spiral cords — all of which 
gives the shell a rough, sandpaper feel. Whorls in spire shouldered slightly. 
Aperture enamel-white. References in 1937 and earlier to Trophon tejmi- 
sculptus Carpenter are this species. The true temiiscidptiis is an Ocenebra. 

Hexagonal Murex 

Plate 2 5h 

Genus Muricopsis Bucquoy, Dautz. and DoUfuss 1882 
Muricopsis hexagona Lamarck 

Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

I to I /4 inches in length, elongate, heavy, with a high spire, and sharply 
spinose on each of the 7 axial ribs on each whorl. Exterior chalk-white or 
tinted with orange-brown. Aperture white. A moderately common reef 
species. The genus Muricidea Morch 1852, not Swainson 1840, is the same 
as this genus. 

Figure 47. Oyster Drills of the Atlantic Coast, a, Eiipleiira stimpsoni Dall; b, 
Eiipleiira caudata Say; c, Eiipleiira sidcidevtata Dall; d, Urosalpinx pernigata Con- 
rad; e, Urosalpinx chierea Say; f, Pseiidoneptunea vndtangida Philippi; g, Muri- 
copsis ostreanim Conrad. All about i inch in length. 

Plate 17 


a. ANTILLEAN LIMPET, Acmaea antil- 

lariwi Sby., i inch (Florida and West 
Indies), p. 106. 


leuco pleura Gmelin, V2 inch (Florida 
and West Indies), p. 106. 

c. JAMAICA LIMPET, Acmaea ja^naicensis 

Gmelin, V2 inch (Florida and West In- 
dies), p. 106. 


nodosa Born, i inch (Florida and West 
Indies), p. 100. 


rosea Gmelin, i inch (east Florida to 
Brazil), p. 100. 


surella barbadensis Gmelin, i inch (Flor- 
ida and West Indies), p. 100. 


rella fascicularis Lam., i inch (Florida 

and West Indies), p. 10 1. 

pina sowerbii Sby., V4 inch (Florida to 

Brazil), p. 98. 
i. FILE FLESHY LIMPET, Lucapinella lima- 

tula Reeve, V2 inch (North Carolina to 

West Indies), p. 98. 

caeca Miiller, Y^ inch (Arctic to Massa- 
chusetts), p. 107. 

capina suffusa Reeve, i inch (Florida 

and West Indies), p. 98. 

listeri Orb., 1V2 inches (Florida and 

West Indies), p. 96. 
dora cayenensis Lam., i inch (Virginia 

to Brazil), p. 96. 


dysoni Reeve, V2 inch (Florida and West 

Indies), p. 97. 
o. RUFFLED RIMULA, Emarginula phrixo- 

des Dall, y^ inch (North Carolina to 

West Indies), p. 94. 

gula fasciata Born, 14 inch (southeast 

Florida and West Indies), p. 118. 
q. GEM ARENE, Arene gemina Tuom, and 

Holm., Vs inch (North Carolina to 

Brazil), p. 122. 

pulchella C. B. Ads., Vs inch (Florida 

and West Indies), p. 127. 
s. VARIABLE ARENE, Areite variabilis 

Dall, Va inch (North Carolina to West 

Indies), p. 123. 

Margarites costalis Gould, V& inch 

(Arctic to Massachusetts; also Alaska), 

p. 107. 
u. BAIRD'S LIOTIA, Liotia bairdi Dall, % 

inch (North Carolina to Mexico), p. 121. 

multistriata Verrill, Vs inch (North 

Carolina to Florida), p. 138. 

euglyptum A. Ads., V^ inch (North 

Carolina to Texas), p. 112. 

lamellosa Verr. and Smith, Vs inch 

(Massachusetts to North Carolina), p. 


nostoDia cryptospira Verr., 2 mm 

(North Carolina to Florida), p. 139. 

Plate 18 

a. KEYHOLE LIMPET, Megathura crenu- 

lata Sby., 4 inches (Monterey, Califor- 
nia, south), p. 99. 


aspera Esch., 2 inches (Alaska to Lower 
California), p. 97. 

c. VOLCANO SHELL, Fissurella volcano 

Reeve, 1 inch (Crescent City, California, 
south), p. 100. 


Megatebennus hiniacidatus Dall, '^2 
inch (entire coast), p. 99. 


Liicapiriella callomargijiata Dall, 1 inch 
(California, south), p. 99. 

f. FINGERED LIMPET, Acmaea digitalis 

Esch., 1 inch (Alaska to Mexico), p. 103. 

g. TEST'S LIMPET, Acmaea conus Test, % 

inch (California to Lower California), 
p. 102. 

ligidata Menkc, % inch (Monterey, 
California, south), p. 120. 


malopoma carpenteri Pils., ^/;j inch 
(entire coast), p. 126. 

j. GIANT OWL SHELL, Lottia gigantea 
Gray, 3 inches (Crescent City, Califor- 
nia, south), p. 101. 

k. GILDED TEGULA, Tegula anreotincta 
Forbes, 1 inch (Southern California, 
south), p. 120. 

1. ROUGH LIMPET, Acmaea scabra Gould, 
1 inch (Washington to Lower Califor- 
nia), p. 103. 

m. NORRIS SHELL, Norrisia norrisi Sby., V/j 
inches (Monterey, California, south), 
p. 117. 

n. SHIELD LIMPET, Acmaea pelta Esch., 
13^2 inches (Alaska to Lower Califor- 
nia), p. 102. 

o. FILE LIMPET, Acmaea limatula Cpr., 1 V^ 

inches (Northern California, south), 

p. 102. 
p. WAVY TURBAN, Astraea nndosa Wood, 

3 inches (Ventura, California, south), 

p. 124. 

q. MASK LIMPET, Acmaea persona Esch., 
Ij,^ inches (Alaska to Monterey, Cali- 
fornia), p. 103. 

r. WHITE CAP LIMPET, Acmaea mitra 
Esch., 1 inch (Alaska to off Lower Cali- 
fornia), p. 101. 

s. GRANULOSE TOP-SHELL, Calliostoma 
snpragranosum Cpr., 3^2 inch (Monterey 
California, south), p. 115. 

t. FENESTRATE LIMPET, Acmaea fenes- 
trata Reeve, 1 inch (California, south), 
p. 102. 

u. CALIFORNIAN LIOTIA, Liotia fenes- 
trata Cpr., % inch (Monterey, Califor- 
nia, south), p. 122. 

V. SPECKLED TEGULA, Tegula gallina 
Forbes, 1 inch (San Francisco, Califor- 
nia, south), p. 119. 

w. CRIBRARIA LIMPET, Acmaea fenestrata 
cribraria Gould, 1 inch (Alaska to Ca- 
lifornia), p. 102. 

X. MONTEREY TEGULA, Tegula moulereyi 
Kiener, Ij^ inches (California), p. 121. 

y. DUSKY TEGULA, Tegula pulligo Gmelin, 
1 inch (Alaska to California), p. 120. 

z. SEAWEED LIMPET. Ac7naea insessa 
Hinds, ^4 inch (Alaska to Lower Cali- 
fornia), p. 105. 

z.z. UNSTABLE LIMPET, Acmaea insiabilis 
Gould, 1 inch (Alaska to San Diego, 
California), p. 105. 

Plate 19 


angulifern Lam., 1 inch (Florida and 
West Indies), p. 133. 

b. COMMON PERIWINKLE, Littonna lit- 

torea L., 1 inch (Labrador to New 
Jersey; Europe), p. 132. 

c. MARSH PERIWINKLE, Littonna irrorata 

Say, 1 inch (New York to Texas), p. 132. 


Littoriua saxntilis Olivi, '2 inch (Arctic 
New Jersey), p. 133. 

e. ZEBRA PERIWINKLE, Littorina ziczac 

Gmelin, 1 inch (Florida to Texas and 
south), p. 132. 

Littorina obtnsata Linne. '2 inch 
(Arctic to New Jersey), p. 133. 

g. BEADED PERIWINKLE, Tectarius miiri- 
catus Linne, 1 inch (Florida Keys, 
south), p. 134. 

nodulosus Pfr., % inch (Florida Keys, 
south), p. 135. 

torina tuberculata Mke., j^ inch (Flo- 
rida Keys, south), p. 134. 

rneleagris Pot. and Mich., V.s incli 
(Florida Keys, south). 

rina mespilhini Miihlfeld, y^ inch (Flo- 
rida Keys, south), p. 133. 

1. STOCKY CERITH, CeritJiium literatum 
Born, I inch (Southeastern Florida and 
West Indies), p. 154. 

m. FLY-SPECKED CERITH, Cerithium mus- 
caruni Say, 1 inch (Florida and West 
Indies), p. 154. 

n. FLORIDA CERITH, Cerithium florida- 
num Morch, \]/^ inches (North Caro- 
lina to Florida), p. 153. 

o. DWARF CERITH, Cerithium variabile 
C. B. Adams, Yi inch (Florida to Texas, 
south), p. 154. 

algicola, C. B. Adams, 1 inch (Florida 
and West Indies), p. 154. 

q. IVORY CERITH, Cerithium eburneum 
Brug., 1 inch (Southeastern Florida and 
West Indies), p. 154. 

r. VARIABLE BITTIUM, Bittium variiim 
Pfr., y^ inch (Maryland to Texas and 
Mexico), p. 155. 

s. FALSE CERITH, Batillaria minima Gme- 
lin, 3^ inch (Florida and West Indies), 
p. 153. 

t. PLICATE HORN SHELL, Cerithidea 
pliculosa Menke, 1 inch (Florida to 
Texas, south-, p. 152. 

u. COSTATE HORN SHELL, Cerithidea 
costata Da Costa, Ij inch (West Florida, 
south , p. 152. 

thiopsis greeni C. B. Adams, ]4, inch 
(Massachusetts to West Indies, p. 157. 

sis subulata Montagu, Y inch (Massa- 
chusetts to West Indies , p. 157. 

scalarijormis Say, 1 inch (South C; ro- 
lina to Florida, Cuba), p. 152. 

nigrocincta C. B. Adams, Y inch (Massa- 
chusetts, south), p. 159. 

z. BEAUTIFUL TRIFORA, Triphora pul- 
chella C. B. Adams, 34 inch (Florida, 
south), p. 159. 

zz. MOTTLED TRIFORA, Triphora decorata 
C. B. Adams, Yi inch (Florida and West 
Indies), p. 159. 

Plate 20 

a. ERODED PERIWINKLE, Littorina pla- 

naxis Phil., ^ inch (Washington to 
Lower California), p. 134. 

b. SITKA PERIWINKLE, Littorina sitkana 

Phil., % inch (Alaska to Washington), 
p. 134. 


scutulata Old., Yj inch (Alaska to 
Mexico), p. 134. 

d. FLAT WORM-SHELL, Spiroglyphus 

lituellus Morch (Alaska to California), 
p. 144. 

e. SCALED WORM-SHELL, Aletes squami- 

geriis Cpr. (Alaska to Peru), p. 144. 

f. ONYX SLIPPER-SHELL, Crepidula ojiyx 

Shy., 2 inches. Left shell lived on 
scallop (California to Chili), p. 171. 


cooperi Cpr., 2 inches (California to 
Mexico), p. 141. 

h. MARIA'S TURRET-SHELL, Turritella 
mariana Dall, 2^ inches (California to 
Panama), p. 142. 

i. RECLUZ'S MOON-SHELL, Polinices reclii- 
sianus Desh., 2 inches (California to 
Lower California), p. 187. 

wrobleivshii Morch, 1 inch (Alaska to 
San Diego, California), p. 162. 

patella lingulata Gld., % inch (Alaska 
to Panama), p. 170. 

fastigata Gld., 1 inch (Alaska to Cali- 
fornia), p. 169. 

m. GOULD'S DOVE-SHELL, Nitidella goiildi 
Cpr., Yi inch (Alaska to California), 
p. 222. 

n. PACIFIC MUD NASSA, Nassarius tegula 
Reeve, % inch (California to Lower 
California), p. 238. 

o. APPLE SEED, Erato vitellina Hinds, Yi 
inch (California to Lower California), 
p. 176. 

p. IDA'S MITER, Mitra idae Melville, 2 
inches (California), p. 249. 

q. BEATIC DWARF OLIVE, OUveUa beatica 
Cpr., Y inch (Alaska to California), 
p. 247. 

californica Hinds, 4 inches, with cluster 
of eggs laid on clam shell (California 
to Lower California), p. 199. 

fossatus Gould, 2 inches (Vancouver, 
B. C, to Lower California), p. 240. 

t. Top view of living animal of Oliva, p. 245. 

u. SOLANDER'S TRIVIA, Trixna solandri 
Sby., % inch (Catalina Island, Cali- 
fornia to Panama), p. 179. 

v. CALIFORNIAN TRIVIA, Trivia califor- 
niana Gray, '2 inch (California to 
Mexico), p. 179. 

w. X-ray photo of SPINDLE SHELL, Fusinus, 
p. 243. 

Plate 21 

a. FLORIDA WORM-SHELL, Vermiculnria 

knorri Desh., 5 inches (North Carohna 
to Gulf of Mexico), p. 145. 

b. FARGO'S WORM-SHELL, Vermicidaria 

fnrgoi Olsson, 3 inches (West Florida 
to Texas), p. 145. 


cidaria spirata Phil., 4 inches (Florida 
Keys and West Indies), p. 144. 


chns irregularis Orb., 3 inches (Florida 
and West Indies), p. 143. 
c. BLACK WORM-SHELL, Petalconchm 
7iigricaiis Dall, 3 inches West Florida), 

f. ATLANTIC MODULUS, Modulus vwdu- 

lus L., Yi inch (Florida to Brazil), p. 151. 

g. SLIT WORM-SHELL, Tenagodus squa- 

rnatus Blainville, 4 inches (Florida and 
West Indies), p. 145. 

exoleta L., 2 inches (Florida and West 
Indies), p. 141. 

tella variegata L., 4 inches (West In- 
dies), p. 141. 

acropora Dall, 1 inch (North Carolina 
to West Indies), p. 141. 

melanostoma Rang, 'Vin inch (Pelagic, 
warm seas), p. 156. 

chus erosurn Couthouy, 1 inch (Nova 
Scotia to Massachusetts, p. 140. 

Crepidula fornicata L., 2 inches (Ca- 
nada to Texas), p. 170. 

convexa Say, ji inch (Massachusetts to 
West Indies), p. 171. 

traea centralis Conrad, ^ inch (North 
Carolina to Texas, south), p. 169. 


ecfuestris L., % inch (Florida Keys and 
West Indies), p. 165. 

SPINY SLIPPER-SHELL, Crepidula acu- 
leata Gmelin, % inch (North Carolina 
to Texas, south), p. 171. 

lum striatum Say, 1 inch (Nova Scotia 
to South Carolina), p. 170. 

cibulum auricula Gmelin, 1 inch (West 
Florida, south), p. 169. 

WHITE HOOF-SHELL, Hipponix anli- 
(juatus L., 3"2 inch (Florida, south; Cali- 
fornia, south), p. 166. 

gracilis C. B. Ads., 34 i'^ch (North Ca- 
rolina to Gulf of Mexico), not in text. 

FAT MELANELLA, Melanella gibba D2 
Folin, 34 inch (North Carolina to Gulf 
of Mexico), not in text. 

bilineata Alder, 3^ inch (North Carolina 
to West Indies), not in text. 

ORBIGNY'S SUN-DIAL, Torinia bisulcata 
Orb., i/;{ inch (North Carolina to Gulf 
of Mexico), p. 142. 

KREBS' SUN-DIAL, Architectonica krebsi 
Morch, Yj inch (North Carolina to 
West Indies), p. 143. 

MALTBIE'S TRIVIA, Trivia maltbiana 
Schw. and McG., 3? inch (North (>aro- 
lina to Florida, south), p. 178. 

SUFFUSE TRIVIA, Trivia suffusa Gary, 
^/a inch (Southeastern Florida and West 
Indies), p. 177. 

COFFEE BEAN TRIVIA, Trivia pediculus 
L., Yj inch (Florida to Brazil), p. 177. 

dula Gaskoin, 34 inch (North Carolina 
to West Indies), p. 178. 

Plate 22 



laynellosiiin Lam., 1 inch (Florida and 
Caribbean), p. 165. 


angulaiwn Say, 1 inch (New York to 
Texas), p. 164. 

c. DALE'S WENTLETRAP, Circostrema 

(lain Rehder, 1 inch (North Carolina 
to Brazil), p. 161. 


nium hiimphreysi Kiener, % inch 
(Massachusetts to Texas), p. 164. 


tonium rupicola Kurtz, 1 inch (Mas- 
sachusetts to Texas), p. 165. 


mitchelli Dall, 2 inches (Texas), p. 163. 


hotessieriann Orb., }/2 inch (South- 
eastern Florida, south), p. 162. 

h. SHARK EYE, Polinices duplicatus Say, 2 
inches (high-spired form) (Massachusetts 
to Texas), p. 186. 

i. MILK MOON-SHELL, Polinices lacteus 
Guilding, 1 inch (North Carolina to 
West Indies), p. 185. 


Natica pusilla Say, ^/.-i inch (Mass ;- 

chusetts to Gulf and West Indies), 

p. 191. 

gronlandica Moller, 1 inch (Arctic to 

off New Jersey), p. 189. 
1. CAROLINA MOON-SHELL, Sigatica caro- 

linensis Dall, % inch (North Carolina 

to West Indies), p. 187. 

Lunatia triseriata Say, Yi inch (Canada 

to off North Carolina), p. 189. 

n. SMOOTH VELUTINA, Velutina laevigata 

L., % inch (Arctic to Massachusetts; also 

to California), p. 175. 
o. LIVID NATICA, Natica livida Pfr., Yi 

inch (Southeastern Florida and West 

Indies), p. 191. 

cuna vincta Turton, % inch (Arctic to 

Rhode Island; also to California), 

p. 130. 
q. DWARF RED OVULA, Primovula carnea 

Poiret, Yi inch (Southeastern Florida 

and West Indies), p. 181. 
r. ICELAND MOON-SHELL, Amauropsis 

islandica Gmelin, 1 inch (Arctic to 

Massachusetts), p. 187. 
s. COMMON BABY'S EAR, Sinum perspec- 

tivum Say, XYi inches (Virginia to 

Texas, south), p. 190. 

adamsi H. C. Lea, Y& inch (Massa- 
chusetts to Texas, south), p. 158. 
u. CHESNEL'S RISSOINA, Rissoina cJiesneli 

Mich., 1/.5 inch (North Carolina to 

Texas, south), p. 137. 

mutica Say, V.'s inch (North Carolina to 

Texas, south), p. 246. 
w. MAUGERI'S ERATO, Erato maugeriae 

Gray, Vio inch (North Carolina to West 

Indies), p. 176. 
X. JASPER CONE, Conus jaspideus Gmelin. 

^4 inch (Florida and West Indies), 

p. 262. 
y. STEARNS' CONE, Conus stearnsi Conrad, 

Yi inch (Florida to Mexico), p. 262. 
z. WARTY CONE, Conus verrucosus Hwass, 

% inch (Southeastern Florida and West 

Indies), p. 263. 

Plate 23 

a. QUEEN CONCH, Strojnbus gigas L., 10 

inches (also young) (Florida Keys and 
West Indies), p. 174. 

b. MILK CONCH, Stroinbiis costatiis Gmelin, 

6 inches (Southern Florida and West 
Indies), p. 174. 


hais occideriialis Beck, 2 inches (also 
young) (off New England), p. 173. 


phora longleyi Bartsch, 7 inches (Gulf 
of Mexico, south), p. 173. 


phora caribaea Petit, 4 inches (off 
Florida and Cuba), p. 173. 

f. GIANT TUN, Tojma galea L., 6 inches 

(North Carolina to Texas and West 
Indies; Pacific), p. 199. 

g. CROSSE'S TUN, Eiidoliiim crosseamim 

Montero., 3 inches (off New Jersey to 
West Indies), p. 199. 


Melongeria melongejia L., 4 inches 
(Florida Keys, south), p. 235. 

i. KNOBBED WHELK, Biisycon carica 
Gmelin, 8 inches (Cape Cod, Massa- 
chusetts to Northeastern Florida), 
p. 235. 

j. NEW ENGLAND NASSA, Nassarius trivit- 
tatus Say, % inch (Nova Scotia to South 
Carolina), p. 239. 

k. PERVERSE WHELK, Biisycon perversiim 
L., form eliceans Mont., 6 inches North- 
eastern Florida), p. 236. 

1. CARIBBEAN VASE, Vasum miiricatum 
Born, 4 inches (South Florida and West 
Indies), p. 245. 

m. PYGMY COLUS, Coins pygmaea Gould, 

1 inch (Quebec to off North Carolina), 
p. 229. 

n. CHANNELED WHELK, Biisycon canalicii- 
latum L., 6 inches (Cape Cod to North- 
eastern Florida), p. 236. 

o. LIGHTNING WHELK, Busycon contra- 
rinm Conrad, 8 inches (South Carolina 
to Texas), p. 236. 

p. EASTERN MUD NASSA, Nassarius ob- 
soletus Say, % inch (Quebec to North- 
eastern Florida), p. 240. 

vibex Say, J/^ inch (North Carolina to 
Texas, south), p. 237. 

r. VARIABLE NASSA, Nassarius ambiguus 
Pult., Yi inch (North Carolina to West 
Indies), p. 239. 

clecemcostata Say, 3 inches (Nova Scotia 
to Massachusetts), p. 229. 

t. HAIRY COLUS, Coins pubescens Verrill, 

2 inches (Quebec to off North Caro- 
lina), p. 229. 

u. FAT COLUS, Coins ventricosus Gray, 2V2 
inches (Nova Scotia to New York), not 
in text. 

V. EMPEROR HELMET, Cassis madagas- 
cariensis Lam., 9 inches (Southeastern 
Florida and West Indies), p. 193. 

longicornis Dall, ]/! inch (Florida and 
West Indies), not in text. 

X. STIMPSON'S COLUS, Coins siimpsoni 
Morch, 4 inches (Labrador to off North 
Carolina), p. 227. 

y. FLORIDA HORSE CONCH. Pleiiroploca 
gigantea Kiener, 20 inches (North Caro- 
lina to Florida), p. 242. 

Plate 24 

tropis bicarinata Sby., 13^ inches (North 
Pacific and North Atlantic), p. 168. 

tropis caucellata Hinds, 1 inch (Alaska 
to Oregon), p. 167. 

GRAY HAIRY-SHELL, TrichoOopis in- 
signis Midd., 1 inch (Alaska to Japan), 
p. 168. 

borenlis B. and Sby., ^4 inch (Arctic to 
Washington; also to Maine), p. 167. 

GEM MUREX, Murex gemma Sby., 1 inch 
(Santa Barbara to Lower California), 
p. 206. 

rytis mittaUi Conrad, Ij/^ inches (Cali- 
fornia to Lower California), p .219. 

OREGON TRITON, Argobuccimnn oie- 
gonc7isi.s Rcdfield, 4 inches (Alaska to 
San Diego, California), p. 194. 

rylis joliata Gmelin, 3 inches (Alaska to 
San Pedro, California), p. 218. 

GIANT FORRERIA, Forreria belclieri 
Hinds, 5 inches (California to Lower 
California), p. 200. 

STUART'S TROPHON, Boreotrophon 
stuarii E. A. Smith, 2 inches (Alaska to 
S:n Diego, California), p. 207. 

bra poulsoni Cpr., 2 inches (Santa Bar- 
bara, California, to Lower California), 
p. 218. 

FESTIVE MUREX, Mnrex jestivus Hinds, 
2 inches (Morro Bay, California, to 
Lower California), p. 206. 

gracillima Stearns, Va inch (Monterey, 
California, to Gulf of California), 
p. 217. 

LEWIS MOON-SHELL, Lnnaiia lewisi 

Gould, 4 inches (Canada to Lower 

California), p. 189. 

spirata l^lainville, 1 inch (Washington 

to California), p. 211. 

sius harpa Morch, 4 inches (Alaska), 

p. 226. 


Neptunca lyrata Gmelin, 5 inches 

(Arctic to Washington), p. 230. 

bilojfensis Dall, 5 inches (Alaska to 

British Columbia), p. 230. 
FAT NEPTUNE, Neptuuea ventricosa 

Gmelin, 3 inches (Arctic and Alaska), 

p. 230. 
GLACLAL BUCCINUM, Buccimim gla- 

ciale L., 3 inches (Arctic to Washington; 

also to Nova Scotia), p. 226. 
SILKY BUCCINUM, Buccinum tenue 

Gray, 2 inches (Arctic to Washington; 

also to Maine), p. 225. 
BAER'S BUCCINUM, Buccinum baeri 

Midd., lYi inches (Bering Sea, Alaska), 

p. 226. 
KELLET'S WHELK, Kelleiia hcllcti For- 
bes, 4 inches (State Barbara, California, 

to Mexico), p. 231. 
LIVID MACRON, Macron lividus A. Ads., 

1 inch (Monterey, California, to Lower 

California), p. 234. 
COOPER'S NUTMEG, Narona cooperi 

Gabb, 2 inches (Monterey, California, 

to Lower California), p. 253. 

barbarensis Trask, 1 inches (Oregon to 

California), p. 244. 

dupelit-lhouarsi Kiener, 6 inches (off 

Lower California), not in text. 

Plate 25 

a. FLORIDA ROCK-SHELL, Thais liaema- 

stoma floriddjui Conrad, 2 inches (North 
Carolina to West Indies), p. 213. 

b. DELTOID ROCK-SHELL, Thais deltoidea 

Lam., 1 inch. (Southeastern Florida to 
Brazil), p. 214. 

c. ELEGANT FOSSARUS, Fossarus elegans 

Verr. and Smith, 3 mm (Massachusetts 
to North Carolina), p. 176. 


haemastoma L., 3 inches (Europe: 
South America), p. 213. 

e. SCALY DOGWINKLE, Thais lapillus L., 

form imbricata Lam. (North Atlantic 
to New York), p. 215. 

f. RUSTIC ROCK-SHELL, Thais ritstica 

Lam., 13/2 inches (Southeastern Florida 
to Brazil), p. 214. 

g. ATLANTIC DOGWINKLE, Thais lapil- 

lus L., 1 inch (North Atlantic to New 
York), p. 214. 

h. HEXAGONAL MUREX, Muriscopsis hexa- 
gona Lam., 1 inch (Florida Keys and 
West Indies), p. 209. 

i. MoRCH'S PITTED MUREX, Murex cel- 
lulosus nuceus Morch, 1 inch (Florida to 
West Indies), p. 205. 

j. DALE'S PITTED MUREX, Murex cellu- 
losus leviculus Dall, }/2 inch (North 
Carolina to West Florida), p. 205. 

k. DELTOID ROCK-SHELL, Thais deltoidea 
Lam., 1 inch (Southeastern Florida to 
Brazil), p. 214. 

patula L., 3 inches (Southeastern Florida 
and West Indies), p. 213. 

m. LIP TRITON, Cymatiuni labiosum Wood, 
% inch (North Carolina to West In- 
dies), p. 196. 

gracile Reeve, 1 inch (North Carolina 
to West Indies), p. 195. 

o. (GRANULAR FROG-SHELL, Bursa gra- 
nularis Roding, 2 inches (Southeastern 
Florida, south), p. 1!)8. 

p. CHESTNUT FROG-SHELL, Bursa spadi- 
cea Montfort, 2 inches (Southeastern 
Florida and Caribbean), p. 198. 

chlorostomum Lam., 2 inches (SoiUli- 
eastern Florida, south), p. 190. 





KNOBBED TRITON, Cymaiuim murici- 
uum Roding, 2 inches (Southeastern 
Florida and West Indies), p. 196. 

cus L., % inch (and young) (South- 
eastern Florida, south), p. 192. 

cata Dall, 3^2 inch (south half of Flo- 
rida), p. 231. 

CANDe'S PHOS, Antillophos candei Orb., 
1 inch (North Carolina to Cuba), p. 231. 

BLACKBERRY DRUPE, Drupa nodulosa 
C. B. Adams, % inch (Florida and West 
Indies), p. 211. 

binella Kiener, Yj inch (Florida Keys, 
south), p. 232. 

lanceolata Menke, I inch (North Caro- 
lina to West Indies), p. 232. 

TINTED CANTHARUS, Cantharus tinctus 
Conrad, 1 inch (North Carolina to 
West Indies), p. 233. 

FLORIDA DISTORSIO, Distorsio constrict! 
mcgintyi Em. and Puff., 2 inches (North 
(Carolina to Florida), p. 197. 


thrata Lam., 2 inches (North Carolina 

to Texas, south), p. 196. 

luercatoria L., 3^ inch (Souther, stern 

Florida and West Indies), p. 220. 

veneli Dall, % inch (North Carolina 

to Florida), p. 223. 
GLOSSY DOVE-SHELL, Nitidclla uitidula 

Sby., 3^ inch (Southeastern Florida and 

West Indies), p. 222. 

GREEDY DOVE-SHELL, Anachis avara 

Say, 3^ inch (New Jersey to Texas), 

p. 221. 

Iranslirata Rav., ^/s inch (Massachusetts 

to lY'xas, south), p. I'L i 
LUNAR DOVE-SHELL, Mitrella lunata 

Say, -Viii inch (Massachusetts to Texas, 

south), p. 223. 

della ocellata Gmelin, Yj inch (Florida 
Keys and West Indies), p. 222. 

Plate 26 


a. SULCATE MITER, Mitra sulcata Gmelin, 

3/2 inch (Southeastern Florida to West 
Indies), p. 249. 

b. BEADED MITER, Mitra nodulosa Gmclin, 

1 inch (North Carohna to West Indies), 
p. 248. 

c. HENDERSON'S MITER, Mitra Jiender- 

soni Rehder, % inch. Holotype (South- 
eastern Florida, south), p. 249. 

d. BARBADOS MITER, Mitra barbadensis 

Gmelin, 1 inch (Southeastern Florida 
to West Indies), p. 249. 

e. WHITE-RIBBED, Mitra albicostata C. B. 

Adams, 3^2 inch (Florida Keys and West 
Indies), not in text. 


albomacidata C B. Adams, Yi inch 
(West Indies), p. 271. 


cinerea Born, lYi inches (Southeastern 

Florida to West Indies), p. 266. 

hastata Gmelin, 134 inches (Soutli- 

eastern Florida to West Indies), p. 266. 

dislocata Say, 1 3/2 inches (Virginia to 

Texas, south), p. 265. 
j. CONCAVE AUGER, Terebra concava Say, 

% inch (North Carolina to West 

Florida), p. 266. 

k. FINE-RIBBED AUGER, Terebra protexta 
Conrad. 1 inch (North Carolina to 
Texas), p. 266. 

aculus Orb., 3 mm (North Carolina to 
West Indies), p. 281. 

m WATSON'S CANOE-BUBBLE, 5crtp/mnrfer 
watsoni Dall, y^ inch (off North Caro- 
lina to Florida), p. 281. 

n. (;YSTER turret, Crassispira ostrcarum 
Stearns, 3^ inch (North C^arolina to 
Cuba), p. 270. 

o. GIANT CANOE-BUBBLE, Scaphander 
piinctostriatiis Mighels, 132 inches (off 
entire coast), p. 281. 


Bulla occidentalis A. Adams, % inch 
(North Carolina to West Indies), p. 277. 

bideutata Orb., 3 mm (North Carolina 
to Texas, south), p. 282. 

gouldi Couthouy, % inch (Arctic to 
Massachusetts), p. 282. 

solitaria Say, 3"^2 inch (Massachusetts to 
North Carolina), p. 279. 

t. ADAM'S BABY-BUBBLE, Actcun puncto- 
striatiis C. B. Adams, 5 mm (Massa- 
chusetts to West Indies), p. 275. 

u. MINIATURE MELO, Micromelo undata 
Brug., Y inch (Florida Keys and West 
Indies), p. 276. 

cula semistriata Orb., 3 mm (North 
Carolina to West Indies), p. 276. 

w. BUSH'S BARREL-BUBBLE, Pyrnnculus 
caelatiis Bush, 3 mm (North Carolina 
to Southeastern Florida), p. 280. 

canaliculata Say, 5 mm (Nova Scotia 
to Texas, south), p. 280. 

nauta argo L., 5 inches. Shell of female 
filled with eggs (Tropical Seas), p. 485. 

Plate 27 


velum Say, % inch (Nova Scotia to 
Florida), p. 333. 

b. SHORT YOLDIA, Yoldia .sapotilla Gould, 

1 inch (yVrctic to North Carolina), 
p. 340. 


peamiissium pourtalesinninn Dall, '2 
inch (off Florida), p. 369. 

d. MYALLS YOLDIA, Yoldia myalis Couthouy, 

1 inch (Arctic to Cape Cod), p. 340. 

e. BROAD YOLDIA, Yoldia thraciaeformis 

Storcr, 2 inches (Arctic to North Caro- 
lina; also Alaska), p. 340. 

f. SULCATE LIMOPSIS, Limopsis sulcata 

V. and B., 3^ inch (Massachusetts to 
West Indies), p. 347. 


rneris undata L., 2 inches (North Caro- 
lina to West Indies), p. 348. 

meris decussata L., 2 inches Florida and 
West Indies), p. 348. 

i. COMB BITTERSWEET, Glycymeris pec- 
tinata Gmelin, ^4 inch (North Carolina 
to West Indies), p. 348. 

j. MOSSY ARK, Area umboiiala Lamarck, 

2 inches (North Carolina to West In- 
ches), p. 342. 

k. DOC BALES' ARK, Barbatia tenera C. B. 
Adams, 1 inch (Florida and West In- 
dies), p. 343. 

1. ICELAND SCALLOP, CJdamys islaudica 
Midler, 3 inches (Arctic to Massa- 
chusetts; also to Washington), p. 365. 

pecten magellanicus Gmelin. 9 inches 
(Labrador to North Carolina), p. 366. 

n. TURKEY WING, Area zebra Swainson, 
3 inches (North Carolina to West In- 
dies), p. 342. 

o. CUT-RIBBED ARK, Anadara lienosa fie- 
ri da ji a Conrad, 4 inches (North Caro- 
lina to Texas), p. 344. 

p. EARED ARK, Anadara notabilis Roding. 
2 inches (Florida to Brazil), p. 344. 

q. RED-BROWN ARK, Barbatia cancellaria 
Lam., 1 inch (Florida and West Indies), 
p. 343. 

r. WHITE BEARDED ARK, Barbatia ean- 
dida Helbling, 2 inches (North Caro- 
lina to Brazil), p. 342. 

s. TRANSVERSE ARK, Anadara transversa 
Say, 1 inch (Cape Cod to Texas), p. 345. 

t. BLOOD ARK, Anadara ovalis Brug., 2 
inches (Cape Cod to Texas and West 
Indies), p. 345. 

doniingensis Lam., j/2 inch (North Ca- 
rolina to West Indies), p. 343. 

serrata Sby., 6 inches (North Carolina 
to Florida), p. 360. 

w. AMBER PEN SHELL. Pinna earnea 
Gmelin, 5 inches (Florida and West 
Indies), p. 360. 

X. STIFF PEN SHELL, Atrina rigida Solan- 
der, 7 inches (North Carolina to West 
Indies), p. 360. 

y. INCONGRUOUS ARK, Anadara brasiliana 
Lam., 2 inches (North Carolina to 
Texas to Brazil), p. 346. 

z. PONDEROUS ARK, Noetia ponderosa 
Say, 2 inches (Virginia to Texas), p. 346. 

Plate 28 


strea virgiiiica Gmelin, 3 inches (entire 
Atlantic Coast), p. 375. 

b. SPONGE OYSTER, Osirea permoUis Sby., 

2 inches (North Carolina to West In- 
dies), p. 374. 

c. CRESIED OYSTER, Ostren eqiiestris Say, 

2 inches (North Carolina to West In- 
dies), p. 373. 

d. COON OYSTER, Ostrea Irons L., 2 inches. 

Two forms. (Florida and West Indies), 
p. 373. 

e. DISCORD MUSCULUS, Mnscidus discors 

L., 1 inch (North Atlantic and North 
Pacific), p. 355. 

f. SMOOTH MUSCULUS, Mnscnlus laevi- 

gatus Gray, 1 inch (North Atlantic and 
North Pacific), p. 355. 

g. BLACK MUSCULUS, Mnscnlus niger 

Gray, 2 inches (Arctic to North Caro- 
lina; also to Washington), p. 355. 

demissus Dillwyn, 3 inches (Canada to 
South Carolina), p. 351. 

papyria Conrad, 1 inch (Maryland to 
Texas), p. 353. 

glandida Totten, ^/s inch (Labrador to 
North Carolina), p. 350. 

k. GIANT DATE MUSSEL, Lithophaga an- 
tiUanim Orb., 4 inches (Gulf of Mexico, 
south), p. 357. 

1. FLATTENED CARDITA, Venericardia 
perphnia Conrad, 34 i"ch (North Caro- 
lina to Florida), p. 380. 

m. BLACK DATE MUSSEL, Lithophaga nigra 
Orb., 2 inches (Florida and West In- 
dies), p. 355. 

phaga bisnlcata Orb., 1 inch (Florida 
to Argentina), p. 357. 

o. LENTIL ASTARTE, Astarte snhequilatera 
Sby.. 1 inch (Arctic Seas to off Georgia). 
p. 376. 

p. CORAL-BORING CLAM, Coralliophaga 
coralliophaga Gmelin, V/j inches (Gulf 
and West Indies), p. 382. 

q. BOREAL ASTARTE, Astarte borealis 
Schumacher, 1 V2 inches (Arctic to 
Massachusetts; to Alaska), p. 375. 

r. WAVED ASTARTE, Astarte undata 
Gould, 1 inch (Gulf of Maine), p. 376. 

s. SMOOTH ASTARTE, Astarte castanea 
Say, 1 inch (Nova Scotia to Cape Cod, 
Massachusetts), p. 376. 

t. NORTHERN CARDITA, Venericardia 
borealis Conrad, 1 inch (Labrador to 
North Carolina), p. 379. 

u. GLASSY LYONSIA, Lyonsia hyalina Con- 
rad, lA inch (Nova Scotia to South Ca- 
rolina), p. 468. 

V. LEA'S SPOON-CLAM, Feriploma leanum 
Conrad, 1 inch (Nova Scotia to North 
Carolina), p. 474. 

\v. PAPER SPOON C:LAM, Periploma papyra- 
tium Say, 1 inch (Labrador to Rhode 
Island), p. 472. 

inequale C. B. Adams, 1 inch (South 
Carolina to Texas), p. 473. 

y. CONRAD'S THRACIA, Thracia conradi 
Couthouy, 3 inches (Nova Scotia to 
New York), p. 471. 

Plate 29 

a. GIANT ROCK SCALLOP, Humites multi- 

rugosns Gale, 7 inches (Alaska to Lower 
California), p. 369. 

b. GL\NT PACIFIC SCALLOP, Pecten caii- 

rimis Gould, 7 inches (Alaska to Cali- 
fornia), p. 361. 

c. HEMPHILL'S LIMA, Limn hemphilli 

Hert. and Strong, 1 inch (California 
to Mexico), p. 371. 

d. FALSE JINGLE SHELL, Pododesmus 

macroschismus Desh., 3 inches (Alaska 
to Lower California), p. 372. 


peruviana Orb., 2 inches (California 
to Peru), p. 372. 


lurida Cpr., 3 inches (Alaska to Lower 
California), p. 374. 


gigas Thunberg, 8 inches (Canada to 
California), p. 375. 
calijorniensis Phil., 1 inch (California 
south), p. 356. 

i. KELSEY'S DATE MUSSEL, Lithophagn 
phnnula kelseyi Hert. and Strong. 1 
inch (California), p. 357. 

j. .SCISSOR DATE MUSSEL, Lithophnga 
aristata Dill., 1 inch (Florida and Cali- 
fornia, south), p. 357. 

k. FALCATE DATE MUSSEL, Botula fal- 
cata Gould, 3 inches (Oregon to Lower 
California), p. 356. 

1. STOUT CARDITA, Venericardia ventri- 
cosa Gould, % inch (Washington to 
California), p. 379. 

m. NORTHERN UGLY CLAM, Entodesjua 
saxicola Baird, 4 inches (Alaska to Cali- 
fornia), p. 469. 


cnliforriica Conrad, 3 inches (Alaska 

to California), p. 441. 
lus fornicalus Cpr., 1 inch (California), 

p. 352. 
p. CALIFORNIAN MUSSEL, Mytihis califor- 

nianus Conrad, 8 inches (Alaska to 

Mexico), p. 354. 

meria nultalli Conrad, 1 inch (Alaska 

to Lower California), p. 469. 
r. CARPENTER'S CARDITA, Cardita car- 

penteri Lamy, Y2 inch (Canada to 

Lower California), p. 378. 

subteres Cpr., 2 inches (California to 

Lower California), p. 441. 

rupicola Dall, 1 inch (California to 

Mexico), p. 435. 

californianus Conrad, 3 inches (Cali- 
fornia to Panama), p. 440. 

riiis Gould, 3 inches (Canada to Lower 

California), p. 444. 
w. ROSE PETAL SEMELE, Semele rubro- 

pictn Dall, 2 inches (Alaska to Mexico), 

p. 435. 

guinolaria nuttalli Conrad, 3 inches, 

(California to Lower California), p. 439. 
y. PACIFIC RAZOR CLAM, Siliqua patula 

Dixon, 5 inches (Alaska to California), 

p. 442. 
z. BARK SEMELE, Semele decisa Could, 3 

inches (San Pedro, California to Lower 

California), p. 435. 

Plate 30 

ridana Conrad, 1 inch (Florida to 
Mexico), p. 378. 

mactracea Lindsley, ^/.-i inch (Massa- 
chusetts to New York), p. 377. 

derma pinmdatiim Conrad, J2 inch 
(Labrador to North Carolina), p. 404. 

STOUT TAGELUS, Tagelus plebeins 
Solander, 3 inches (Cape Cod to Texas), 
p. 440. 

typica Jonas, 1 inch (North Carolina 
to the West Indies), p. 420. 

tata Say, 2 inches (Canada to New 
Jersey), p. 442. 

PURPLISH TAGELUS, Tagelus divisus 
Spengler, 1 inch (Cape Cod to Mexico), 
p. 440. 

SMALL FALSE DONAX, Heterodoi^ax 
bimaculatus Linne, ^^ inch (Florida and 
West Indies), p. 441. 

curtus snnctaemarthae Orb., IJ/2 inches 
(North Carolina to Brazil), p. 445. 

CANCELLATE SEMELE, Semele bellastri- 
atn Conrad, 3^ inch (North Carolina to 
West Indies), p. 435. 

directus Conrad, 8 inches (L;ibrador to 
South Carolina), p. 443. 

DWARF TIGER LUCINA, Codnkia orhi- 
culata Montagu, % inch (North Caro- 
lina to West Indies), p. 391. 

quadrisulcata • Orb., % inch (Massa- 
chusetts to West Indies), p. 391. 

Say, 2 inches (Rhode Island to Texas), 
p. 444. 


CRESTED TELLIN, Tellidora cristata 
Recluz, 1 inch (North Carolina to 
Texas), p. 430. 

denticidata Linne, 1 inch (West Indies), 
p. 438. 

bilis roemeri Philippi, % inch (Texas 
coast), p. 437. 

COQUINA SHELL, Donax variabilis Say, 
^ inch (Virginia to Texas), p. 437. 

nulata Nyst, ^/.-i inch (Massachusetts to 
Cuba), p. 475. 

planiuscida Grant and Gale, 1 inch 
(Arctic to Oregon), p. 433. 

MEROPSIS TELLIN, Tellina meropsis 
Dall, Yi inch (San Diego, California, 
south), p. 426. 

aeqiialis Say, % inch (North Carolina 
to Texas, and south), p. 437. 

DALE'S LITTLE ABRA, Abra lioica Dall, 
34 inch (off Massachusetts to West In- 
dies), p. 437. 

agilis Stinipson, ^/a inch (Canada to 
Maryland), p. 422. 


floridana Conrad, 1 inch (West Florida 

to Texas), p. 381. 
GIBB'S CLAM, Eucrassatella speciosa A. 

Ads., 2 inches (North Carolina to West 

Indies), p. 377. 
FLORIDA LUCINA, Lnciim floridana 

Conrad, IJ^ inches (West Florida to 

Texas), p. 387. 

caroliniana Bosc, 1 inch (Virginia to 

Texas), p. 381. 

Plate 31 


dium qnndragejiarium Con., 5 inches 
(California), p. 398. 

b. NUTTALL'S COCKLE, Clinucardium 

nuttalli Conrad, 4 inches (Alaska to 
California), p. 403. 

c. CALIFORNIAN LUCINA, Codakia cali- 

jornica Conrad, Ij/^ inches (California), 
p. 390. 

d. FRILLED VENUS, CJiione gnidia Brod. 

and Sby., 3 inches (Lower California 
to Peru), not in text. 


cymcris subobsuletn Cpr., 1 inch (Alaska 
to Lower California), p. 349. 


myax .subdiaphana Cpr., 2 inches 
(Alaska to Lower California), p. 411. 

g. NUTTALL'S LUC:iNA, Phacoides nuttalli 

Con., I inch (Santa Barbara, California, 
south), p. 388. 

h. PISMO CLAM, Tivela stultorum Mawe, 
5 inches (San Mateo, California south), 
p. 412. 

Chione calif, undatella Sby., 2 inches 
(California, south), p. 408. 

Chione calijorniensis Brod., 2 inche; 
(San Pedro, California, south), p. 407. 

k. SMOOTH PACIFIC VENUS, CJiione fliic- 
tifraga Sby., 23^^ inches (San Pedro, 
California, south), p. 408. 

domns nuttalli Con., 4 inches (Alaska 
to Lower California), p. 417. 

NECK, Protothaca staviinea Con., 2 

inches (entire Pacific Coast), p. 410. 
o. WHriE ROCK VENUS, P. staminea form 

ruderata Desh (most common in Alaska), 

p. 410. 

californicus Con., 1 inch (Santa Barbara, 

California, south), p. 438. 

Douax gouldi Dall, % inch ((California 

to Mexico), p. 435". 
r. C;ALIF0RNIAN IRUS VENUS, Irus laviel- 

lifera Conrad, I inch (California), 

p. 142. 
s. WAVY PACIFIC I'HRACilA, Cyathodouta 

uudulaia Con., I inch (California to 

Mexico), p. 472. 

laria telliniyalis Cpr., 1 inch (Califor- 
nia to Mexico), p. 420. 
u. MODEST TELLIN, Tellina modesta Cpr.. 

% inch (Alaska to Lower California), 

p. 425. 

californica Conrad, I inch (California 

to Chili), p. 436. 
w. STIMPSON'S SURF CLAM, Spi.mla poly- 

?iyma form alaskcua Dall, 4 inches 

(Alaska), p. 446. 

Periplouia planijiscuhun SI)y., 1 inch 

(California to Peru), p. 473. 

y. SALMON TELLIN, Tellina salmonea Cpr., 
3/2 inch (Alaska to California), p. 426. 

z. PACIFIC GAPER, Schizothaerus nuttalli 
Conrad, 7 inches (Washinoton to Lower 
California), p. 450. 

Plate 32 


diuni robustutn Solander, 4 inches 
(Virginia to Texas), p. 40L 


biistum vanJiyniiigi CI. and Smith, 4 
inches (West Florida), p. 40 L 


sernisulcata Sby., Yj inch (Florida and 
West Indies), p. 398. 

d. GREENLAND COCKLE, Serripes groen- 

landicus Brug., 3 inches (Quebec to 
Massachusetts; Alaska), p. 401. 

e. ICELAND COCKLE, Clinocardium cilia- 

turn Fabr., 3 inches (Arctic to Massa- 
chusetts; also to Washington), p. 403. 

f. OCEAN QUAHOG, Arctica islandica L., 

3 inches (Arctic to off North Carolina), 
p. 381. 

g. SOUTHERN QUAHOG, Merccnaria 

campechiensis Gmelin, 5 inches (and 
young) (Virginia to Florida), p. 406. 

h. NORTHERN QUAHOG, Mercenaria rncr- 
cenaria L., 4 inches (Canada to east 
Florida), p. 406. 

i. GRAY PYGMY VENUS, Chione gnis Hol- 
mes, % inch (North Carolina to Louisi- 
ana), p. 408. 


rostraia Spengler, % inch (Massachusetts 

to West Indies), p. 476. 
k. lEXAS VENUS, Callocardia tcxasinna 

Dall, 3 inches (Gulf of Mexico), p. 416. 
1. MORRHUA VENUS, Pitar morrhunim 

Linsley, V/i inches (Canada to North 

Carolina), p. 414. 
ni. PRINCESS VENUS, Aniigona Jistcri Gray, 

3 inches (Southeastern Florida and West 

Indies), p. 404. 

QUEEN VENUS, Antigona rugatitia Heil- 
prin, Ij/^ inches (North Carolina to 
West Indies), p. 405. 

DWARF SURF CLAM, Mulinia lateralis 
Say, V:i inch (Maine to Texas), p. 449. 

ATLANTIC SURF CLAM, Spimla solidis- 
siina Dill., 6 inches (Nova Scotia to 
South Carolina), p. 446. 

plica tella Lam., 3 inches (North Caro- 
lina to West Indies), p. 449. 

arctata Con., V/j inches (Greeidand to 
Virginia), p. 451. 

fragilis Gmelin, 2 inches (North Caro- 
lina to West Indies), p. 445. 

CAMPECHE AN(;EL WING, Pliolas caiu- 
pec}}iensis Gmelin, 3 inches (North 
Carolina to Mexico), p. 462. 

GIANT FALSE DONAX, Iphigenia bra- 
siliensis Lam., 23^2 inches (Florida and 
West Indies), p. 439. 

cata L., 2 inches (Arctic to Massa- 
chusetts; also to Washington), p. 455. 

STRIATE MARTESIA, Martesia striata L., 
1 inch (Florida and West Indies), 
p. 464. 

areuaria L., 4 inches (Labrador to 
North Carolina), p. 455. 

lymetis intastriata Say, 2 inches (Florida 
and West Indies), p. 434. 

FALSE ANGEL WING, Pctricola plioladi- 
formis Lam., 2 inches (Canada to West 
Indies), p. 420. 




t. ■ "^- 



Muricopsis ostrearum Conrad Mauve-mouth Drill 

Figure 47g 

West coast of Florida to the Florida Keys. 

I inch in length, extraordinarily like Urosalpinx perrugata, but more 
elongate, with a longer siphonal canal which is bent slightly back, and with 
a light-mauve aperture. Moderately common from low tide area to 35 
fathoms. M. fioridmja Conrad is this species. 

Genus Fseudoneptunea Kobelt 1882 
Pseudoneptunea miiltangiila Philippi False Drill 

Figure 47f 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to I /4 inches in length, rather broad, with a short, fairly open siphonal 
canal. Outer lip sharp, finely crenulated. At the base of the columella there 
is a single, small fold. 8 to 9 short, rounded axial ribs on the periphery of the 
whorl. Spiral cords weak. Color gray with red-brown specklings; some- 
times solid yellow-orange. Moderately common. 


Genus Driipa Roding 1798 

Subgenus Morula Schumacher 18 17 

Drupa nodulosa C. B. Adams Blackberry Drupe 

Plate 25V 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

'V2 to I inch in length, elongate, grossly studded with round, black beads. 
Aperture purplish black. Outer lip thick, and with 4 to 5 relatively large, 
white beads. A common shallow-water species found under rocks. 

Genus Acanthina Fischer von Waldheim 1807 
Subgenus Acanthinucella Cooke 191 8 

Acanthina spirata Blainville Spotted Thorn Drupe 

Plate 24-0 
Puget Sound to San Diego, California. 

I to I /4 inches in length, rather low-spired, solid, smoothish, except for 
numerous, poorly developed, spiral threads. Spine on lower, outer lip is 
strong, behind which on the base of the outside of the body whorl is a weak, 
spiral groove. Whorls slightly shouldered. Color bluish gray with numerous 
rows of small, red-brown dots. Aperture within is bluish white. A round- 
shouldered, smaller form (punctulata Sby. or lapilloides Conrad) is found 

212 American Seashells 

from Monterey to Lower California. A common southern species found 
above high-tide mark on rocks; also on mussel beds. 

Acanthina paucilirata Steams Checkered Thorn Drupe 

San Pedro, California, to Lower Cahfomia. 

% to /4 inch in length, characterized by about 6 spiral rows of small 
squares of black-brown on a cream-white background. Early whorls cancel- 
late, later whorls smoothish except for 4 or 5 very small, smooth, raised, spiral 
threads. Top of whorl slightly concave. Spine at base of outer lip small and 
needle-like. Aperture dentate, brownish with black squares on the outer lip. 
Siphonal canal short. Common above high-tide mark in southern California. 

Genus Urosalpinx Stimpson 1865 
Urosalpinx cinerea Say Atlantic Oyster Drill 

Figure 470 

Nova Scotia to southern Florida. Introduced to San Francisco and to 

% to I inch in length; without varices; outer lip slightly thickened on 
the inside and sometimes with 2 to 6 small, whitish teeth. Siphonal canal 
moderately short and straight. With about 9 to 12 rounded, axial ribs per 
whorl and with numerous, strong, spiral cords. Color grayish or yellowish 
white, often with irregular, brown, spiral bands. Aperture tan to dark-brown. 
This common species is very destructive to oysters. It occurs from intertidal 
areas down to about 25 feet or more. Females grow faster and hence are 
larger than the males. They may reach an age of 7 years. The drills move 
inshore to spawn. Each female spawns once a year (May to September in 
Virginia; June to September in Canada and England). The female deposits 
25 to 28 leathery, vase-shaped capsules, each containing 8 to 12 eggs. U. fol- 
lyensis B. Baker is an ecologic form. 

Urosalpinx perrugata Conrad Gulf Oyster Drill 

Figure 47 d 
West coast of Florida (to Louisiana?). 

Similar to cinerea, but with 6 to 9 axial ribs which are quite large at the 
periphery of the whorl. The spiral cords are fewer and stronger. Aperture 
rosy-brown or yellow-brown. Outer lip more thickened on the inside and 
usually with 6 small, whitish teeth. This may be a subspecies of cinerea. 
Common on mudflats. Always compare with Muricopsis ostreanmt Conrad 
which resembles this species very closely. 


Urosalpinx tampaensis Conrad Tampa Drill 

Tampa Bay area, west Florida. 

V2 to I inch in length; the light-brown aperture is thickened and the 
outer lip has 6 small, white teeth. With about 9 to 1 1 sharp, axial ribs per 
whorl, crossed by about 9 to i o equally strong spiral cords on the last whorl, 
thus giving the shell a cancellate sculpture. The whorls in the spire show 
only 2 spiral, nodulated cords. Exterior dark-gray. Common on mudflats. 

Genus Purpura Bruguiere 1789 
Purpura patula Linne Wide-mouthed Purpura 

Plate 25I 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3/4 inches in length; without an umbilicus. Exterior dull, rusty- 
gray. Columella salmon-pink. Inner borders of aperture with splotches of 
blackish brown. Common in the West Indies, uncommon in Florida. The 
animal exudes a harmless hquid which stains the hands and collecting bag a 
permanent violet. 

The subspecies pansa Gould (west coast of Mexico south to Columbia) 
is similar in most respects, but the columella is colored a whitish cream. 

Genus Thais Roding 1798 
Subgenus Stramonita Schumacher 1817 

Thais haemastoma floridaJia Conrad Florida Rock-shell 

Plate 25a 

North Carolina to Florida, and the Caribbean. 

2 to 3 inches in length, solid, smooth to finely nodulose. Color light- 
gray to yellowish with small flecks and irregular bars of brownish. Interior 
of aperture salmon-pink, often with brown between the denticulations of the 
outer lip. Running inside the aperture high up on the body whorl above the 
parietal area, there is a strong spiral ridge. Some specimens have a faint fold 
or phca on the base of the columella. This is a very common species, but 
quite variable in shape and color pattern. Typical hae?7msto??M Lamarck oc- 
curs in the Mediterranean and West Africa. See additional remarks under 
Thais rustica. 

Thais haemastoma haysae Clench Hays' Rock-shell 

Northwest Floriaa to Texas. 

This subspecies is characterized by its large size (up to 4% inches in 

214 American Seashells 

length), strongly indented suture, and rugose sculpture with a row of double, 
strong nodules on the shoulder of the whorls. M. D. Burkenroad (1931) has 
given a long account of the biology of this oyster pest. 

Thais rustica Lamarck Rustic Rock-shell 

Plate 25f 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. Bermuda. 

I /4 inches in length, irregularly sculptured with 2 spiral rows of blunt 
spines, one on the shoulder, the other at the center of the body whorl. Color 
dirty-gray to dull mottled brown. Interior of aperture whitish but generally 
margined with spots of dark-brown along the outer lip. Parietal wall glossy- 
white. This species is smaller and more nodulose than floridana and always 
has a white aperture. Erroneously called Thais imdata Lamarck which is an 
Indo-Pacific species. 

Three confusing species are often found together in southern Florida. 
The young of Canthariis tinctits (see p. 233) has the lower third of its white 
columella turned away (to the left) 20 degrees from the axis of the shell, and 
its early whorls in the spire are not shouldered. Thais haemastoina floridana 
is characterized by its almost straight, cream to orange columella, and by the 
numerous raised cream or white spiral ridges on the inside of the outer lip. 
Thais rustica has a stouter, white columella which is slightly twisted and 
purple-stained at the lower, inner corner. Its outer lip teeth occur in groups 
of 2 or 3 and near the edge of the lip are stained by heavy blotches of purple- 

Subgenus Mancinella Link 1807 
Thais deltoidea Lamarck Deltoid Rock-shell 

Plate 25b, k 

Jupiter Inlet, Florida, to the West Indies. Bermuda. 

I to 2 inches in length, heavy, and coarsely sculptured with two spiral 
rows of large, blunt spines. Parietal wall tinted with lavender, mauve or rose. 
Interior of aperture glossy-white. Exterior grayish white with mottlings of 
black or dull brown. Columella with a small but distinct ridge at the base 
which forms the margin of the siphonal canal. This is an abundant species 
where intertidal rocks are exposed to the ocean surf. 

Subgenus Polytropa Swainson 1840 
Thais lapillus Linne Atlantic Dogwinkle 

Plate 2 5g 

Southern Labrador to New York. Norway to Portugal. 

I to 2 inches in length, roughly sculptured or smoothish. Commonly 



with rounded, spiral ridges. Sometimes imbricated with small scales (form 
named inibricata Lamarck, pi. 256). Color usually dull-white, but sometimes 
yellowish, orange or brownish. Rarely with dark-brown or blackish spiral 
bands. This species has also been known as Nucella lapillus. For biology see 
H. B. Moore (1936 and 1938). 

Figure 48. Pacific coast Dogwinkles. a, Thais emarginata Deshayes; b and c, 
T. cmialicidata Duclos; d, T. lima Gmelin; e to h, forms of T. lainellosa Gmelin. 

All about natural size. 

Thais lamellosa Gmelin 

Bering Straits to Santa Cruz, California. 

Frilled Dogwinkle 

Figures 48e-h 

I % to 5 inches in length, solid, usually with a fairly high, pointed spire. 
Columella almost vertical and straight, not flattened. Size, details of shape, 
sculpturing and color very variable. White, grayish, cream or orange, some- 
times spirally banded. Smoothish or with variously developed foliated, axial 
ribs. Sometimes spinose. A very common rock-loving species. Formerly 
Purpura crispata Martyn. 

216 American Seashells 

Thais canaliculata Duclos Channeled Dogwinkle 

Figure 48b, c 

Aleutian chain to Monterey, California. 

I inch in length, moderately globose, its spire higher than that of emar- 
ginata, but lower than that of lamellosa. Columella arched, flattened below. 
Characterized by about 14 to 16 low, flat-topped, closely spaced, spiral cords 
on the body whorl. Suture slightly channeled. Color white or orange- 
brown, often spirally banded. Moderately common on rocks and mussel beds. 
Do not confuse with lima from Alaska. 

Thais emarginata Deshayes Emarginate Dogwinkle 

Figure 48a 

Bering Sea to Mexico. 

I inch in length, with a rather short spire and with globose whorls. 
Aperture large. Columella strongly arched, and flattened and slightly con- 
cave below. Sculpturing variable, but characteristically with coarse spiral 
cords, usually alternatingly small and large. Cords often scaled or coarsely 
noduled. Exterior yellow-gray to rusty-brown, often with darker, narrow 
spiral bands. Interior and columella light- to chestnut-brown. Exceedingly 
common in many places along the coast where there are rocks. 

Thais lima Gmelin File Dogwinkle 

Figure 486 

Alaska and Japan to northern California. 

I to 2 inches in length, very similar to ca7ialiculata, but with 17 to 20 
round-topped spiral cords, often smooth, sometimes minutely fimbriated. 
Cords often alternate in size. Color whitish or orange-brown, rarely banded. 
Common intertidally. Compare with canaliculata. 

Genus Ocenebra Gray 1847 

Tritonalia Fleming 1828 may also be used as a name for this genus, al- 
though Ocenebra would seem to be the wiser choice and will probably be 
the final choice. Ocinebra is a misspelling. 

Ocenebra interfossa Carpenter Carpenter's Dwarf Triton 

Figure 49a 

Alaska to Lower California. 

/4 to % inch in length, spire half the length of the shell; light-gray in 
color, delicately sculptured. 8 to 1 1 axial ribs on the body whorl crossed by 
about a dozen strong, microscopically scaled spiral cords. The surface is 



often fimbriated axially between the cords, Siphonal canal moderately long, 
usually sealed over. Littoral to several fathoms. Common. There are 2 
named varieties of doubtful biological significance: atropurpurea Cpr. and 
clathrata Dall. 

Figure 49. Dwarf Tritons of the Pacific coast, a, Ocenebra inter jossa Cpr.; b, 
O. circmntexta Stearns; c and d, O. hirida Alidd. All natural size. 

Ocenebra lurida Middendorff 

Alaska to Catahna Island, California. 

Lurid Dwarf Triton 

Figure 49c, d 

I to I % inches in length; 5 to 6 whorls; moderately elongate spire whose 
whorls show the axial ribs more prominently than the numerous fine spiral 
threads. Suture well-impressed. Body whorl with 8 to 10 rounded ribs which 
are strongest and shouldered just below the suture but which fade out below 
the periphery of the whorl. The smaller, smooth, spiral cords are elevated 
and prominent, often with numerous tiny axial lamellae between them. 6 to 
8 small teeth on the inside of the outer lip. Color variable, whitish to rusty- 
brown, sometimes banded. Periostracum dark-brown and fuzzy. Siphonal 
canal usually sealed over. Very common from northern California north. 
Littoral to 30 fathoms. 

Ocenebra gracilli?7ta Stearns 

Graceful Dwarf Triton 

Plate 24m 

Monterey, California, to the Gulf of California. 

Ys inch in length, similar to lurida in shape; with 5 whorls, those in the 
spire weakly cancellate with the axial ribs the strongest. Last whorl without 

218 American Seas bells 

axial ribs, except for a rather strong, rounded varix behind the outer hp. Last 
whorl with about a dozen or so Hght-brown, spotted, spiral threads over a 
background of light yellowish gray. 3 to 5 fairly large teeth on the inside of 
the outer lip, Siphonal canal short, sealed over in adults. Periostracum thin, 
fuzzy, grayish with mauve-brown undertones. Interior of aperture light 
mauve-brown, usually with a whitish, spiral band on the middle of the body 
whorl. O. stearTisi Hemphill is the same. Very common in rocky rubble and 
on wharf pilings. 

Ocenebra circumtexta Stearns Circled Dwarf Triton 

Figure 49b 

Moss Beach, California, to Lower California. 

% to I inch in length, spire V^ the length of the shell. Characterized by 
very strong, rough spiral cords (15 on the body whorl, 6 on the whorls 
above). Under a lens the cords are seen to consist of arched, crowded, raised 
axial lamellae. The cords are often cream-white with the interspaces black- 
brown. Axial ribs wide, low, rounded and 7 to 9 per whorl. Some specimens 
are banded or have large, red-brown spots. A white form of this species was 
unnecessarily named citrica Dall. A very abundant species on rocks at low 
tide to 30 fathoms. 

Ocenebra poulsoni Carpenter Poulson's Dwarf Triton 

Plate 24k 

Santa Barbara, California, to Lower California. 

1 % to 2 inches in length; a sturdy shell with a semi-gloss finish. 8 to 9 
nodulated, rounded axial ribs per whorl crossed by numerous very fine, 
incised spiral lines and 4 or 5 larger, rounded, raised spiral cords. The latter 
make nodules on the ribs. Siphonal canal narrowly open. Periostracum thin, 
grayish or brownish and smoothish. When the periostracum is absent, the 
shell is glossy-white with numerous, fine spiral lines of dark- to yellow- 
brown. Aperture white. An exceedingly common species found in nearly 
every region on rocks and wharf pilings. 

Genus Pterorytis Conrad 1862 
Pterorytis foliata Gmelin Foliated Thorn Purpura 

Plate 24h 

Alaska to San Pedro, California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, with 3 large, thin, foliaceous varices per whorl 
which are finely fimbriated on the anterior side. Numerous spiral cords are 
rather prominent and of various sizes. Siphonal canal closed, its anterior tip 
turned up and to the right. Base of outer lip with a moderately strong spine. 


Aperture white. Exterior white to Hght-brown. Common in the Puget 
Sound area and to the north on rocks near shore. Also down to 35 fathoms. 
Appears in some books as Purpura or Ceratostoina foliatum Martyn. 

Pterorytis nuttalli Conrad Nuttall's Thorn Purpura 

Plate 14 
Point Conception, Cahfornia, to Lower Cahfornia. 

1/4 to 2 inches in length, similar to Pter. foHata (and somewhat resem- 
bling Ocenebra poulsom)^ but with much more poorly developed varices, 
and with one prominent, noduled rib between each varix. Spine on outer lip 
usually long and sharp. Exterior yellowish brown, sometimes spirally banded. 
Siphonal canal closed along its length. A common littoral species in the 
southern part of its range. 

Genus Eupleiira H. and A. Adams 1853 
Eupleura caiidata Say Thick-lipped Drill 

Figure 47b 
South of Cape Cod to south half of Florida. 

/4 to I inch in length; apex pointed; siphonal canal moderately long, 
almost closed, coming to a sharp point below. Last varix large, rounded and 
with small nodules. Inside of outer lip with about 6 small, bead-like teeth. 
Whorls with spiral cords and strong axial ribs. Th-^re are 4 to 6 axial ribs 
between the last 2 varices. E. etterae B. B. Baker is a large, ecologic form of 
this species. 

Eupleura sulcidentata Dall Sharp-ribbed Drill 

Figure 47c 

West coast of Florida. 

Similar to E. caudata, but with the spiral sculpture almost absent. There 
are only 2 or 3 axial ribs between the last 2 varices. The varices are thin and 
sharp, and the entire shell is slightly compressed laterally (has a more oval 
outline from an apical or top view than does caudata). The axial ribs are 
often sharp and may bear a small spine at the top. Color gray, chocolate- 
brown, tan or rarely pinkish, and sometimes with a narrow spiral brown 
band. Moderately common. E. stimpsoiii Dall from deep water in the Gulf 
of Mexico is figured on p. 209. 

Genus Coralliophila H. and A. Adams 1853 

CoralUophila abbreviata Lamarck Short Coral-shell 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

220 American Seashells 

% to i^ inches in length, soHd, grayish white, rather misshapen, with 
rounded or squared shoulders, and with or without weak, rounded axial 
ridges. Spiral sculpture of crowded, variously sized spiral cords which are 
made up of numerous microscopic scales. Aperture enamel-white, rounded 
above and constricted into a short siphonal canal below. Umbilicus small, 
shallow and funnel-shaped. A common species found living in the bases of 
seafans. C. deburghiae Reeve is a deep-water form or species with long, tri- 
angular ribs projecting straight out from the periphery of the whorl. It is 

Subgenus Latiaxis Swainson 1840 
Coralliophila costata Blainville California Latiaxis 

Point Conception, Cahfornia, to Panama. 

I to I % inches in length, variable in shape and the development of frills 
and spines. Deep-water forms (called hindsi Carpenter) bear triangular, flat- 
tened, up-turned spines on the periphery of the whorl. Spiral cords are 
strongly scaled. Color light-gray with an enamel-white aperture. Moder- 
ately common offshore. A choice collector's item. 

Superfamily BUCCINACEA 

Genus Colmnbella Lamarck 1799 

Columbella 7nercatoria Linne Common Dove-shell 

Plate 25bb 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to % inch in length, solid, squat, highly colored with white and 
brown, interrupted spiral bars over yellow, pink or orange background. 
Sometimes only maculated with one color (orange, brown or yellow). Outer 
lip thick, bearing about a dozen white teeth. A common shallow-water spe- 
cies frequently cast up on beaches. Not found on the west coast of Florida. 

Colwnbella rusticoides Heilprin Rusty Dove-shell 

Key West north along the west coast of Florida. 

Similar to C. mercatoria, but much more slender, smooth on the center 
of the body whorl, and with mauve-brown marks between the apertural 
teeth. Also more faintly colored and lacking spiral bars or lines of brown. 
Common down to 20 feet. 



Genus Anachis H. and A. Adams 1853 
Anachis avara Say Greedy Dove-shell 

Plate 2566 

New Jersey to both sides of Florida to Texas. 

% to V-y inch in length, moderately elongate, with about a dozen smooth 
axial plications on the upper half of each whorl. Spiral, incised lines very 
weak or absent, but strong at the base. Aperture narrow, a Httle less than 
half the length of the shell. Weak, smooth varix present. The 3 nuclear 
whorls are smooth and translucent-white. Next few whorls with numerous 
axial riblets. Color yellowish brown to dark gray-brown over which may be 
seen a faint pattern of irregular, white, large dots. Sometimes with dark- 
brown specklings. 4 weak teeth inside inner lip. A very common low-tide 
mark species. 

Anachis obesa C. B. Adams Fat Dove-shell 

Virginia to Florida, the Gulf States and the West Indies. 

%6 to ^ inch in length, moderately wide, dull grayish with i or 2 sub- 
dued, spiral brown bands in some specimens. Small, sharp axial ribs are nu- 
merous; spiral incised lines numerous, not crossing ribs. There is a fairly 
strong, occasionally knobbed, spiral cord immediately below the suture. 
Varix large, smooth and rounded. Body whorl behind it usually smoothish. 
Parietal shield faintly developed, but with a sharp edge. Inner wall of outer 
lip with about 3 to 5 small teeth. The form ostreicola Melville from north- 
west Florida is dark-brown and with stronger spiral threads or wider incised 
lines. This is a common shallow-water species. 

Anachis translirata Ravenel Well-ribbed Dove-shell 

Plate 25flF 

Massachusetts to northeast Florida. 

Similar to avara, but with about twice as many axial ribs which run the 
entire depth of each whorl, and with strong incised spiral lines throughout. 
Outer lip with about a dozen tiny teeth. Color drab yellowish to brown, but 
sometimes with wide, subdued, spiral bands of darker brown. Dredged com- 
monly just offshore usually from 2 to 20 fathoms. 

Anachis penicillata Carpenter Penciled Dove-shell 

San Pedro to Lower California. 

1/5 inch in length, rather slender, with 6 whorls, of which the first 2 
nuclear ones are smooth, the remainder with about 1 5 strong axial riblets per 

222 American Seashelh 

whorl, which are made slightly uneven by numerous very fine spiral threads. 
Color translucent-cream with sparse spottings of brown. Common under 
rocks between tide marks. 

Genus Nitidella Swainson 1840 
Nitidella ocellata Gmelin White-spotted Dove-shell 

Plate 2 5hh 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, smooth, characteristically dark black-brown with nu- 
merous small white dots which may be quite large just below the suture. 
Outer lip thick, with 5 or 6 small whitish teeth. Aperture short, narrow, 
purplish brown within. When beachworn, the color is reddish or yellowish 
brown. Common under rocks at low tide. Formerly known as cribraria 

Nitidella mtidula Sowerby Glossy Dove-shell 

Plate 25dd 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length, characterized by the long aperture (% that of the 
entire shell) and by the very glossy shell. Color whitish with heavy mot- 
tlings of light-yellow to mauve-brown. Outer lip with about a dozen small 
teeth. Common in the West Indies on rocks at low tide. 

Nitidella gouldi Carpenter Gould's Dove-shell 

Plate 20m 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

H inch in length, 7 whorls are smoothish and slightly convex. Spire 
almost flat-sided. Base of shell on exterior of canal with about 9 fine, incised 
spiral lines. Bottom of white columella with a single, low plait. Outer lip 
simple, sharp and often reinforced within by 4 or 5 weak pustules. Shell 
whitish with faint brown maculations, covered with a yellowish-gray peri- 
ostracum. Fairly common from just ofl"shore to 300 fathoms. 

Nitidella carinata Sowerby Carinate Dove-shell 

San Francisco to Lower California. 

H inch in length, glossy, brightly variegated with orange, yellow, white 
and brown. Shoulder of last whorl usually strongly swollen. Exterior of 
canal with about a dozen spiral, incised lines. Both ends of the aperture are 
stained dark-brown. Outer lip thickened, crooked, and with about a dozen 
small spiral threads or teeth inside. Fairly common in shallow water. N. 



gausapata Gould (California to Alaska) is similar, but without the swollen 

Genus Mitrella Risso 1826 
Subgenus Astyris H. and A. Adams 1853 

Mitrella lunata Say Lunar Dove-shell 

Plate 25gg 

Massachusetts to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

%6 to M inch in length, glossy, smooth, translucent-gray and marked 
with fine, axial zigzag brown to yellow stripes. Base of shell with fine, in- 
cised spiral lines. Aperture constricted, slightly sinuate. Outer lip with 4 
small teeth on the inside. No prominent varix. Nuclear whorls very small 
and translucent. Color sometimes milky-white or mottled in brown. A very 
common species found at low tide. 

Mitrella raveneli Dall Ravenel's Dove-shell 

Plate 25CC 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

% inch in length, resembling lunata, but translucent-whitish, without 
the mottlings, normally a slightly larger shell, more elongate, with a longer 
siphonal canal, and with a rather thin outer lip which lacks the deep sinua- 
tion found in the upper portion of the outer lip as in Iwiata. Commonly 
dredged from 5 to 90 (rarely to 200) fathoms. Rarely washed ashore. 

Mitrella tuberosa Carpenter Variegated Dove-shell 

Alaska to the Gulf of California. 

/4 inch in length, slender, with a narrow, pointed, flat-sided spire. Shell 
smooth and usually glossy. Outer lip slightly thickened and with small teeth 
within. Color a translucent yellowish tan with opaque, light-brown flammules 
and maculations. Sometimes all brown with tiny white dots. Early whorls 
in worn specimens have a lilac tinge. Periostracum thin and translucent. 
Common in shallow water; 7 to 30 fathoms. M. variegata Stearns may be this 

Genus Amphissa H. and A. Adams 1853 
This genus was formerly placed in the family Buccinidae. 

Amphissa versicolor Dall Joseph's Coat Amphissa 

Figure 50a 

Oregon to Lower California. 


American Seas hells 

y^ inch in length, rather thin, but quite strong; surface glossy. 7 whorls. 
Suture well-impressed. Whorls in spire and upper third of body whorl with 
about 15 obliquely slanting, strong, rounded, axial ribs. Numerous spiral, 
incised lines are strongest on the base of the body whorl. Lower columella 
area with a small shield. Outer lip thickened within by about a dozen small 
white teeth. Color pinkish gray with indistinct motthngs of orange-brown. 
A common littoral to shallow-water species. 

Figure 50. Small whelks of the Pacific coast, a, Amphissa versicolor Dall; b, A. 
Columbiana Dall; c, A. undata Cpr.; d, Searlesia dira Reeve. All X3. 

Amphissa columbiana Dall 

Alaska to San Pedro, California. 

Columbian Amphissa 

Figure 50b 

I inch in length, similar to versicolor, but characterized by its large size, 
numerous, weak, vertical, axial ribs (20 to 24 on the next to the last whorl, 
and missing on the last part of the last whorl), and by the low, rounded varix 
behind the outer lip. Color yellow-brown with indistinct mauve mottlings. 
Periostracum thin, yellowish brown. Moderately common in shallow water 
from Oregon to Alaska. 

Amphissa undata Carpenter Carpenter's Amphissa 

Figure 50c 
Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

Vs to y2 inch in length, similar to versicolor, especially in color, but with 


a much higher spire, stronger axial ribs, and much stronger, more acute, spiral 
cords. Moderately common from 25 to 265 fathoms. 

Amphissa bicolor Dall Two-tinted Amphissa 

Farralon Islands, to San Diego, California. 

% to % inch in length, similar to versicolor, but thinner-shelled, usually 
with fewer ribs, glossy-white in color, but covered with a pale-straw peri- 
ostracum, and without the small teeth inside the outer lip. Dredged com- 
monly from 40 to 330 fathoms. 

Genus Buccinum Linne 1758 

Buccinwn undatum Linne Common Northern Buccinum 

Arctic Seas^to New Jersey. Europe. 

2 to 4 inches in length, solid, chalky gray to yellowish with a moderately 
thick, gray periostracum. Axial ribs 9 to 18 per whorl, low, extending ^ 
to V2 way down the whorl. Spiral cords small, usually about 5 to 8 between 
sutures. Outer lip slightly or well sinuate and somewhat flaring. Aperture 
and parietal wall enamel-white. Anterior canal short. 1V2 nuclear whorls 
fairly large, smooth and translucent-white. Operculum oval, concentric, 
chitinous, and light yellow-brown. A very variable shell which sometimes 
lacks the axial ribs but may have numerous spiral threads. Common just off- 
shore to several fathoms in cold water. 

Buccinum tenue Gray Silky Buccinum 

Plate 24U 

Arctic Seas to Washington State. Arctic Seas to the Gulf of Maine. 

1V2 to 1V2 inches in length; aperture 'V2 the length of the shell. Outer 
lip slightly sinuate, thin and slightly flaring. Axial ribs small, numerous, inter- 
twining and extending from suture to suture. Spiral sculpture of microscopic, 
beaded threads giving a silky appearance. Color light-brown. Common off- 
shore. Compare with plectrum Stimpson. 

Buccinum plectrum Stimpson Plectrum Buccinum 

Figure 51a 

Arctic Seas to Puget Sound. Arctic Seas to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

2 to 3 inches in length; aperture a little more than % the entire length 
of the shell. Outer lip strongly sinuate, thickened and flaring. Axial ribs 

226 American Seashells 

small (but larger and fewer than those in temie), and limited to the upper 
fourth of the whorl. Spiral sculpture of numerous rough, but microscopic, 
incised lines. Color grayish white. Common offshore in cold water. Do not 
confuse with B. tenue. 

Buccinum glaciale Linne Glacial Buccinum 

Plate 24t 

Arctic Seas to Washington State. Arctic Seas to the Gulf of St. Law- 

2 to 3 inches in length, fairly thick-shelled, but light in comparison to 
its size. Characterized by its thick, flaring, turned-back outer lip, and by the 
2 wavy, strong spiral cords on the periphery of the whorl. Spiral incised 
lines numerous. Color mauve-brown. Aperture cream with a purplish flush 
within. Common from low tide to several fathoms in the Arctic region. 

Buccinum baeri Middendorff Baer's Buccinum 

Plate 24V 

Bering Sea. 

I to 2 inches in length, resembling a thin, beach-worn Thais lima. Aper- 
ture about % the length of the shell. Rather thin, smoothish, except for m.i- 
croscopic, incised spiral lines. Color drab grayish with purplish to reddish 
undertones. Periostracum, when present, is thin, translucent and light-brown. 
Operculum V5 the size of the aperture. Commonly found washed ashore on 
the beaches of Alaska and the Aleutians. A very unattractive shell. 

Genus Volutopsius Morch 1857 
Subgenus Volutopsius s. str. 

Volutopsius castaneus Morch Chestnut Buccinum 

Figure 51c 


2.V2 to 3^4 inches in length, rather solid; with 4 whorls; aperture large 
and slightly flaring. Interior brownish white enamel. Columella slightly 
arched, white within, brown on the parietal wall. Exterior surface brownish 
and smoothish, except for coarse axial wrinkles appearing more as deform- 
ities in growth. Moderately common on rocks below low-water mark. 

Subgenus Pyrulofusus Morch 1869 
Volutopsius bar pa Morch Left-handed Buccinum 

Plate 24P 



3 to 4 inches in length, characteristically sinistral (left-handed), 4 
whorls, with the smoothish nucleus indented. Sculpture of 6 to 12 very 
oblique, low, rounded axial ribs and numerous (often paired) raised spiral 
threads. Color ash-gray with a light brownish yellow periostracum. Interior 
of aperture tinted with tan. Operculum much smaller than the aperture. 
Dextral (right-handed) specimens are rarities. Fairly common in deep water. 

Genus ]umala Friele 1882 
(Bermgius Dall) 

Jumala crehricostata Dall Thick-ribbed Buccinum 

Figure 51b 


4 to 5 inches in length, moderately heavy, with 5 to 6 whorls. Charac- 
terized by the very strong, rounded spiral cords (3 to 4 between sutures) 
which on the base of the shell tend to be flat-topped. Periostracum grayish 
brown, thin and semi-glossy. A very handsome, but not commonly acquired 
species which occurs from 80 to 100 fathoms. 

Jumala keitnicotti Dall Kennicott's Buccinum 

Figure 5ig 


5 to 6 inches in length, not very heavy. Characterized by about 9 strong, 
arched, somewhat rounded axial ribs extending from suture to suture, and, 
on the body whorl, extending % the way down the whorl. Spiral sculpture 
of microscopic scratches, except on the base where there are a dozen or so 
weak threads. Periostracum light-brown, thin, and usually flakes off in dried 
specimens. Shell chalky and whitish gray in color. Not uncommon in sev- 
eral fathoms of water; rarely in very shallow water. 

Genus Coins Roding 1798 
Cohis stimpsoni Morch Stimpson's Colus 

Plate 23X 

Labrador to off North Carolina. 

3 to 5 inches in length, fusiform, moderately strong, chalk-white in 
color, but covered with a semi-glossy, light- to dark-brown, moderately thin 
periostracum. Length of aperture about half the length of the entire shell. 
Sculpture of numerous incised spiral lines. Fairly common from i to 471 


American Seashells 

Figure 51. Pacific Buccinums and Neptunes. a, Buccimnn plectrum Summon; h, 

Jmmla crebricostata Dall; c, Vohitopsim casta7ieits Morch; d, Neptwiea eiicomiia 

Dall; e, Neptimea phoenicea Dall; f, Neptimea tabnlata Baird; g, Jiimala kennicotti 

Dall; h, Colus spitzbergensis Reeve, All reduced about Yo. 


Colus pubescens Verrill Hairy Colus 

Plate 231 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to off North Carolina. 

2 to 2% inches in length, very similar to stimpsoni, but the aperture is 
about % the entire length of the shell, the suture more abruptly impressed, 
the whorls slightly more convex and the siphonal canal usually, but not 
always, more twisted. Very commonly dredged from 18 to 640 fathoms. 

Colus pygmaea Gould Pygmy Colus 

Plate 23m 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to off North Carolina. 

Less than i inch in length, with 6 to 7 fairly convex whorls, fairly frag- 
ile, chalk-white, with spiral incised lines, and covered with a light olive-gray, 
thin, velvety periostracum. Aperture slightly more than % the length of the 
entire shell. Commonly dredged from i to 640 fathoms. 

Coins caelata Verrill and Smith (Massachusetts to North Carolina, deep 
water) is about the same size, but is characterized by about 12 strong axial 
ribs per whorl in addition to numerous fine spiral threads. It is chalky-white 
to gray. 

Colus spitzbergensis Reeve Spitzbergen Colus 

Figure 5ih 

Bering Sea to Washington State. Arctic Seas to Gulf of St. Lawrence. 

2/4 to 3 inches in length, rather light-shelled, and with 6 fairly well- 
rounded whorls. Spire long and of about 30 to 35 degrees. Siphonal canal 
short; columella almost straight. Outer lip flaring, slightly thickened. Sculp- 
ture of numerous (12 to 14 between sutures) low, flat-topped, small, equally 
sized spiral cords. Chalk-gray with a reddish to yellowish brown, thin peri- 
ostracum. Commonly dredged from i to 142 fathoms. 

Genus Nepumea Roding 1798 
Neptunea decevicostata Say Brown-corded Neptune 

Plate 23s 

Nova Scotia to Massachusetts. 

3 to 4H inches in length, rather heavy. Characterized by its grayish- 
white, rather smooth shell which bears 7 to 10 very strong, reddish-brown, 
spiral cords. The upper whorls show 2 to 3 cords. There is an additional 
band of brown just below the suture. A common cold-water species found 
offshore, but occasionally washed up on New England beaches. 

230 American Seashells 

Neptunea ventricosa Gmelin Fat Neptune 

Plate 24s 

Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea. 

3 to 4 inches in length, heavy, with a large, ventricose body whorl. 
Axial ribs or growth lines coarse and indistinct, rarely lamellate. Shoulders 
sometimes weakly nodulated. Spiral cords absent or very weak. Color a 
dirty-brownish white. Aperture white or flushed with brownish purple. 
Moderately common offshore. This is Chrysodomus satura Martyn and its 
several poor varieties. 

Neptunea pribiloffensis Dall Pribiloff Neptune 

Plate 241 

Bering Sea to British Columbia. 

4 to 5 mches in length, similar to N. lyrata, but with a lighter shell, with 
weaker and more numerous spiral cords, and with more numerous and 
stronger secondary spiral threads. Outer lip more flaring and the siphonal 
canal with more of a twist to the left. Fairly commonly dredged from 50 to 
100 fathoms. 

Neptunea lyrata Gmelin Common Northwest Neptune 

Plate 24q 

Arctic Ocean to Puget Sound, Washington. 

4 to 5 inches in length, % as wide, solid, fairly heavy. With 5 to 6 
strongly convex whorls, bearing about 8 strong to poorly developed, raised 
spiral cords (2 of which usually show in each whorl in the spire). Faint, 
quite small, spiral threads are also present. Exterior dull whitish brown. 
Aperture enamel-white with a tan tint. Fairly common in Alaska from shore 
to 50 fathoms. This is Chrysodo?mis Jirata Martyn. 

Subgenus Ancistrolepis Dall 1894 
Neptunea eucosmia Dall Channeled Neptune 

Figure 516 
Alaska to Oregon. 

1V2 inches in length, solid, outer lip sharp, strong and crenulated. Si- 
phonal canal short, wide and slightly twisted. Spiral cords strong. Suture 
channeled. Shell chalk-white, but covered with a rather thick, yellow-brown 
to gray periostracum which is axially lamellate and bears minute, erect hairs. 
Aperture glossy-white. Not uncommonly dredged from 62 to 780 fathoms. 
N. calif ornica Dall and bicincta Dall appear to be this species. 


Subgenus Sulcosipho Dall 1916 
Neptunea tabulata Baird Tabled Neptune 

Figure 5 if 

British Columbia to San Diego, California. 

3 to 4 inches in length, moderately solid, with 8 whorls, colored white 
with a thin brown periostracum. Characterized by the wide, flat channel 
next to the suture. It is bounded by a raised, scaly or fimbriated spiral cord. 
Remainder of whorl with numerous sandpapery spiral threads. A choice col- 
lector's item, not uncommonly dredged from 30 to 200 fathoms. 

Genus Kelletia Fischer 1884 
Kclletia kelleti Forbes Keller's Whelk 

Plate 24W 

Santa Barbara, California, to San Quentin Bay, Mexico. 

4 to 5 inches in length, characterized by its very heavy, white, fusiform 
shell, its fine, wavy suture, and by the sharp, crenulated outer lip. Whorls 
slightly concave between the suture and the shouldered periphery, which 
bears 10 strong, rounded knobs per whorl. Base with about 6 to 10 incised, 
spiral lines. Aperture glossy and white. Very commonly caught in traps 
from 10 to 35 fathoms. There are no other recent species in the genus. Often 
misspelled with two t's. 

Genus Bailya M. Smith 1944 
Bailya intricata Dall Intricate Baily-shell 

Plate 251 

Southern half of Florida. 

/4 inch in length, fairly strong, pure white in color and with cancellate 
sculpturing. Last whorl with 12 to 14 low axial ribs which are crossed by 
about a dozen spiral cords (between which there may be a much smaller 
thread). At their intersection there are small beads. Outer lip with a frilled, 
rounded varix. Columella smooth. Weak spiral cord present on inside of 
aperture on the upper parietal wall. Whorls slightly shouldered. No notch 
in lower part of outer lip. Nuclear whorl smooth, glassy and rounded. Un- 
common from I to 50 fathoms. 

Bailya parva C. B. Adams from the West Indies differs in not having its 
whorls shouldered, having weaker spiral cords, and in occasionally having 
brown coloring. 

Genus Antillophos Woodring 1928 
Antillophos candei Orbigny Cande's Phos 

Plate 25U 

North Carolina to south Florida and Cuba. 

232 American Seashells 

I to i^ inches in length, slightly less than half as wide; strong, heavy 
and pure white. Last whorl with about 13 small spiral cords and about 24 
stronger axial ribs. Where they cross, there are small, rounded beads. Outer 
lip near the low part has a shallow notch. Inside the lip are about a dozen 
prominent, spiral ridges. Columella with 2 low spiral ridges near the base, 
sometimes weaker ones above. Upper parietal wall with a strong spiral cord 
running back into the aperture. Nuclear whorls smooth, glossy, white and 
slightly carinate. Very commonly dredged from 20 to 100 fathoms. 

Genus Engina Gray 1839 
Engina turbinella Kiener White-spotted Engina 

Plate 25W 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

Vs to y2 inch in length, dark purple-brown with about 10 low, white 
knobs per whorl on the periphery. Base with 2 to 4 spiral rows of much 
smaller white knobs. Microscopic spiral threads numerous. Aperture thick- 
ened and constricted by 4 to 5 whitish teeth on the outer lip and by a twist 
of the columella just above the narrow siphonal canal. Do not confuse with 
Mitra sulcata which has several columellar plications. Common under rocks 
at low tide. 

Genus Searlesia Harmer 191 6 
Searlesia dira Reeve Dire Whelk 

Figure 501! 

Alaska to Monterey, California. 

I to I /4 inches in length, half as wide, with the brown aperture half the 
length of the dark gray, fusiform shell. Outer lip thin but strong and with 
fine serrations which extend back into the shell as small spiral threads. Colu- 
mella arched, chocolate-brown and glossy. Whorls in spire with 9 to 1 1 low, 
rounded axial ribs, and all of the exterior with numerous fine, unequal-sized 
spiral threads. Siphonal canal short and slightly twisted to the left. A com- 
mon shallow-water species commonly from northern California to the north. 

Genus Coluhraria Schumacher 18 17 
Colubraria lanceolata Menke Arrow Dwarf Triton 

Plate 25X 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in length, slender, with 7 whorls. Aperture long and nar- 
row. Varix strong and curled back. Parietal shield elevated into a collar. 


Former distinct varices present every % of a whorl. Sculpture very finely 
cancellate and beaded. Nucleus brown, smooth and bulbous. Shell ash-gray 
with occasional orange-brown smudges. Uncommonly dredged on rocky 
bottom just ofi'shore. 

Colubraria test ace a Morch from Tortugas and the West Indies is % 
to 1% inches in length, fatter, with numerous, small beads and with wider 
varices. C. sivifti Tryon (subgenus Monostiohnn Dall), also from the West 
Indies, is % inch long, without former varices, axially ribbed and heavily 
maculated with brown. Both are uncommon. 

Genus Pisania Bivona-Bernardi 1832 
Fisania pusio Linne Miniature Triton Trumpet 

Plate 13-0 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 1% inches in length, sturdy, smooth, and usually with a glossy 
finish. The outer lip is weakly toothed within, and the upper parietal wall 
has a small, white, swollen tooth near the top of the aperture. Color variable, 
but usually purplish brown with narrow spiral bands of irregular dark and 
light spots commonly chevron-shaped. Moderately common below low- 
water line in the region of coral reefs. 

Genus Cantharus Roding 1798 
Subgenus Pollia Sowerby 1834 

Cantharus tmctits Conrad Tinted Cantharus 

Plate 25y 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I /4 inches in length, heavy, spire evenly conic; aperture with a 
small canal at the top. Axial ribs low and weak. Spiral cords numerous and 
weak, forming weak beads as they cross the ribs. Inside of outer lip with 
small teeth which are strongest near the top. Color of shell variegated with 
yellow-brown, blue-gray and milky-white. Fairly common in shallow water. 
The young are easily confused with Thais. See remarks under T. rustica, 
p. 214. 

Cantharus auritula Link Gaudy Cantharus 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Similar to C. tinctus, but broader, with shouldered whorls, with about 
9 stronger axial ribs per whorl and with about 10 sharp spiral threads on 

2 34 American Seashells 

the last whorl. Outer lip turned in as the varix is formed. Color brighter. 
Posterior canal longer. Common in the West Indies; intertidal. 

Cantharus cancellarins Conrad Cancellate Cantharus 

West coast of Florida to Texas and Yucatan. 

Similar to C. tinctiis, but with a lighter shell, higher spire, and with sharp, 
spiral threads and narrow, axial ribs which cross to make a beaded and can- 
cellate sculpturing. Posterior siphonal canal absent or weak. Varix very 
weak. Moderately common in shallow water. 

Genus Macron H. and A. Adams 1853 
Macroji lividus A. Adams Livid Macron 

Plate 24X 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

% to I inch in length, half as wide, strong, with 5 whorls which are 
covered with a thick, felt-like, dark-brown periostracum. Shell yellowish 
to bluish white. Outer lip sharp, strong, and near its base bearing a small, 
spiral thread. Columella strongly concave and white. Upper end of aperture 
narrow, with a small, short channel and with a white, tooth-like callus on 
the parietal wall. Siphonal canal short and slightly twisted. Base of shell 
with a half dozen incised spiral lines. Operculum chitinous, brown, thick, 
oval and with the nucleus at one end. Very common under stones at low 


Genus Melongena Schumacher 18 17 

{Gale odes) 

Melongena corona Gmelin Common Crown Conch 

Figure 52 

Florida, the Gulf States and A4exico. 

2 to 4 inches in length, very variable in size, color, shape and production 
of spines. Dirty-cream with wide, spiral bands of brown, purplish brown 
or dark bluish black. Pure white "albinos" are infrequent. Shoulder and 
base of shell with i, 2, 3 or 4 rows of semi-tubular spines which may point 
upward or horizontally. Numerous varieties have been named which do 
not even warrant subspecific standing: minor Sowerby (dwarf); estepho- 
menos Melville (dwarf and narrow); altispira Pilsbry and Vanatta (long and 
narrow); bispinosa Philippi (2 rows of spines); insp'mata Richards spineless 
shoulder); and jnartiniana Philippi. A very common species in Florida. 
Used extensively in the shellcraft industry. 



Melongena corona perspinosa Pilsbry and Vanatta appears to be a 
good subspecies. (Tampa south to Lossmans Key, Florida). Up to 4% 
inches in length, heavier and wider than corona, with a wider aperture, and 
with shoulder spines standing out at right angles, and with 2 or 3 rows of 
smaller spines below the larger ones. A descendant possibly of the Pliocene 
subspecies subcoronata Heilprin. Soft parts and radula described and figured 
in Frank Lyman's excellent Shell Notes, vol. 2, no. 2-3, 1948 (published 
privately by Lyman, Lantana, Florida). 

Figure 52. Two forms of the Crown Conch, Melongena corona Gmelin, from 
Florida, a, sandy area; b and c, from oyster bed. Reduced %. 

Melongena melongena Linne West Indian Crown Conch 

Plate 2 3h 

Florida Keys (?) and the West Indies. 

3 to 6 inches in length, similar to corona, but heavier, with rounded 
shoulders; smaller, more solid spines, and with a distinct channel at the suture. 
Common in the Greater Antilles. 

Genus Busy con Roding 1798 
{Fulgiir Montfort) 

Knobbed Whelk 

Plate 2 3i 

Busy con carica Gmelin 

South shore of Cape Cod to central east Florida. 

Adults 5 to 9 inches in length; characterized by having low tubercles 
on the shoulder of the whorl and in being right-handed. Aperture light 
orange-yellow, but sometimes brick-red. The young show axial streaks of 
brownish purple. Common in shallow water. 

236 American Se ash ells 

Busy con contrarium Conrad Lightning Whelk 

Plate 23-0 
South Carolina to Florida and the Gulf States. 

4 to 16 inches in length, left-handed, with a row of moderately small, 
triangular knobs at the shoulder. Color grayish white with long, axial, wavy 
streaks of purplish brown which are blurred along their posterior edge. 
Albino shells are rare. Off Yucatan and rarely in Florida, right-handed 
specimens are found. Their siphonal canal is longer than that in B. carica, and 
the shell is lighter than that of perversum. A very common species in west 

Busy con perversum Linne Perverse Whelk 

Plate 23k 
Both sides of central Florida. 

4 to 8 inches in length, very heavy and with a glossy finish. This 
species should not be confused with the common contrarium. This species 
can be either left-handed (formerly known as kieneri Philippi 1848) or 
right-handed (formerly known as eliceans Montfort 18 10, pi. 23k). The 
name B. perversum or Fulgur perversa in most old popular books refers to B. 
contrarhmi. The perverse whelk is an uncommon species. It is characterized 
by the heavy, polished shell and the swollen, rounded ridge around the 
middle of the whorl. Dredged from 4 to 10 fathoms. 

Subgenus Busy coty pus Wenz 1943 
Busy con canaliculatum Linne Channeled Whelk 

Plate 2311 

Cape Cod to St. Augustine, Florida. 

5 to 7% inches in length, characterized by a deep, rather wide channel 
running along the suture and by the heavy, felt-like, gray periostracum. Com- 
mon in shallow, sandy areas. Left-handed specimens are rare. The subgenera 
Fulguropsis E. S. Marks 1950 and Sycofulgur Marks 1950 are the same as 
Wenz's subgenus. 

Busy con spiratum Lamarck Pear Whelk 

Plate 9g 
North Carolina to Florida and the Gulf States. 

3 to 4 inches in length; characterized by its smooth, rounded shoulders 
and the deep, but narrow channel at the suture. Periostracum thin and 
velvety. Do not confuse with Ficus which is a much more fragile shell. 
Common in shallow, sandy, clear water areas. The animal is cream-gray. 
Known in all previous popular books as B. pyrum Dillwyn. In the western 


part of the Gulf of Mexico, specimens often have a weak keel on the 
shoulder (form or subspecies plagosum Conrad). 

Busy con coarctatwn Sowerby Turnip Whelk 

Plate I a 

Yucatan area, Mexico. 

Until 1950 this was considered a very rare species, but dredging activities 
of shrimp trawlers have brought a large number of them to light. Charac- 
terized by its turnip-like shape, single row of numerous small, dark-brown 
spines, and by its golden-yellow aperture. 5 inches in length. 


Genus Nassarms Dumeril 1806 

Subgenus Nassarms s. str. 

Nassarms vibex Say Common Eastern Nassa 

Plate 2 3q 
Cape Cod to Florida, the Gulf States and the AVest Indies. 

% inch in length, heavy, with a well-developed parietal shield. Last 
whorl with about a dozen, poorly developed, axial ribs which are coarsely 
beaded. Color gray-brown to whitish with a few splotches or broken bands 
of subdued, darker brown. A common sand or mud-flat species. Some 
specimens have numerous weak spiral cords. Parietal shield sometimes yellow- 

Nassarms acjitus Say Sharp-knobbed Nassa 

Figure 53c 

West coast of Florida to Texas. 

Ya: inch in length, characterized by its glossy shell, its strong, pointed 
beads, and in occasionally having a narrow, brown, spiral thread connecting 
the beads. Moderately common. Fossil specimens are twice as large. 

Nassarms insculptus Carpenter Smooth Western Nassa 

Figure 53f 

Point Arena, California, to Lower California. 

% inch in length, outer lip thickened, parietal wall thick, white but 
not very wide. Body whorl smoothish, except for weak, fine spiral threads. 
Axial ribs numerous only on early whorls. Color white, covered by a yellow- 
ish white periostracum. Moderately common; dredged from 20 to 200 


American Seashells 

Nassarms tegnla Reeve 

San Francisco to Lower California. 

Western Mud Nassa 

Plate 2 on 

% inch in length, moderately heavy, with a heavy, whitish or brown- 
stained parietal callus. Body whorl smoothish around the middle, but with 
a spiral row of fairly large nodes below the suture. In the spire, the nodes 
are usually divided in two. Base of body whorl with a few weak, spiral 
threads. Outer lip thick. Color olive-gray to brownish, often with a narrow, 
whitish or purplish, spiral band. A common mud-flat species. 

FiciURE 53. Nassa Mud Snails. ATLANTIC: a, Nassarws miibigiiiis Pulteney; b, 

N. amhigims form co7iseimis Rav.; c, N. acutus Say. PACIFIC: d, A^. vien'diciis 

Gould; e, N. perpbigiiis Hinds; f, N. iiisciilpws Cpr. All X3. 


Subgenus Hinia Gray 1847 
Nassarms ambiguus Pulteney 1799 Variable Nassa 

Plate 231; figure 53a 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

V2 inch in length, relatively light-shelled, usually pure white in color, 
but occasionally with i or 2 narrow, spiral bands of light yellowish brown. 
Number of strong, axial ribs per whorl varies from 8 to 12. Upper part of 
whorl sometimes shouldered. Numerous spiral, rounded cords are strong 
or weak. Parietal shield enamel-v/hite, usually not well-developed. N . con- 
sensus Ravenel is possibly only a form of this unusually variable species 
(fig. 53b). 

Nassarius trivittatus Say New England Nassa 

Plate 23 j 

Nova Scotia to South Carolina. 

% inch in length, rather light-shelled, 8 to 9 whorls; nuclear whorls 
smooth. Whorls in spire with 4 to 5 rows of strong, distinct beads. Parietal 
wall thinly glazed with white enamel. Outer lip sharp and thin. Whorls 
slightly channeled just below the suture. Color light-ash to yellowish gray. 
Common from shallow water to 45 fathoms. 

Nassarius perpinguis Hinds Western Fat Nassa 

Figure 530 

Puget Sound to Lower California. 

% to I inch in length, fairly thin, with a rather fragile outer lip. Similar 
to N. calif ornianus, but with much finer sculpture (usually finely cancellate 
or minutely beaded), and yellowish white in color with 2 or 3 narrow, spiral 
bands of orange-brown, one of which borders the suture. The sculpture is 
variable with spiral threads often predominant. Very abundant along most 
of the coast. Intertidal flats to 50 fathoms. 

Nassarius calijornianus Conrad Californian Nassa 

Squaw Creek, Oregon, to Lower California. 

I inch in length, without a thick parietal shield and the outer lip not 
thickened. Shell with numerous, rather coarse beads arranged in 20 to 30 
axial, slanting ribs. 11 to 12 spiral threads on the last whorl; 5 to 7 on the 
whorls above. Color white with an ashy or yellow-gray periostracum. 
Moderately common just offshore to 35 fathoms. Compare with perpinguis. 

240 American Seashells 

Nassarius mendicus Gould Western Lean Nassa 

Figure 53d 

Alaska to Lower California. 

% to % inch in length, with a moderately high spire. Outer lip not 
thickened. Sculpture consists of numerous, small beads which are formed by 
the crossing of about a dozen small axial ribs and smaller spiral threads. Color 
yellowish gray. Common in shallow water in the north. 

The subspecies or form cooperi Forbes has weaker spiral threads and 
about 7 to 9 strong, whitish, smoother axial ribs which persist to the last of 
the body whorl. Color grayish yellow to whitish, often with fine, spiral, 
brown or mauve lines. Very common in the south. 

Subgenus Zaphon H. and A. Adams 1853 
Nassarius fossatus Gould ^ Giant Western Nassa 

Plate 20s 

Vancouver Island to Lower California. 

I V2 to 2 inches in length, orange-brown to brownish white in color. 
Early whorls coarsely beaded; last whorl with about a dozen coarse, variously 
sized, flat-topped spiral threads and with about a dozen short axial ribs on the 
top third of the last whorl. Outer lip with a jagged edge and constricted 
at the top. The largest and one of the common intertidal Nassa snails on the 
Pacific coast. 

Subgenus llyanassa Stimpson 1865 
Nassarius obsoletus Say Eastern Mud Nassa 

Plate 23P 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to northeast Florida. Introduced to the Pacific 

/4 to I inch in length, usually covered with mud and algae, and has its 
spire eroded at the tip. Color dark black-brown. Sculpture of numerous 
rows of weak beads. Parietal wall thickly glazed with brown and gray. 
Columella with a single, strong spiral ridge near the base. Outer lip with half 
a dozen small grayish teeth which run back into the aperture. Very common 
on oozy, warm mud flats. 

Genus Leucozonia Gray 1847 

Leucozonia nassa Gmelin Chestnut Latirus 

Plate 1 1 1! 

Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 


iVi inches in length, heavy, squat, with its whorls shouldered by about 
9 large nodules. Characterized by its semi-glossy, chestnut-brown color with 
a faint, narrow spiral band of whitish at the base of the shell which terminates 
into a small, distinct spine on the outer lip. Columella with 4 weak folds 
at the base. Aperture yellowish tan within. Common among rocks at low 
tide. Alias L. cingulifera Lamarck. 

Leucozonia ocellata Gmelin White-spotted Latirus 

Plate 1 1 e 

West coast of Florida and the West Indies. 

I inch in length, 73 as wide, squat and heavy. Color dark-brown to 
blackish with a row of about 8 large, white, rounded nodules at the periphery 
and about 3 or 4 spiral rows of smaller white squares on the base of the shell. 
Base of columella with 3 small folds. Apex usually worn white. A common 
intertidal species found under rocks. 

Genus Latirus Montfort 18 10 
Latirus mcgintyi Pilsbry McGinty's Latirus 

Plate lib 

Southeast Florida. 

/4 to 2/4 inches in length, elongate, heavy, and with about 10 whorls. 
Color cream with a soHd yellow-brown periostracum. Aperture bright 
yellow. Umbilicus variable, but usually funnel-shaped. Each whorl with 
8 low, rounded ribs which are noduled by 2 spiral cords in the upper whorls 
and 4 cords on the wide periphery of the last whorl. Numerous fine spiral 
threads present. Lower columella with 2 weak folds. Uncommon. 

Latirus infundibulum Gmelin Brown-lined Latirus 

Plate 1 1 a 

Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

3 inches in length, heavy, resembling a Fusinus in shape, but character- 
ized by the 3 weak folds on the columella, the light-tan to light-brown shell 
which bears small, darker brown, wavy, glossy, smooth spiral cords. 7 to 8 
strong axial nodules per whorl. Umbilicus imperfect, sometimes funnel- 
shaped. Moderately common in the West Indies, rare in Florida. 

Latirus brevicaudatus Reeve Short-tailed Latirus 

Plate I if 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

I to 2% inches in length, rather broad, with a short siphonal canal, with 
8 to 9 rounded, long axial ribs crossed by numerous spiral threads. Color 

242 American Seashells 

light-chestnut, reddish brown or dark-brown. Not so shouldered as, and less 
coarsely sculptured than, mcgintyi. It is much stouter and not so elongate as 
infundibulum, but like that species may have narrow, brown spiral lines or 
threads. Moderately common in the West Indies. 

Genus Fasciolaria Lamarck 1799 
Fasciolaria tulipa Linne True Tulip 

Plate 13b 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and West Indies. 

3 to 5 inches in length, with 2 or 3 small spiral grooves just below the 
suture, between which the shell surface is often crinkled. Sometimes with 
broken spiral color lines. A beautiful orange-red color variety is not un- 
common on the Lower Keys. Common. Giants reach a length of 10 inches. 

Fasciolaria hunteria Perry Banded Tulip 

Plate 13c 

North Carolina to Florida and the Gulf States. 

2 to 4 inches in length, whorls entirely smooth near the suture. The 
widely spaced, rarely broken, distinct, spiral, purple-brown lines are charac- 
teristic. Albino shells are rare. A common western Florida species which 
lives in warm, shallow areas. Formerly F. distans Lamarck, a later name. 

The subspecies braiihamae Rehder and Abbott from Yucatan to off west 
Texas has a much longer siphonal canal and the spiral color lines are also on 
the siphonal canal. Intergrades exist in Louisiana and Alabama. Branham's 
Tulip is moderately common. 

Genus Pleuroploca P. Fischer 1884 
Pleuroploca gigantea Kiener Florida Horse Conch 

Plate 13a 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

Almost 2 feet in length, although usually about i foot. Outer surface 
dirty-white to chalky-salmon, and covered with a fairly thick, black-brown 
periostracum which flakes off in dried specimens. The young (up to about 
3% inches) have a thinner periostracum and the entire shell is a bright orange- 
red. A form which lacks the nodules on the last whorl was named reevei 
Philippi 1 85 1. P. papulosa Sowerby 1825 is insufficiently described to apply 
with any certainty to this species. 

A similar, large species, P. prmceps Sowerby (the Panama Horse Conch), 
occurs from the Gulf of California to Ecuador. Its operculum has deep, 
rounded grooves. Both of these Horse Conchs were previously put in the 
genus Fasciolaria. 



Subfa?nily FUSININAE 
Genus Fiisinus Rafinesque 1815 

Fusinus thnessus Dall Turnip Spindle 

Plate I ig 

Gulf of Mexico. 

About 3 inches in length, solid, pure white, with a thin, gray periostra- 
cum. Aperture round with a flaring, raised parietal wall which, like the 
inside of the outer lip, is enamel-white and bears numerous spiral threads. 
Each whorl with i o to 12 low, short axial ribs at the periphery. Upper whorls 
with 8 to 9 small, but sharp and slightly wavy, smooth spiral cords. Last 
whorl and the long siphonal canal with a total of about 30 to 40 small cords 
between which is often a very fine one. Dredged uncommonly from 20 to 50 

Fusinus eucos7nius Dall Ornamented Spindle 

Plate lie; figure 22k 

Gulf of Mexico. 

3 inches in length, with about 12 rounded whorls and with a small, 
roundish aperture located at the middle of the shell. Siphonal canal long, 
its diameter about equal to that of the aperture. Whorls with 8 large, rounded 
axial ribs which in the upper whorls are crossed by about 6 strong, sharp, 
slightly wavy spiral threads. Apex often leaning to one side. Color all white 
with a rather heavy, grayish-white to yellowish periostracum. Rather com- 
monly dredged offshore, but still a collector's item. 

Subgenus Barbarofusus Grabau and Shimer 1909 
Fusinus harfordi Stearns Harford's Spindle 

Figure 54a 

Mendocino County, California. 

2 inches in length, heavy, exterior dark, orange-brown, with 11 to 12 
wide, rounded axial ribs crossed by small, sharply raised, finely scaled spiral 
cords. Rare in moderately deep water. 

Fusinus kobelti Dall Kobelt's Spindle 

Figure 54b 

Monterey to Catalina Island, California. 

2 V2 inches in length, heavy, similar to harfordi, but with a longer siphonal 
canal, fewer and larger axial ribs (8 to 10 per whorl), colored white, except 
for several orange-brown spiral cords. Periostracum rather thick, opaque 
and light-brown. The spiral cords in harfordi are much larger and with 
squarish tops. Moderately common in shallow water to 3 5 fathoms. 


America?! Seashells 

Figure 54. Californian Spindles, a, Fiisimts harfordi Stearns, 2 inches; b, F. kobelti 
Dall, 2^. inches; c, Aptyxis luteopicta Dall, % inch. 

Fusinus barbarensis Trask Santa Barbara Spindle 

Plate 24Z 

Oregon to San Diego, California. 

4 to 5 inches in length, almost /4 as wide, 9 to 10 rounded whorls, the 
early ones with about i o low, axial ribs which are very weak or absent in the 
last 2 whorls. Spiral threads prominent and numerous. Color dirty gray- 
white, sometimes with a pinkish or yellowish cast. Dredged from 50 to 200 
fathoms, and occasionally brought up in fishermen's nets. 

Painted Spindle 

Figure 54c 

Genus Aptyxis Troschel 1868 
Aptyxis luteopicta Dall 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

% inch in length, strong, with a thin outer lip. Color dark purplish 
brown with an indistinct, wide, spiral band of cream at the periphery. 
Common from low tide to 20 fathoms. 


Subjamily XANCINAE 

Genus Xanciis Roding 1798 

Xancus angulatus Solander West Indian Chank 

The Bahamas, Key West, Cuba, Yucatan and Bermuda. 


7 to 14 inches in length, very heavy. Color cream-white with a thick, 
light-brown periostracum. Interior often tinged with glossy, pinkish cream 
or deep, brownish orange. Columella bears 3 strong, widely spaced folds. 
Middle of whorl on inside of aperture often with a spiral, weak ridge. A left- 
handed specimen of this species would be worth its weight in silver. Once 
called Turbinella scolyma Gmelin. Common in the Bahamas and Cuba. 

Subfamily VASINAE 
Genus Vasum Roding 1798 

Vasum muricatum Born Caribbean Vase 

Plate 23I 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

2% to 4 inches in length, heavy. Blunt spines are at the shoulder and 
near the base. Shell chalk-white, covered by thick, black-brown periostra- 
cum. Aperture glossy-white and with a purplish tinge. Columella with 5 
strong folds, the first and third being the largest. Rather common, often in 
pairs, in shallow water. Preys on worms and clams. 

The subspecies coestiis Broderip 1833 (Panamanian Vase) occurs from 
the Gulf of California to Panama, and differs only in having 4 (rarely 5) 
columella folds and in having heavier spiral cords. It is common. 

Superfajnily VOLUTACEA 

Genus Oliva Bruguiere 1789 

Olha say ana Ravenel Lettered Olive 

Plate 12a 

North Carolina to Florida and the Gulf States. 

2 to 2% inches in length, moderately elongate, with a glossy finish and 
with rather flat sides. Color grayish tan with numerous purplish brown and 
chocolate-brown, tent-like markings. A common species found at night 
crawling in sand in shallow water. Formerly called O. litterata Lamarck. 
Do not confuse with O. reticularis which is generally smaller, which has a 
much more shallow canal at the suture, whose apical whorls are slightly con- 
vex instead of slightly concave, and whose sides of the whorls are more 
convex. Dead specimens buried for a long time in bay mud may take on an 
artificial black coloration. 

Oliva reticularis Lamarck Netted Olive 

Plate I2C 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

246 A??7erica?i Seashelh 

I /4 to I % inches in length, similar to say ana, but smaller, more globose, 
with an oily finish and generally more lightly colored. The Golden Olive 
or Golden Panama is merely a rare orange form of this species. Sometimes 
pure white or very dark-brown in color. A common West Indian species. 
See remarks under say ana. 

Genus Olwella Swainson 183 1 

Distinguished from the genus Oliva by its much smaller shell and in pos- 
sessing an operculum. 

Olivella miitica Say Variable Dwarf Olive 

Plate 22V 
North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

/4 to /4 inch in length, half as wide, with a sharp apex. Strong, glossy 
callus is present on the parietal wall at the upper end of the aperture. Varia- 
ble in color: ashy grays and chocolate-browns to yellowish or whitish with 
wide bluish-gray spiral bands. Sometimes brightly banded with white and 
browns. A very common species found in warm, shallow waters. 

Olivella nivea Gmelin West Indian Dwarf Olive 

Plate iih, j 
Southeast Florida, the West Indies and Bermuda. 

V2 to I inch in length, whorls about 7, apex sharply pointed; nucleus 
small, white, tan or purple. Suture channel is deep and fairly wide; with a 
strongly concave, etched, spiral indentation on the side of the preceding 
whorl. Color variable, usually cream-white with orange, tan or purple occur- 
ring in clumps in a spiral series just below the suture and just above the 
fasciole (that raised spiral ridge at the base of the shell). Fasciole lacks color. 
Common from shore to 25 fathoms. Compare with jaspidea which has a 
more bulbous apex. 

Olivella jaspidea Gmelin Jasper Dwarf Olive 

Plate 1 1 -i 
Southeast Florida to Barbados. 

% to % inch in length, whorls about 5, apex blunt, nuclear whorls large. 
Color variable, usually grayish white with small, dull maculations of purplish 
brown. Fasciole at base of columella with irregular, brown spots and bars. 
A common West Indian species found in shallow water in sand. Compare 
with nivea. 

Olivella moorei Abbott Moore's Dwarf Olive 

Off Key Largo to Key West, Florida. 


% inch in length, apex bulbous. Characterized by its translucent shell 
with numerous, long, wavy, axial flammules of reddish brown on the sides of 
the whorls. Dredged from 115 to 144 fathoms. Named for Hilary B. Moore 
of the University of Miami, Florida. 

Olivella floralia Duclos Common Rice Olive 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to /4 inch in length, slender, fusiform and with a sharp apex. Color 
all white, but often with a dull bluish undertone. Apex white, orange or 
dull purplish. Columella with numerous, very small folds. Common in shal- 
low water. 

Olivella baetica Carpenter Beatic Dwarf Olive 

Plate 2oq 

Kodiak Island, Alaska, to Lower Cahfornia. 

% to % inch in length, moderately elongate, rather light-shelled, glossy, 
and colored a drab-tan with weak purplish brown maculations often arranged 
in axial flammules which may be more pronounced near the suture. Columellar 
callus weakly developed, the lower end with a double-ridged spiral fold. 
Fasciole white, often stained with brown. Early whorls usually purplish 
blue. O. porteri Dall is the same. 

Olivella pedroana Conrad San Pedro Dwarf Olive 

Oregon to Lower California. 

% to ^ inch in length, resembhng O. baetica, but much heavier, much 
stouter, with a heavy callus, and colored light-buff to clouded, brownish 
gray with long, distinct, axial, zigzag stripes of darker brown. Fasciole and 
callus always white. The lowest columellar spiral ridge is single or rarely 
double. Moderately common from i to 15 fathoms. O. pycna Berry is the 
same, and matches the neotype designated by Woodring in 1946. O. intorta 
Carpenter is also this species. 

Subgenus Callianax H. and A. Adams 1853 
Olivella biplic ata SowcThy Purple Dwarf Olive 

Plate i2i 

Vancouver Island to Lower California. 

I to I M inches in length, globular to elongate, quite heavy. Upper colu- 
mella wall with a heavy, low, white callus. Lower end of columella with a 

248 American Seashells 

raised, spiral fold which is cut by i, 2, or 3 spiral, incised lines. Color varia- 
ble, but usually bluish gray or whitish brown with violet stains around the 
fasciole and lower part of the aperture. Brown and pure-white specimens are 
sometimes found. Abundant in summer months in sandy bays and beaches. 
Sometimes dredged down to 25 fathoms on gravel bottom. 

Genus Mitra Lamarck 1799 

Mitra ftorida Gould Royal Florida Miter 

Plate 13! 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

1/4 to 2 inches in length, with about 6 whorls. Characterized by its 
smooth, white, glossy whorls which bear on the last one about 1 6 spiral rows 
of evenly spaced, small, roundish dots of orange-brown. There are also odd 
patches of light orange-brown. 9 columella folds, the lower 7 being very 
weak. An uncommon species considered a choice collector's item. Formerly 
known as M. fergusoni Sowerby. 

Mitra swainsoni antillensis Dall Antillean Miter 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

3 inches in length, about M as wide, with the aperture half as long as 
the entire shell. 10 whorls smooth, except for 5 or 6 weak spiral threads on 
the upper fourth of the whorl. Columella with 4 slanting, spiral folds, the 
largest being the uppermost. Color grayish white with a light-brown to olive 
periostracum. Short siphonal canal slightly recurved. Rare. 

Mitra nodulosa Gmelin Beaded Miter 

Plate 26b 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in length, solid, glossy, orange to brownish orange in color, 
and with about 1 7 long, axial riblets which are rather neatly beaded. Suture 
deep, with the whorls slightly shouldered. Columella folds 3, large and 
white. A common species frequently washed ashore or found under rocks at 
low tide. 

Mitra styria Dall Dwarf Deepsea Miter 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length, fusiform in shape, moderately fragile and ashen-white 


in color. lo whorls. Characterized by the numerous, very small, beaded, 
axial riblets and the thin, gray periostracum. Columella folds 5, the lower 2 
being very weak. Nuclear whorls small, smooth and pointed. Commonly 
dredged from 30 to 333 fathoms. 

Mitra barbadejisis Gmelin Barbados Miter 

Plate 26d 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

1 to 1% inches in length, slender, with the aperture wide below and 
half the length of the entire shell. Characterized by its yellow-brown to fawn 
color which has an occasional fleck of grayish white. Aperture tan within. 
Columella with 5 slanting folds. The sides of the spire are almost flat. Weak 
spiral threads are often present especially in the earlier whorls. A common 
species under rocks at low tidje. 

Mitra hendersoni Rehder Henderson's Miter 

Plate 26c 

Southeast Florida and the AVest Indies. 

% to % inch in length, fusiform in shape, with 8 whorls, each bearing 
a dozen sharp axial ribs which extend halfway down the whorl. Numerous 
microscopic, spiral cords present. Columella with 4 folds. Color drab pink- 
ish gray with the upper half of the whorl bearing a wide, lighter, spiral band. 
Moderately common offshore in several fathoms. 

Mitra sidcata Gmelin Sulcate Miter 

Plate 26a 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, rather fusiform in shape, with axial ribs as in hender- 
soni, but without spiral threads. 4 columella folds large and dark-brown. 
Color of shell dark chocolate-brown with a narrow, white, spiral band on 
the upper half of the whorl. Moderately common below low-water line 
under rocks in sand. Do not confuse with Engina tnrhinella which has no 
columella folds. Mitra albocincta C. B. Adams is probably this species. 

Mitra idae Melville Ida's Miter 

Plate 2op 

Farallon Islands to San Diego, California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, heavy, elongate. With 3 columella folds. Color 
mauve-brown, but usually covered with a thick, finely striate, black perio- 
stracum. Uncommon offshore. 

250 American Seashells 

Subfamily VOLUTINAE 
Genus Voluta Linne 1758 

Valuta musica Linne Common Music Volute 

Plate i3g 

Caribbean area. 

2 to 2% inches in length, heavy and with a polished finish. 3 nuclear 
whorls bulbous and yellowish. 3 postnuclear whorls plicate at the shoulder. 
Columella with about 9 evenly spaced folds. Characterized by the pinkish 
cream background and 2 to 3 spiral bands of fine lines which are dotted with 
darker brown (the musical notes). A moderately common West Indian 
species not found in the United States, but a favorite with collectors. A num- 
ber of useless names have been applied to the numerous variations of this 
species. This is one of the few volutes to have an operculum. 

Voluta virescens Solander Green Music Volute 

Lower Florida Keys (rare) and the Caribbean. 

2 inches in length, moderately heavy with the aperture % the total 
length of the shell. Whorls flat-sided and with weak, axial nodules high on 
the shoulder. Numerous spiral, incised lines and fine threads present. Colu- 
mella with about a dozen folds of variable sizes. Exterior dull greenish brown 
with weak, narrow, spiral bands of lighter color dotted with black-brown. 
Aperture pale cream to gray within. A rare species in southeast Florida, but 
not uncommon along the northern coast of South America. 

Genus Scaphella Swainson 1832 

Scaphella junonia Shaw The Junonia 

Plate i3f 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida to Texas. 

5 to 6 inches in length, rather solid and smooth. 4 folds on the colu- 
mella. Characterized by the cream background and the spiral rows of small 
reddish brown dots. Moderately common from i to 30 fathoms, but rarely 
washed ashore. A golden form occurs off Alabama (subspecies johnstoneae 
Clench 1953) and specimens from Yucatan have a white background with 
smaller spots (subspecies Imtleri Clench 1953). About 50 specimens a year 
are found on west Florida beaches, and many more are brought in by fisher- 


Subgenus Aurinia H. and A. Adams 1853 
Scaphella dohrni Sowerby Dohrn's Volute 

Plate 13) 

Off the south half of Florida. 

3 to 4 inches in length, similar to junonia, but much lighter in weight, 
much more slender, with a higher spire and with numerous exceedingly fine, 
incised (cut) spiral lines. Some specimens have the early whorls slightly 
angled and with short axial ribs. This is the form named florida Clench and 
Aguayo and is probably not a good species. A rare species which is appear- 
ing in private collections more and more. 

Scaphella dubia Broderip Dubious Volute 

Off south half of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

4 inches in length, similar to dohrni, but more slender, with fewer spots, 
and with 6 to 7, instead of 9 to 10, rows of spots. A rare and exquisite spe- 
cies from moderately deep water. 

Scaphella schmitti Bartsch Schmitt's Volute 

Plate 136 

Off Tortugas, Florida. 

5 inches in length. Under the brownish periostracum the shell is chalky, 
pale salmon and with 4 or 5 spiral rows of weak, brown, square spots. A 
thick, yellowish-gray glaze overlays the periostracum on the parietal side of 
the body whorl. Columella straight, while in R. georgiajia Clench from 
Georgia to east Florida it is arched. Both quite rare, the former in 80 fathoms 
of water. The genus Rehderia Clench 1946 was unfortunately erected upon 
an ecological or pathological character and should be considered a synonym 
of Scaphella. 

Genus Arctoinelon Dall 191 5 
(Boreomelon Dall 191 8) 

Arcto7nelon stearnsi Dall Stearns' Volute 


4 to 5 inches in length, strong; exterior chalky-gray with mauve-brown 
undertones. Aperture semi-glossy, light-brown. Columella brownish with 2 
moderately large folds and a weak one below. Nucleus bulbous, chalky- 
white. Uncommon offshore down to 100 fathoms. 


American Se ash ells 

Genus Cancellaria Lamarck 1799 

Cancellaria reticulata Linne 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

Common Nutmeg 
Plate 13k 

I to I % inches in length, strong, with numerous spiral rows of small, 
poorly shaped beads which, with the weak axial and spiral threads, give a 
reticulate appearance. Columella with 2 folds, the uppermost being very- 
strong and furrowed by i or 2 smaller ridges. Color cream to gray with 
heavy, broken bands and maculations of dark orange-brown. Rarely all 
white. Common in shallow water to several fathoms. C. conradiana Dall is 
probably only a form of this species. 

The subspecies adelae Pilsbry from the Lower Florida Keys is smooth- 
ish, except for incised lines on the body whorl. The aperture is faintly 
flushed with pink. Uncommon. (Adele's Nutmeg). 

Figure 55. Cancellarid Shells, a, Admete conthotiyi Jay (Atlantic and Pacific; 
% inch); b, CaJicellaria craivfordicma Dall (California; 1% inches); c, Narona 
cooperi Gabb (California; 2 inches); d, Trigonostoma tenenim Philippi (Florida; 

% inch). 

Subgenus Massy la H. and A. Adams 1854 
Cancellaria craivfordiana Dall Crawford's Nutmeg 

Figure 55b 

Bodega to San Diego, California. 

I to 2 inches in length, heavy, white in color, but covered with a thick, 
rather fuzzy, gray-brown periostracum. Aperture enamel-white. Uncom- 
mon from 16 to 204 fathoms. 


Genus Narona H. and A. Adams 1854 
Subgenus Progabbia Dall 191 8 

Narona cooperi Gabb Cooper's Nutmeg 

Plate 24y, figure 55c 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

2 to 2/4 inches in length, moderately heavy; columella with 2 small 
spiral folds. Whorls slightly shouldered, with about a dozen to 15 narrow 
axial ribs which at the top bear a single, low, sharp knob. Color brownish 
cream with a dozen or so narrow, brown spiral bands. Aperture orange- 
cream. Outer lip sometimes with numerous white, glossy, spiral cords on 
the inside. An uncommon, deep-water species, occasionally brought up in 
fish nets. Said to grow to 7 inches in length. 

Genus Trigonostoma Blainville 1827 
Trigonostoma tenerum Philippi Philippi's Nutmeg 

Figure 55d 

Southern half of Florida. 

% inch in length, fairly thin, but a quite strong shell. 4 whorls, strongly 
shouldered with the upper part of the whorl smooth and flat, and the sides 
with 3 to 5 spiral rows of strong nodules or blunt beads. Umbilicus very 
deep and funnel-shaped. Color light orangish brown. Uncommon just off- 

Trigonostoma rugosuin Lamarck (in the subgenus Bivetiella Wenz 1943) 
is similar, but heavier, whitish with brownish maculations, without an umbili- 
cus, and with about 8 strong axial ribs crossed by spiral threads. Known as 
the Rough Nutmeg. It is rare in most areas of the West Indies, and has not 
been reported from the United States. 

Genus Admete Kroyer 1842 
Admete couth ouyi Jay Common Northern Admete 

Figure 55a 

Arctic Seas to Massachusetts. Arctic Seas to San Diego, California. 

% to % inch in length, moderately thick, with 6 whorls. Suture wavy, 
well-impressed. Sculpture coarsely reticulate, often beaded or with the axial 
cords the strongest. Columella strongly arched and bearing 2 to 5 very weak, 
spiral folds near the middle. Shell dull white, covered with a fairly thick, 
gray-brown periostracum. Commonly dredged in cold waters. There are 
several other deep-water species on both of our coasts but they occur in 
very deep water. 

254 American Seashells 


Genus MargiJiella Lamarck 1799 

Subgenus Eratoidea Weinkauff 1879 

Marginella haematka Kiener Carmine Marginella 

Figure 56a 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

^ inch in length, characterized by its glossy, bright and deep rose color, 
4 strong columella teeth, pointed spire and thickened outer lip whose inner 
edge bears about 15 small, round teeth. Uncommon from 25 to 90 fathoms. 
M. philtata M. Smith and M. jaspidea Schwengel are probably this species. 

Marginella denticulata Conrad Tan Marginella 

Figure 56c 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, similar to haematita, but with a longer spire, only 7 to 
9 teeth on the outer lip, with a shallow U-shaped notch at the top of the 
aperture, and the entire shell is yellow-tan to whitish. Uncommon from low 
tide to 600 fathoms. M. eburneola Conrad is this species. 

Marginella aureocincta Stearns Golden-lined Marginella 

Figure 56b 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

ViQ inch (4.0 mm.) in length; aperture half the length of the entire shell; 
spire pointed. Outer lip thickened, with about 4 very small teeth just inside 
the aperture. Columella with 4 strong folds or teeth. Color translucent- 
white, with two distinct, narrow spiral bands of light tan-orange on the body 
whorl (i showing in the whorls of the spire). A very common species from 
low-water line to 90 fathoms. 

Genus Fnmwn Herrmannsen 1852 
Prunu77J carneum Storer Orange Marginella 

Plate Ilk 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, very glossy; outer lip thickened, smooth and white. 
Apex half covered by a callus of enamel. Lower third of columella with 4 
strong, slanting teeth. Shell bright orange with a faint, narrow, whitish, 
spiral band on the middle of the whorl and one just below the suture. Un- 
common in Florida on reef flats to 6 fathoms. 

Frunum roosevelti Bartsch and Rehder Roosevelt's Marginella 

Plate ii-o 

The Bahamas. 

Figure 56. Marginellas. a, Marginella haematita Kiener; b, M. aureocincta Stearns; 
c, M. dejjticulta Conrad; d, Prunum bellmn Conrad; e, Frunum amabile Redfield; 
f, F. Immnilum Conrad; g, P. apicinwn Menke; h, P. virginianum Conrad; i, Hyalina 
avena Val.; j, Persicula cat en at a Montagu; k, H. avenacea Deshayes; 1, H. torticida 
Dall; m, Persicula immita Pfeifer; n, GibbeniVma pyrifonms Cpr.; o, G. ovulijoniiis 
Orb. (m and o Xio, the others X5). 

256 American Seashells 

I inch in length, extremely close to carneum, differing only in being 
larger, and in having a brown spot on the apex and 2 large chocolate spots 
on the outer lip. There may be also 2 smaller spots at the anterior end of the 
shell. Apparently rare and possibly a color form of carneum. I have seen 
only 3 specimens. 

Frunmtt labiatu?n Valenciennes Royal Marginella 

Plate III 

Off Texas to Central America. 

I to 1% inches in length, similar to carneum, but stouter, lip orange- 
brown, body whorl whitish gray with 3 darker, subdued spiral bands. Outer 
lip with small teeth on its inner edge. Very uncommon, but has been found 
off Yucatan by shrimp fishermen. The Texas record is open to question. 

Subgenus Leptegouana Woodring 1928 

Prunum guttatujn Dillwyn White-spotted Marginella 

Plate iim 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to % inch in length; outer lip smooth, white and with 2 or 3 brown 
spots on the lower half. 4 columella teeth. Color of body whorl pale whitish 
with 3 obscure bands of light pinkish brown, and irregularly spotted with 
weak, opaque-white, roundish dots. Not uncommon in shallow water. 

Prunu7n helium Conrad La Belle Marginella 

Figure 56d 

Off North Carolina to Key West. 

/4 inch in length, glossy, white, sometimes with a bluish-gray undertone. 
Sometimes with a rose tint on the body whorl. Spire moderately elevated. 
Outer lip thickened, without teeth. Lower half of columella with 4 strong, 
equally sized teeth. Commonly dredged from i to 200 fathoms. 

Pnmum amabile Redfield Queen Marginella 

Figure 566 

Off North Carolina to Key West. 

% inch in length, similar to bellum, but with a shorter spire, more slant- 
ing columellar teeth, colored a translucent-tan with a heavy suffusion of 
orange on the shoulder of the whorl which becomes lighter on the lower 
part of the whorl. There is a fairly well-developed, white callus on the 
parietal wall. Uncommonly dredged from 25 to 125 fathoms. 


Prunu77t apicimw7 Menke Common Atlantic Marginella 

Plate I in; figure 56g 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf States and the West Indies. 

V2 inch in length, glossy, with a dark nuclear whorl. Outer lip thick- 
ened, smooth, white, with 2 small, red-brown dots near the middle and a 
smaller one at the very top and very bottom. Body whorl golden to brown- 
ish orange with 3 subdued, wide bands of darker color. A very common, 
shallow-water species. About i in every 5000 specimens is sinistral. 

Prunum limatuluTn Conrad Boreal Marginella 

Figure $6i 
Virginia to South Carolina. 

V2 inch in length, similar to apiciiJimi, but with a higher spire, milky- 
cream color, with 3 faint, spiral bands of mauve or weak orange. Outer lip 
not sinuate, and is usually marked with 4 spots. Nucleus white, while in 
apicinu7n it is usually bright pink. Not uncommon from 18 to 132 fathoms. 
Marginella borealis Verrill is the same. 

Prunum virginiammt Conrad Virgin Marginella 

Figure 56h 

North CaroHna to west Florida and Yucatan. 

/4 inch in length, similar to apic{7iU777, but without spots on the thick 
varix; the third columella tooth is the largest; color of last whorl whitish to 
cream, often with a faint curdling of darker orange-cream, and with a 
deeper, suffused band just below the suture and at the base of the shell. Mod- 
erately common, 14 to ^6 fathoms. 

Genus Persicula Schumacher 18 17 
Persicula catenata Montagu Princess Marginella 

Figure 56) 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length, glossy; apex sheared off and sealed over by a weak 
callus. Columella teeth 7. Inside of outer lip with about 20 to 25 small teeth. 
Color translucent grayish with 7 spiral rows of teardrop-shaped, opaque- 
white spots and with 2 very subdued, wide spiral bands of light-brown. 
Uncommon in shallow water to 92 fathoms. 

Subgenus Gihberula Swainson 1840 
Persicula f/jiuuta Pfeiffer Snowflake Marginella 

Figure 56m 

South half of Florida and the AVest Indies. 

258 American Seashells 

Vs inch in length, resembhng a miniature apicimmt, but pure white in 
color. Like Gibberulina ovuHforims, but the aperture is not so long and has 
microscopic, spiral teeth inside the thin, curled-in outer lip. Columella with 
4 oblique folds. Alias M. lavalleaiia Orb. Common in shallow water to 40 
fathoms. The subgenus Granula Jousseaume 1874 is this subgenus. 

Persicula jeivetti Carpenter Jewett's Marginella 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

/4 inch (5,0 mm.) in length, snow-white, glossy, rather stout. Apex 
smoothed over and obscured. Outer lip smooth, slightly curled inward. Col- 
umella with 3 or 4 rather distinct, slanting, spiral folds with several smaller 
ones higher on the columella. Common from low tide to several fathoms. 

There are 3 similar, small and white species which are very difficult to 
separate; and according to some workers, size and proportionate dimensions 
are of significance: 

F. regzilaris Cpr. (Regular Marginella), Monterey to Lower California. 

Length 3.3 mm., ratio of diameter to length i to 1.5. Low tide to 

30 fathoms. Common. 
P. subtrigona Cpr. (Triangular Marginella), Monterey to Lower Cah- 

fornia. Length 3.5 mm., ratio of diameter to length i to 1.25. Low 

tide to 50 fathoms. Uncommon. 
P. politula Dall (Polite Aiarginella), Santa Barbara to Lower California. 

Length 3.0 mm., ratio of diameter to length i to 2. Low tide to 20 

fathoms. Uncommon. 

Genus Hyalina Schumacher 18 17 
Subgenus Voharina Hinds 1844 

Hyaliva avena Valenciennes Orange-banded Marginella 

Plate I ip; figure 56i 

North Carolina to Key West and the West Indies. 

M to % inch in length, slender; spire pointed, but short. Outer lip curled 
in, white and smooth. Aperture narrow above, wide below. 3 to 4 slanting, 
columellar teeth. Color whitish, cream or yellowish with 4 to 6 spiral bands 
of subdued orange-tan. A moderately common, shallow-water species. The 
pink variety, especially common in Yucatan has been given the name beyer- 
leana Bern. 

Hyalina veliei Pilsbry Velie's Marginella 

West coast of Florida. 


% inch in length, somewhat like our figure 566, but with a higher, more 
pointed spire. Shell quite thin for a Marginella; color yellowish to whitish 
and somewhat translucent. Outer lip thickened, pushed in at the middle and 
white in color. Columella with 4 very distinct folds. Common in shallow 
water inside dead Pinna shells on mangrove mud flats. 

Hyalina avenacea Deshayes Little Oat Marginella 

Figure 56k 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to V2 inch in length, slender, very similar to H. avefia, but usually 
smaller, with a longer spire, more slender anterior end, and pure, opaque- 
white in color, except for a very faint hint of straw color below the suture, 
again at the middle of the body whorl and also near the base. Common from 
shallow water to 750 fathoms. This is avenella Dall and succiitea Conrad. 

Hyali?ia torticula Dall Knave Marginella 

Figure 56I 

Off eastern Florida. 

% inch in length, slender, fusiform, with a tall spire which is leaning to 
one side. Color opaque-white, glossy, and with a hint of straw-colored bands. 
Possibly a sport of avenacea. Uncommon in deep water. 

Hyalina californica Tomlin Californian Marginella 

Santa Monica, Cahfornia, to Mexico. 

Ys inch in length, slender, aperture % the length of the entire shell, with 
4 whorls, and colored a grayish to bright-orange with 3 distinct or obscure, 
rather wide, spiral bands of white. Lower third of columella white and with 
4 distinct, spiral folds. Outer lip smooth, rounded, pushed in slightly, espe- 
cially near the central portion. Moderately common in rocky rubble under 
stones at dead low tide. 

Genus Gibbenilina Monterosato 1884 
(Cypraeolina CeruUi-Irelli 191 1) 

Gibberulina ovuliformis Orbigny Teardrop Marginella 

Figure 56-0 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

Vs inch (2.5 mm.) in length, globular, glossy, opaque-white. Aperture 
as long as the shell. Apex hidden under top of outer lip. Upper part of whorl 
slightly shouldered. Lower third of columella with 3 or 4 small, slanting 

260 American Seashells 

teeth. Outer lip thickened. Do not confuse with Persicula iitinuta Pfr. Com- 
mon in shallow water to several fathoms. Alias lacrimula Gould, hadria Dall 
and amianta Dall. 

Gibberulina pyriformis Carpenter Pear-shaped Marginella 

Figure 56n 

Izhut Bay, Alaska, to Gulf of California. 

Ys inch (3 mm.) in length; aperture as long as the shell. Glossy, trans- 
lucent milk-white. Lower columella with 4 fairly strong folds with several 
microscopic teeth farther above. Outer lip curled in and with about 30 
microscopic teeth. Animal black. Very common all along the Pacific coast 
from low-tide line to 40 fathoms. On mud, gravel or backs of abalones. 

Genus Conus Linne 1758 

Conus spurius atlanticus Clench Alphabet Cone 

Plate 14P 

Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

2 to 3 inches in length; spire slightly elevated in the center. Top of 
whorls smooth, except for tiny growth lines. Color white with spiral rows 
of orange-yellow squares. Interior of aperture white. A rather common and 
attractive species found in shallow water. True spurius spurius Gmelin from 
the Bahamas and Antilles differs only in having the spots merging into occa- 
sional mottlings. Another race occurs off Yucatan in which the spots are 
sometimes smaller and a rather dark bluish purple. 

Conus aureofasciatus Rehder and Abbott Golden-banded Cone 

Plate i4g 

Tortugas to off Yucatan, Mexico. 

2 to 3 inches in length, similar in shape to spurius, although sometimes 
more slender. Characterized by several spiral bands of light-yellow. Dredged 
in several fathoms of water. Uncommon to rare. It is possible that this spe- 
cies may be only a freak color form of spurius. 

Conus daucus Hwass Carrot Cone 

Plate 14a 

Both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in length. Spire rather low, sometimes almost worn flat. 
Shoulder even and sharp. Spire with small, spiral threads. Color deep, solid 
orange to lemon-yellow, rarely with a lighter band. Spiral rows of minute 


brown dots sometimes present on sides. Interior of aperture pinkish white. 
Color of spire is orange with large white splotches. Uncommon below 15 
feet of water. 

Conus juliae Clench Julia's Cone 

Plate 14b 

Off northeast Florida to Tortugas. 

1% to 2 inches in length. Spire moderately high, flat-sided and with 
about 10 to 12 whorls. Shoulders of whorls slightly rounded; sides nearly 
flat. Color a pale pinkish brown to orangish with a moderate and indistinct 
band of cream or white at the mid area. This is overlaid with a series of fine 
spiral, broken lines or dots of brown. Spire whitish with axial, zigzag, reddish 
brown streaks. A choice collector's item. Named after Mrs. WiUiam J. 
Clench, a great contributor to the cause of malacology. 

Conns floridamis Gabb Florida Cone 

Plate i4d 
North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

1/4 to 1% inches in length. Spire well-elevated and slightly concave. 
Sides of whorls flat. The top of each whorl in the spire is concave and also 
has faint lines of growth. Color variable: usually white with elongate, rather 
wide patches of light orange-yellow to yellow. Spire with splashes of color. 
There is usually a white, spiral band around the middle of the whorl which 
may have small dots of yellowish brown. Moderately common in shallow 
water to 7 fathoms. 

Conus ftoridaniis floridensis Sowerby (pi. 146) is an extremely dark color 
form with spiral rows of reddish brown dots and heavier mottlings. 

C. floridanus biirryae Clench is another color form from off the Lower 
Florida Keys in which the spiral rows of brownish dots merge into solid lines. 
The lower end of the shell in very dark brown to deep brownish black. Un- 

Conus sennottorum Rehder and Abbott Sennotts' Cone 

Plate i4h 

Gulf of Mexico, from Tortugas to Yucatan. 

I inch in length, with a glossy, smooth finish. Slightly turnip-shaped. 
Color variable: white to bluish white with spiral rows of very small brown 
dots. Yellowish-brown maculations may be present. Moderately common in 
18 fathoms off Yucatan. Named after John and Gladys Sennott. 

Conus sozoni Bartsch Sozon's Cone 

Plate 14c 

South Carolina to Key West and the Gulf of Mexico. 

262 American Se ash ells 

2 to 4 inches in length. Spire elevated, slightly concave, with the top of 
each whorl also concave and with fine, arched lines of growth. There are lo 
to 12 small spiral ridges at the lower end of the shell. Sides of whorls flat. 
Color as shown in the photograph, with the two whitish spiral bands being 
characteristic. Large and perfect specimens are collector's items, although 
individuals less than 2 inches in length are rather commonly dredged in 50 
feet of water off both sides of Florida. Beach specimens have been collected 
on rare occasions. Named after the sponge diver, Sozon Vatikiotis. 

Conus regius Gmelin Crown Cone 

Plate 14m 
Southern Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length. Spire low; shoulders of whorls with low, irreg- 
ular knobs or tubercles. Color very variable even in the same locality. A 
rare yellowish color form (citrmus Gmelin, not Clench 1942) occurs in the 
Lower Florida Keys, Cuba and the Antilles. The interior of the aperture of 
this species is white. Uncommon in Florida. 

Conus mus Hwass Mouse Cone 

Plate 14-0 
Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to I /4 inches in length. Spire elevated somewhat. Shoulders of whorls 
with low, irregular, white knobs, between which are brown splotches. Color 
a dull bluish gray with olive-green or brown mottlings. Interior of aperture 
with 2 wide spiral bands of subdued brown. Periostracum thick, velvety and 
yellowish to greenish brown. The name Conus citrinus Gmelin (erroneously 
applied to this species in Johnsonia and other books) is actually the yellow 
form of regius. The Mouse Cone is very common in intertidal, reef areas. 

Conus stearnsi Conrad Stearns' Cone 

Plate 2 2y 
North Carolina to both sides of Florida to Yucatan. 

/4 to % inch in length. A small, slender, graceful cone with a high spire. 
Top of whorls concave. Sides almost flat. Color usually dull grayish with 
rows of tiny, white squares and with dull, yellowish brown streaks or mot- 
tlings. Highly colored specimens may have rich reddish brown mottlings. 
Moderately common from shallow water to 30 feet in sand. Do not confuse 
with jaspideus. 

Conus jaspideus Gmelin Jasper Cone 

Plates 1411; 2 2X 
South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

CON I DAE 263 

% to % inch in length; very similar to stearnsi, but generally more 
brightly hued with larger, reddish brown mottlings. The shell is fatter, with 
more rounded sides, and has strong, spiral lines cut into the sides, usually 
right up to the shoulder. A very common shallow, sand-loving species. C. 
peali Green is the same species. 

Conns vernicosiis Hwass Warty Cone 

Plate 22Z 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in length, A heavy, small cone with a rather high spire and 
slightly rounded sides. It has small knobs on the shoulder of the last whorl 
and about lo spiral rows of distinct warts on the sides. Color white to yel- 
lowish with large, brown or yellow mottlings. Uncommon just offshore 
along the Lower Keys. Common in the West Indies. 

A color form, vanhyningi Rehder, is a deep, rich peach with the interior 
of the aperture also pink. 

Conus stimpsoni Dall Stimpson's Cone 

Plate 14) 
Southeast Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

I ^ to 2 inches in length. A simple cone with a sharp, slightly concave, 
rather high spire, and with flat sides. It is usually smooth, but may have 15 
to 20 cut spiral lines on the sides. Color is an even wash of yellowish white, 
but sometimes with 2 or 3 slightly darker, wide, yellowish spiral bands. 
Periostracum gray and rather thick. We have figured the holotype (speci- 
men which Dall used in describing the species). Uncommon in rather deep 
water down to 30 fathoms. 

Conns villepini Fischer and Bernardi Villepin's Cone 

Plate mi 
Tortugas to Yucatan. 

i^ inches in length. Spire rather well elevated, very slightly concave. 
Each whorl in the spire is concave, with 3 to 4 spiral threads, and with fine, 
arched growth lines. Sides of shell smooth and slightly convex. There are 
about 9 indistinct spiral threads at the bottom end of the shell. Color of the 
thin periostracum is light yellowish brown. Shell light grayish white with 
a faint pinkish undertone. There are 3 or 4 long, irregular, axial streaks of 
dark reddish brown on the sides of the last whorl. Interior of aperture 
blushed with rosy-white. We have illustrated the holotype of mnphiurgiis 
Dall in color which is a synonym. Rare in deep water. 

264 American Seashells 

Conus mazei Deshayes Maze's Cone 

Plate 14k 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

1% to 2 inches in length. A long, narrow, and very handsome species 
which has rows of delicate beads on the very high spire. This is probably 
the most valuable cone in Florida waters. A few fortunate collectors in 
Florida have dredged this unusual cone. 

Conus granulatus Linne Glory-of-the-Atlantic Cone 

Plate 14I 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to I % inches in length. A fairly slender cone with rounded whorls in 
the spire which have spiral threads. Colored a brilhant orange-red to bright- 
red with flecks of brown and gold. Coarse spiral threads are usually present 
on the sides. Interior of aperture with a rosy-pink blush. A perfect specimen 
of this species is, indeed, a collector's item. It is very rare in Florida and not 
at all common in the West Indies. It lives in reefs just offshore. 

Coims anstiin Rehder and Abbott Austin's Cone 

Tortugas to Yucatan and West Indies. 

1 MO iV-z inches in length, pure white in color, although some may have 
a yellow-brown apex. Characterized by numerous odd-sized spiral threads on 
the sides. Sides of whorls flat to slightly rounded. Shoulders sharp to slightly 
rounded. Top of whorls slightly concave, with one smooth spiral carina and 
several much smaller threads. Shell sometimes with axial puckerings or rib- 
like wrinkles. Periostracum velvety and grayish brown. Rare off Florida but 
common in 20 fathoms off Yucatan. 

Cojiiis clarki Rehder and Abbott Clark.'s Cone 

Plate 141 

Off Louisiana. 

I to i^ inches in length, whitish in color and with small weak spots, 
rather turnip-shaped, similar to austini, but with 27 to 30 very strong, squar- 
ish spiral cords on the sides. The cords, and especially the one at the shoulder, 
are strongly beaded. Between the cords there are microscopic, axial threads. 
Periostracum gray. Apparently rare offshore in 29 fathoms. This and the 
preceding species were named after Austin H. Clark, scientist, author and 
gentleman. C. frisbeyae Clench and Pulley 1952 is unquestionably this spe- 


Conus californiciis Hinds Californian Cone 

Farallon Islands, California, to Lower California. 

% to I inch in length. Spire moderately elevated and slightly concave. 
The shoulders of the shell are rounded, the sides very slightly rounded. The 
chestnut to pale-brown, velvety periostracum is rather thick. Shell grayish 
white in color. Interior whitish with a light-brown tint. Rather common in 
shallow water along certain parts of southern California. 

Genus Terebra Bruguiere 1789 

T ere bra dish cat a Say Common Atlantic Auger 

Plate 26i 

Virginia to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

1/4 to 2 inches in length, slender. Whorls with about 25 axial ribs per 
whorl which are divided % to ^ their length by a deep, impressed, spiral 
line. Many specimens show prominent, squarish, raised spiral cords between 
the ribs. Columella with 2 fused spiral folds near the base. Color a dirty, 
pinkish gray, but sometimes orangish. A common shallow-water species. 

Terebra tanr'wa Solander Flame Auger 

Plate i3h 
Southeast Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

4 to 6 inches in length, heavy, rather slender. Characterized by a cream 
color with 2 spiral rows of axial, red-brown bars, the upper series being twice 
as long as the lower one. Upper M'horls faintly and axially ribbed. Upper 
half of each whorl swollen and with a single incised line. T. flannnea La- 
marck and T. jeldmajuii Roding are this species. Formerly considered quite 
rare, but now not infrequently dredged in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Terebra floridana Dall Florida Auger 

Off South Carolina to south Florida. 

2 to 3 inches in length, very long and slender. Color light-yellow to 
yellowish white. Each whorl has just below the suture a row of about 20 
oblong, slightly slanting, smooth axial ribs. Below this, and separated from it 
by an impressed line, is a similar row of much shorter, axial ribs. The lower 
third of the whorl is marked by 3 or 4 raised, spiral threads only. Columella 
with a single, strong fold near the bottom. A fairly rare species. 

266 American Seashells 

Terebra concava Say Concave Auger 

Plate 26) 
North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

% inch in length, slender, about 1 2 whorls, semi-glossy, and with slightly 
concave whorls. Whorls in spire with a large, heavily nodulated or beaded, 
swollen spiral cord just below the suture. Above the suture there is a spiral 
series of 20 very small beads per whorl. The concave middle of the whorl 
bears about 5 microscopic, incised spiral lines. Color yellowish gray. Com- 
mon in shallow water. Do not confuse with the larger yellow T. floridana 
which has 2 spiral rows of elongate beads just below the suture. 

Terebra protexta Conrad Fine-ribbed Auger 

Plate 26k 

North Carolina to Florida and Texas. 

% to I inch in length, about 1 3 whorls, dull-white in color and with a 
well-indented suture. Whorls in spire slightly concave with about 22 fine 
axial ribs running from suture to suture, but which are broken weakly by 7 
to 9 incised spiral lines. The upper line is about % the way down the whorl. 

Several forms exist which have been given names: form lutescens Smith 
has about 30 to 32 finer axial riblets per whorl which are made slightly beaded 
by the spiral lines; in the form limatula Dall, the ribs and the spiral threads 
are about equal in size and give a reticulated pattern. All occur together in 
fairly deep water and are common. 

Terebra hastata Gmelin Shiny Atlantic Auger 

Plate 26h 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

1/4 to I ^ inches in length. Characterized by its smooth, highly glossy 
finish, its numerous axial ribs which extend from suture to suture, and by its 
bright yellowish color and white band below the suture. Columella smooth- 
ish and white. This is the "fattest" species in the western Atlantic, and is 
fairly common in the West Indies. 

Terebra cinerea Born Gray Atlantic Auger 

Plate 26g 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies, 

I to 2 inches in length, slender, with flat-sided whorls and a sharp apex. 
Numerous small riblets extend halfway down the whorls (about 45 to 50 
per whorl). Color all cream or bluish brown; sometimes with darker spots 
below the suture. Surface with exceedingly fine, numerous rows of pin- 
pricks which give the shell a silky appearance under the lens. Moderately 
common in shallow water. Compare with salleana Deshayes. 


Terebra salleana Deshayes Salle's Auger 

North Florida to Texas and Colombia. 

I to 1% inches in length, similar to cinerea, but always a dark bluish 
gray or brownish, with fewer, larger punctations, with about 30 ribs per 
whorl, and with a purple, not white, nucleus. Common in shallow water. 

Terebra pedroana Dall San Pedro Auger 

Redondo Beach, California, to Lower California. 

I to i^ inches in length, strong, slender, with about 12 whorls and 
colored grayish to whitish yellow or brownish. Sculpture between sutures 
of first a fairly broad row of well to poorly developed nodules (about 15 to 
18 per whorl), followed below by a flat area which is weakly and axially 
wrinkled or ribbed and with numerous, fine, spiral, incised lines. Siphonal 
canal bounded by a sharp spiral line on the outer shell. Fairly common in 
shallow water. 


The family Turridae is a very large and diverse group of toxoglossate 
gastropods which are very difficult to classify. A book of this size cannot do 
justice to the many interesting species found in our waters. The family prob- 
ably contains no less than 500 genera and subgenera and several thousand 
species. An interesting and valuable review of the family is given by A. W. 
Powell in the Bulletin of the Auckland htstitute and Museum, no. 2, pp. i to 
188, 1942. Those interested should consult the works of Grant and Gale, 
Bartsch, Dall, Rehder, and Woodring. We have included here only a very 
sketchy representation of our American Turrid fauna. 

Subfamily TURRINAE 

Shells rather large, usually with a long, slender canal. Sinus on or adja- 
cent to peripheral keel; deep and V-shaped. Operculum leaf-shaped with an 
apical nucleus. Radula with only 2 marginals which are wish-bone in shape. 

Genus Gemmula Weinkauff 1875 
Geiinnula periscelida Dall Atlantic Gem Turret 

Figure 57c 

North Carolina to Tortugas, Florida. 

1% to 2 inches in length, heavy and with the sinus or anal notch well 
below the suture. Color ash-gray. See illustration. Rare in 100 fathoms. 

268 Avierican Seashells 

Genus Polystira Woodring 1928 
Poly stir a albida Perry White Giant Turret 

Plate 13I 

South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

3 to 4 inches in length, pure-white in color. P. virgo Lamarck, and 
"Wood" are this species. Not uncommonly dredged in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Folystira telle a Dall Delicate Giant Turret 

Plate 1 3m 

Off southeast Florida. 

3 to 3% inches in length. Grayish white. Sculpture not so distinct nor 
so smooth as in albida. Not uncommonly dredged off Key West. Do not 
confuse this and the preceding species with Fiisinus couei (pi. 13d). 


Shell with a long canal. Sinus on the shoulder, rounded, broad and shal- 
low to rather deep. Operculum variable. Radula with 2 strong marginals 
and a very large central. Shell thin with a sharply angled periphery. 

Genus Ancistrosyrinx Dall 1881 
Ancistrosyrifix radiata Dall Common Star Turret 

Figure 576 

South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

^ inch in length. A delicate, glossy, translucent and highly ornamented 
species. Anterior canal very long. Shoulders keeled, with numerous, small, 
sharp, triangular spines. Commonly dredged from 30 to 170 fathoms. 

A. elegans Dall (Elegant Star Turret) from about 200 fathoms off Key 
West is 2 inches in length, more elongate, with more numerous and duller 
spines on the sharp shoulder. Very rare. 

Subfamily CLAVINAE 

Shell between Y^ and /4 inch in length, spire tall and the anterior canal 
short. Sinus on the shoulder, moderately to deeply U-shaped, often rendered 
subtubular by a parietal tubercle. Operculum with an apical nucleus. Radula 

Genus Crassispira Swainson 1840 
Crassispira ebenina Dall Dall's Black Turret 

Figure 57) 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 


4 inch in length; a solid brown-black in color and with a slight sheen. 

Figure 57. American Turret and Mangelia Shells. ATLANTIC: a, Kurtziella 
li?no?iitella Dall, % inch; b, hiodrillia aepynota Dall, % inch; c, Genmmla perisce- 
lida Dall, 2 inches; d, Moiiilispira leiicocyma Dall, % inch; e, Ancistrosyrinx 
radiata Dall, ^ inch; f, Cerodrillia thea Dall, % inch; g, Genota viabrunnea Dall, 
2 inches; h, Gymnobela blakeana Dall, ^ inch; i, Ma?igelia morra Dall, % inch; 
j, Crassispira ebenina Dall, % inch; k, Mangelia corbicida Dall, % inch. PACIFIC: 
1, Mitromorpha filosa Cpr., % inch; m, Mitromorpha aspera Cpr., % inch. 

270 American Seashells 

1 5 short axial ribs per whorl. Spiral threads numerous and fine. Sinus small, 
its posterior end round, its opening narrow. Not uncommon below low 
water under rocks. 

C. sanibelensis Bartsch and Rehder is similar, but i inch in length, with 
9 longer and wider axial ribs, with a large slit, and colored orange-chestnut 
with white between the ribs. Uncommon around Sanibel Island. 

Subgenus Crassispirella Bartsch and Rehder 1939 
Crassispira ostrearum Stearns Oyster Turret 

Plate 26n 

North Carolina to south half of Florida. Cuba. 

% to % inch in length; light yellow-brown to chestnut. Sinus U-shaped. 
About 20 weakly beaded axial ribs per whorl. Just below the suture there 
is a single, smooth, strong spiral cord. Spiral threads moderately strong to 
weak (16 to 20 on the last whorl, 4 between sutures). Lower part of outer 
lip thin and strongly crenulate or wavy. Common from low water to 90 
fathoms. C. tampaensis Bartsch and Rehder is very similar, and may be this 

Genus Cerodrillia Bartsch and Rehder 1939 
Cerodrillia perry ae Bartsch and Rehder Perry's Drillia 

West coast of Florida. 

/4 inch in length, flesh-colored, with a broad, golden-brown band 
around the periphery. 8 to 9 axial ribs per whorl. Faint spiral lines present. 
Not uncommon. C. tbea has shorter axial ribs and is uniform chocolate- 

Cerodrillia thea Dall Thea DriUia 

Figure 57f 

West coast of Florida. 

!4 inch in length, thick-shelled, with a glossy-brown finish, and with 
the short, slanting ribs cream in color. Outer lip prominent. Sinus deep 
and U-shaped. Uncommon in shallow water. 

Genus Monilispira Bartsch and Rehder 1939 
Momlispira albinodata Reeve White-banded Drillia 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

V2 inch in length, resembling a Cerithimn in shape; color dark blackish 


brown with a white band bearing about 13 knobs per whorl. Last whorl 
with 2 or 3 spiral white bands. Fairly common in shallow water under 
rocks. M. albomaculata C. B. Adams is a similar species from the West 
Indies and is figured on plate i6{. 

Monilispira leucocyma Dall White-knobbed Drillia 

Figure 57d 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length. One nuclear whorl smooth. Shell dark to light 
grayish brown with the nodules white. Aperture dark-brown. A common 
shallow-water species. 

Genus Inodrillia Bartsch 1943 
Subgenus Inodrillara Bartsch 1943 

Inodrillia aepynota Dall Tall-spired Turret 

Figure 57b 

North Carolina to northeast Florida. 

^ inch in length; chalk-white to pinkish white. Moderately common 
from 63 to 120 fathoms. 


Shell conoidal; sinus broad and shallow, occupying the width of the 
shoulder. Operculum absent in Genota. Radula with 2 slender marginals 

Genus Genota H. and .A. Adams 1853 
Genota viabrunnea Dall Brown-banded Genota 

Figure 57g 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

1% to 2 inches in length, heavy and thick-shelled. Sculpture of nu- 
merous spiral rows of very fine, glossy beads. Color yellowish to orangish 
white with a spiral, suffused band of light-brown well below the suture. 
Nucleus dark-brown and with tiny arched, smooth ribs. Anal sinus very 
wide. Rare from 100 to 350 fathoms. 


Shell small, ovate or fusiform, with a short canal and without an oper- 
culum. Sinus on shoulder usually very shallow. Radula with 2 slender 

272 American Seashells 

Genus Mangelia Risso 1826 
Mangelia mono. Dall Morro Mangelia 

Figure 57! 

Off north Carolina to Tortugas. 

/4 inch in length, yellowish tan. Anal notch deep. 16 to 450 fathoms. 
Common. Provisionally placed in this genus. Mangilia is a misspelling. 

Genus Glyphostoma Gabb 1872 
Glyphostoma gabbi Dall Gabb's Mangelia 

Florida, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

% inch in length. The 3 nuclear whorls are smooth and with a single, 
strong carina at the periphery. Shell white with 2 wide spiral bands of rose- 
brown on the whorl. The upper one is interrupted by about 1 5 short white 
ribs per whorl. Fine spiral threads numerous. Notch deep, with thickened, 
rounded sides. Varix strong. Moderately common from 30 to 150 fathoms. 

Genus Rubellatoma Bartsch and Rehder 1939 
Rubellatoina rubella Kurtz and Stimpson Reddish Mangelia 

North Carolina to southeast Florida. 

^ inch in length. Sinus shallow and U-shaped. Axial ribs long and 
rounded (about 9 per whorl). Spiral sculpture of numerous incised hnes. 
Color grayish cream with light reddish between the ribs. Commonly 
dredged from 9 to 80 fathoms. 

R. diomedea Bartsch and Rehder from Sanibel Island is extremely 
similar, but is more brightly colored with a wide spiral band of reddish 
brown. Uncommon to rare. 

Genus Kurtziella Dall 191 8 
Kurtziella liifionitella Dall Punctate Mangelia 

Figure 57a 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

% inch in length, semi-translucent and yellowish white. Sinus widely 
V-shaped. Between the strong, rounded, axial ribs there are numerous rows 
of microscopic opaque-white punctations. Uncommon from a few to 48 



Siibjainily BORSONIINAE 

Shell biconic or fusiform in shape; sinus on the shoulder, poorly devel- 
oped. Operculum present or absent. Radula with 2 slender marginals. Shell 
usually with columella plications. 

Genus Gymnobela Verrill 1884 
Gymnobela blakeana Dall Blake's Turret 

Figure 57h 

North Carolina to the Lower Florida Keys. 

34 inch in length. Sinus barely discernible. Shell thin but strong. Color 
translucent-white or chalky-white. Nuclear w^horls distinct, without strong 
sculpturing and light-brown in color. Uncommon from 70 to 140 fathoms. 

Genus Mitromorpha P. P. Carpenter 1865 
Mitromorpha filosa Carpenter Filose Turret 

Figure 57I 

Monterey, California, to the Gulf of Cahf ornia. 

% inch in length, solid, light orange-brown in color. Spiral cords may 
be slightly beaded in some specimens. Uncommon offshore. 

Mitromorpha aspera Carpenter Beaded Turret 

Figure 57111 

Monterey, California, to the Gulf of California. 

% inch in length, strongly beaded and somewhat cancellate, with a 
glossy finish and light orange-brown in color. Moderately common off- 


Shell fusiform or ovate, canal short. Operculum absent. Sinus adjoin- 
ing the suture. The protoconch has diagonally cancellate sculpturing. 
Radula with 2 slender, curved marginals only. 

Genus Daphnella Hinds 1844 
Daphnella lymneiformis Kiener Volute Turret 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Vs to y2 inch in length; resembles a miniature, elongate Scaphella volute- 
shell. With about 8 whorls, the nuclear ones smoothish, the next 4 with 


American Seashells 

strong, axial ribs, but the last 2 whorls with only numerous fine spiral threads 
crossed by exceedingly fine growth lines. Aperture elongate, rather ex- 
panded and a little flaring below. Sinus moderately large and simple. Color 
cream with yellowish brown maculations. Uncommon from shallow water 
to 25 fathoms. 


(Bubble-shells, Pteropods, Sea Slugs) 



Genus Onchidella Gray 1850 

Without a shell, animal slug-like, low, oval, with two short tentacles 
or eyestalks at the end of which are the eyes. Mantle entirely covering the 
back; respiratory, anal and female genital pores at the posterior underside; 
male pore below the right tentacle and above the sensory lobe. Shallow water 
to intertidal. Formerly placed in the pulmonates, but now beheved to be an 
early offshoot of the opisthobranchs. See Freter, 1943. 


, SCNSORf L066 







CluiPiRV fcCOOve 

Figure 58. Underside of the marine slug, Ojichidella, % inch. 

Onchidella floridana Dall Florida Onchidella 

West coast of Florida, the Lower Keys and Bermuda. 

V2 inch in length, uniform slaty-blue to dark-gray; underside bluish 
white, with a greenish tinge to the veil. Dorsal surface velvety. Mantle 
margin with about 1 00 whitish, elongate tubercles. Common along the shore 
at low tide. Lives in rock crevices in nests, returning home after browsing 
at low tide. 

Onchidella carpenteri Binney 

Puget Sound to Lower California. 

Carpenter's Onchidella 


5 mm. in length; body oblong, with its ends circularly rounded; upper 
surface regularly arched; uniform smoke-gray in color. Fresh specimens 
are needed to make a better description. Littoral to shallow water. Habits 
not known. 

Onchidella borealis Dall Northwest Onchidella 

Alaska to Coos Bay, Oregon. 

8 to 12 mm. (% inch) in length; back regularly arched but a little 
pointed in the middle, smooth or very finely granulose, tough and coriaceous. 
Color black or gray, with dots and streaks of yellowish white; foot light- 
colored, also the head and tentacles. On rocks near high-tide mark. Gre- 
garious. Common. 


(Bubble-shells, Sea-hares) 


Genus Acteo7i Montfort i8io 

External shell with a prominent spire; cephalic disk divided; operculum 
thin, corneous. Erroneously spelled Actaeon. 

Acteon piinctostrianis C. B. Adams Adams' Baby-bubble 

Plate 26t 

Cape Cod to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

3 to 6 mm. in length, solid, moderately globose, w^ith a rather high spire. 
Columella with a single, twisted fold. Lower half of body whorl with nu- 
merous spiral rows of fine, punctate dots. Color white. Commonly found 
from low tide to 6o fathoms. 

Acteon punctocaelatiis Carpenter Carpenter's Baby-bubble 

British Columbia to Lower California. 

lo to 2o mm. (% inch) in length, solid, oblong, 4 to 5 whorls, with 
two broad, ashy or brown spiral zones and about 16 spiral grooves on the 
body whorl. Columella obliquely truncated at base, and with one spiral 
fold. Base stained orange. Commonly found in shallow water in sand. 
A. vancouverensis Oldroyd is the same species. 

Acteon candens Rehder Rehder's Baby-bubble 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and Cuba. 

276 American Seashells 

7 to lo mm. in length, very similar to punctostriatus, but larger, very 
much thicker-shelled, glossy, opaque milk-white with light orange-brown 
suffusions on the body whorl. Commonly dredged in a few fathoms of 

Genus Rmgiciila Deshayes 1838 

Ringicula se77nstriata Orbigny Orbigny's Helmet-bubble 

Plate 26V 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 mm. in length, thick-shelled, resembling a miniature Phalium or 
Scotch Bonnet. 4 globose whorls, spire elevated. Aperture oblong; columella 
thickened by 3 folds, i above, 2 below. Outer lip very thick, swollen in the 
middle by a large tooth. Whorls, white, smooth, except for fine striations 
on the base. Not uncommonly dredged from 34 to 107 fathoms. 

R. nitida Verrill (Verrill's Helmet-bubble from Maine to the Gulf of 
Aiexico. 100 to 500 fathoms) is exteriorly smooth, with a simple, thickened 
outer lip, and with 2 smaller, spiral ridges on the columella. 

Genus Micromelo Pilsbry 1894 

Micromelo undata Bruguiere Miniature Melo 

Plate 26U 
Lower Florida Keys and the AVest Indies. 

V2 inch in length, oval, rather thin and moderately fragile. Characterized 
by its whitish to cream color overlaid by 3 widely spaced, fine spiral lines 
of red and by many or few axial, wavy, lighter red flammules or lines. Un- 
common. Found at low tide. 

Genus Hydatina Schumacher 18 17 
Hydatina vesicaria Solander Brown-lined Paper-bubble 

Plate i3q 
South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to I ^ inches in length, very thin, fragile, globose. Periostracum thin, 
buff to greenish. Shell characterized by many close, wavy, brown spiral 
lines. Animal large and colorful. Foot very broad. Moderately common in 
certain shallow, warm-water areas where they burrow in silty sand. For- 
merly called H. physis Linne which, however, is believed to be limited to 
the Indo-Pacific. 


Genus Diaphiina Brown 1827 

Diaphana minuta Brown Arctic Paper-bubble 

Figure 59b 

Arctic Seas to Connecticut. Europe. 

3 to 5 mm. in length, globose, thin, fragile, and transparent-tan in color. 
Last whorl globose below, constricted somewhat above. Apex large, globose, 
obliquely and mammillarly projecting. Suture deep. Columella long, straight, 
not thickened, the edge partly closing the narrow umbilicus. Moderately 
common from 6 to 16 fathoms. Diaphana debilis Gould, D. hiemalis Cou- 
thouy and D. globosa Loven are considered synonyms of this species by 
Lemche (1948) and other modern workers. 

Genus Bulla Linne 1758 

The names Vesica Swainson 1840 and Bullaria Rafinesque 18 15 have been 
ill-advisably used for this genus. Fortunately, the name Bulla has been 
conserved for this group of bubble-shells by the International Commission 
for Zoological Nomenclature. 

Bulla striata Bruguiere Striate Bubble 

Plate 13P 

West coast of Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in length, similar to occidentalis, but larger, heavier, and 
with the spiral grooves well-marked toward the base of the shell and within 
the apical perforation. The whorls are compressed at the apical end. Colu- 
mella usually with a brown-stained callus. Locally common. B. amygdala 
Brug. is probably a smooth form of this species. 

Bulla occidentalis A. Adams Common West Indian Bubble 

Plate 26p 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

V2 to I inch in length, smooth, varying from fragile to quite strong, 
and from cylindrical (young) to fairly swollen. Apex deeply and narrowly 
perforate. Color very variable, but usually whitish with mottlings, zebra 
stripes and obscure bands of brown. Surface with numerous, microscopic 
striations. This is a very common bubble-shell which is found most easily 
at night and at low tide on grassy, mud flats. The author is often misnamed 
as "C. B. Adams." 

278 America}! Se ash ells 

Bulla gouldiana Pilsbry 

Santa Barbara to the Gulf of California. 

California Bubble 

1% to 2 inches in length, rotund, fragile. Grayish brown with darker, 
streaked mottlings which are bordered posteriorly with cream. Periostracum 
dark-brown and microscopically crinkled. Collected abundantly at night. 
Bulla pimctiilata A. Adams from Lower California south is much heavier 
and constricted or narrowed at the top third of the shell. 

Genus Atys Montfort i8io 

Atys caribaea Orbigny 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

Caribbean Paper-bubble 

Figure 59c 

Vs to Yo inch in length, fragile, translucent milk-white, oval-oblong, 
smooth except for a dozen or so very fine, incised spiral lines at both ends. 

Figure 59. Paper-bubbles of the Atlantic Coast, a, Retiisa obnisa Montagu; b, 

Diaphana vmiuta Brown; c, Atys caribaea Orbigny; d, Atys sandersoni Dall; e, 

Philwe qnadrata S. Wood; f, Philiiie lima Brown. All X5. 

Spire concealed, marked by a twisted, spiral, funnel-like umbilicus. Colu- 
mella acute, a little separated by a deep, narrow umbilicus. Common from 
shallow water to 90 fathoms. 

Atys sajidersoni Dall Sanderson's Paper-bubble 

Figure 59d 
North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

34 to Vs inch in length, similar to caribaea, but thicker-shelled, with 
flatter sides, deeper and wider umbilicus, and with more numerous and 
finer spiral lines at each end. Fairly common from shallow water to over 
100 fathoms. 


Genus Haminoea Turton and Kingston 1830 

Key to the Atlantic Species 
(To determine on which side of the apical perforation the lip arises, 
hold the shell with the apex toward you and the apertural lip facing to the 

a. Apertural lip arising on the left side of the perforation, and angled near 
its insertion: 

b. Shell with numerous fine spiral grooves; % inch; yellowish to 
whitish; southeast Florida and the West Indies . elegans Gray 

bb. Shell smooth; % inch; West Indies .... glabra A. Adams 

aa. Apertural lip arising on right side; not angled: 

c. Well-grooved spirally: 

d. Sides of whorls globose; % inch; amber to whitish; Cape Cod 

to North Carolina; common solitaria Say (pi. 26s) 

dd. Sides of whorls flattish; % to V2 inch, translucent-white; west 

Florida to Texas; common succinea Conrad 

cc. Spiral striae absent or excessively fine; % inch; translucent greenish 
yellow; globose; Gulf to West Indies . antillarum Orbigny 

Pacific Coast Species 
Haminoea virescens Sowerby Sowerby's Paper-bubble 

Puget Sound to Mexico. 

Yo inch in length, very fragile, a translucent greenish yellow in color. 
Aperture very large and open. Upper part of outer lip high and narrowly 
winged. No apical hole. A common, littoral species on the open coast. 
H. cy?7ibi^orviis Cpr. and H. olgae Dall are the same. 

Haminoea vesicida Gould Gould's Paper-bubble 

Alaska to the Gulf of California. 

% inch in length, very fragile, similar to virescens, but with a barrel- 
shaped whorl (from an apertural view), proportionately smaller aperture, 
with a tiny apical perforation, and with a lower, more rounded wing on the 
upper part of the outer lip. Shell color much the same, but the thin peri- 
ostracum is often rusty-brown or yellowish orange. A common, littoral 
bay species. 

280 American Seashells 

Genus Retusa Brown 1827 

Retusa obtusa Montagu Arctic Barrel-bubble 

Figure 59a 

Arctic Seas to off North Carolina. 

3 mm. in length, fairly fragile, smooth, stubby and with the spire com- 
monly slightly sunk or only a little elevated. Columella smooth. A chink- 
like umbilicus is present. Color translucent-white with yellowish brown stain- 
ing. Common from shore to 90 fathoms. R. pertejiuis Mighels and R. 
turrita Moller are this species. 

Retusa sulcata Orbigny Sulcate Barrel-bubble 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 mm. in length. Characterized by its small size, fine axial threads, 
white color, oblong shape, flat sides and deeply sunken spire. Moderately 
common from 3 to 95 fathoms. 

Retusa canaliculata Say Channeled Barrel-bubble 

Plate 26X 

Nova Scotia to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

4 to 6 mm. in length, solid, oblong with its spire moderately elevated, 
but almost invariably eroded. Glossy smooth, except for microscopic growth 
lines. Outer lip thin, advanced above. Columella of a single, raised, strong 
spiral ridge. Suture slightly channeled. Nucleus (when present) very small 
and pimple-like. Color white to cream, commonly with dark, rust-brown 
staining. Acteocina candei Orbigny is probably only a southern representa- 
tive of this species. A common shallow-water species which was formerly 
placed in the genus Acteocina. 

Genus Pyrunculus Pilsbry 1894 
Pyrunculus caelatus Bush Bush's Barrel-bubble 

Plate 26W 

North Carohna to southeast Florida. 

3 mm. in length, pyriform in shape, rather thick and opaque-white. 
Spire concealed within a very deep pit. Rather rare from 15 to 43 fathoms. 

Genus Rhizorus Montfort iSio 
{Volvula A. Adams, not Gistel) 

Rhizorus oxytatus Bush Southern Spindle-bubble 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and Cuba. 


3 to 4 mm. in length, fragile, translucent-white, spindle-shaped, with a 
sharp, long, spike-like apex. Glossy and with 4 or 5 very fine, indistinct, 
punctate, spiral lines at each end. Outer lip thin, following the curvature 
of the body whorl to just below the middle where it continues in a straight 
line. Umbilicus chink-like. Periostracum thin and pale-straw. Common from 
5 to 100 fathoms. R. bushi Dall comes from deep water off North Carolina. 
It is larger, with a long apical process and with a long, chink-like umbilicus. 
The genus Volvulella Newton 1891 is Rhizoriis. 

Rhizorus acutus Orbigny Spined Spindle-bubble 

Plate 26I 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 mm. in length, spindle-shaped, rather oblong, fragile, except for 
minute spiral lines at each end. Upper end of aperture ends in a very sharp, 
rather prolonged spike. Umbilicus rarely, if ever, present. Commonly 
dredged down to 150 fathoms. R. 7ni?iutus Bush is probably the young. 
R. aspinosiis Dall from the same region has the process poorly developed, 
and may be a form of this species. 

Genus Scaphander Montfort 18 10 

Scaphander piinctostriatus Mighels Giant Canoe-bubble 

Plate 26-0 

Arctic Seas to Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 1% inches in length, very lightweight, but moderately strong. 
Ovate-oblong. Apex with a slightly sunken area. Aperture constricted 
above, roundly open below. Columella simple, rounded. Shell smoothish, 
except for numerous, spiral rows of microscopic, elongate punctations. Color 
chalk-white, with a straw periostracum. Fairly common from 20 to 1000 

Scaphander 720 bills \^errill (Noble Canoe-bubble) from off New Eng- 
land is the same size or smaller, has a proportionately much larger aperture, 
its outer lip is wing-like above, and the microscopic punctations are round. 
It is uncommon. A figure of S. luatsoni Dall is on plate 26m. 

Genus Acteocina Gray 1847 

Acteoci'ua culitella Gould Western Barrel-bubble 

Kodiak Island, Alaska, to Lower California. 

282 American Seashells 

^ to % inch in length, moderately solid, oblong but more constricted 
at the upper portions. Spire of 5 whorls, elevated, pointed and with a tiny, 
pimple-like nucleus (usually eroded in northern specimens) . Suture narrowly 
and deeply channeled. Body whorl swollen at the lower half. With numer- 
ous microscopic, wavy, incised spiral lines. Color yellowish, sometimes with 
numerous golden-yellow, fine spiral lines. Columella is a single, raised spiral 
cord. Common in shallow water. A. cerealis Gould is probaby the same 

Genus Cylichna Loven 1846 
Cylichna gouldi Couthouy Gould's Barrel-bubble 

Plate 26r 

Massachusetts Bay to off Cape Cod. Arctic Seas. 

% inch (9 mm.) in length, fragile, chubby, with the spire usually sunk 
in and consisting of 4 or 5 whorls. Color dirty-white with a yellowish 
periostracum. The whorls are much more globose and the anterior end 
more constricted than in the much smaller species, Retiisa ohtusa. Formerly 
placed in the genus Retusa. Uncommon from 26 to 34 fathoms. 

Cylichna alba Brown Brown's Barrel-bubble 

Arctic Seas to North Carolina. Bering Sea to San Diego, California. 

/4 inch (5 mm.) in length, fragile, narrowly oblong with flat sides. 
Apex with a dished, shallow depression. Upper 73 of aperture narrow; 
below it is wide. Columella short, rounded, slightly raised. Shell white, 
smoothish, except for microscopic, spiral scratches. Periostracum thin, 
shiny, yellowish, but often darkly stained with brown. Commonly dredged 
from I to 1000 fathoms in cold water. 

Subgenus Cylichnella Gabb 1872 
Cylichna bidentata Orbigny Orbigny's Barrel-bubble 

Plate 26q 

North Carolina, Florida to Texas and West Indies. 

3 mm. in length, somewhat resembling alba, but its columella has a spiral, 
callous fold and an indistinct nodule below. The shell is more oval. Glossy- 
white. Commonly found from shallow water to 200 fathoms. This is C. 
biplicata of authors, not A. Adams. 

Related to the Scaphander Canoe-shells, but different in having the 


mantle reflexed and closed over the shell, in lacking central teeth in the 
radula, and in having a much more degenerate shell. 

Genus Philine Ascanius 1772 
Philine quadrata S. Wood Quadrate Paper-bubble 

Figure 596 

Arctic Seas to North Carolina. 

/4 inch in length, moderately fragile, semi-transparent, white, squarish- 
oval and more constricted toward the top. Aperture large, flaring, and 
rounded below. Early whorls very small. Sculpture of numerous spiral 
rows of microscopic oval punctations. Suture deep. The narrow top of 
the aperture is slightly higher than the apex. Commonly dredged off the 
New England states from 20 to 400 fathoms. 

Philifie lima Brown File Paper-bubble 

Figure $^i 

Arctic Seas to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

H inch in length, much more oblong than quadrata, with the top of the 
aperture well below the apex, and sinuate from a top view. Columella fairly 
strong. Sculpture of spiral rows of scalloped lines forming chains, between 
which are a single scalloped line. Moderately common in fairly shallow 
but cold water. Ahas P. lineolata Couthouy. 

Philifie sagra Orbigny Crenulated Paper-bubble 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to /4 inch in length, oblong, fragile, white, with a large aperture, 
with numerous spiral lines of small oblong rings placed end to end, and char- 
acterized by the finely crenulated lip. Top of the aperture the same height 
as the apex. Not uncommon from 15 fathoms down. 

Genus Gastropteron Kosse 181 3 

Shell entirely internal and consisting of a minute, nautiloid, calcareous 
spire. Body sack-shaped, with two large, wing-like, fleshy flaps, one on each 
side of the body. These peculiar, small sea-slugs swim through the water 
in a bat-like manner. 

Gastropteron rubrum Rafinesque Bat-wing Sea-slug 

Figure 6oe 

West coast of Florida to the West Indies. Mediterranean. 


American Seashells 

Ys to I inch in length. General color varying from red-purple to pale- 
rose, sometimes with bluish-white spots. There is a vivid, iridescent blue 
border on the head disk and the "wings." Found for the first time in the 
western Atlantic by Harold J. Humm in 1950 at Alligator Harbor, Florida. 
Rare? This is probably G. meckeli "Dall." 

FuiUKE 60. Animals of some Tectibranchs. a, Hmmnoea (side view, X3); b, 

Fhilijie (X3); c, Scaphander (Xz); d, Acteocina (X3); e, Gastropteron (X5); 

f, Bulla '(X3); g, Aplysia (Xy.); h, Bmsatella (Xy.). (After Guiart 1901.) 


G. pacificu77i Bergh from the Aleutians is similar, but yellowish with red 
flecks. There are i6 to 20 gill leaflets. Margin of mantle without a flagel- 
lum, as in rubrum. Uncommon from 9 to 15 fathoms. G. cmereum Dall 
(British Columbia) is 1 1 mm. in length, and a uniform dusky-slate color. It 
also lacks a posterior flagellum on the mantle. 

Superfamily APLYSIACEA 

Genus Aplysia Linne 1767 

Dorsal lobes free, well-separated and used for swimming. Shell internal, 
thin, flat, horny, with little or no lime, and colored amber. Skin smoothish. 
They give off a harmless purple ink, Tethys is a name which was for a long 
time applied to this group, but it is now restricted to a nudibranch genus. 
Aplysia is a conserved name (see fig. 6og). 

Aplysia willcoxi Heilprin Willcox's Sea-hare 

Cape Cod to both sides of Florida. 

5 to 9 inches in length. Mantle under the lobes with a minute perfora- 
tion or fleshy tube above the area of the shell. Color dark-brown with slight 
maculations on the swimming lobes, head and neck. There are large, rounded, 
fairly regular, yellowish scallopings along the inner border of the lobes. 
Mantle and gills light-purple and yellow. Common. The form perviridis 
Pilsbry is clear green on the head and tentacles, the lobes olive-green with a 
coarse-meshed reticulation of black, subdivided by fine veins; irregularly 
maculated all over with light-green, with an occasional clumping of white 

Aplysia dactylomela Rang Spotted Sea-hare 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

4 to 5 inches in length, characterized by its pale-yellow to yellowish- 
green color and the fairly large, usually irregular circles of violet-black scat- 
tered over the body. Common in some grassy localities. A. protea Rang of 
the West Indies is very similar, but the circles are more numerous, and often 
with smaller circles or large spots within the larger ones. 

Aplysia fioridensis Pilsbry Sooty Sea-hare 

Lower Florida Keys. The West Indies? 

4 inches in length. Color deep purple-black, the inside of the swimming 

286 American Seashells 

lobes slightly lighter, and with blotches of black at the edges. Mantle purple- 
black, spotted irregularly with lighter purple. Uncommon? 

Subgenus Metaplysia Pilsbry 1951 
Aplysia badistes Pilsbry 1951 Walking Sea-hare 

Biscayne Bay, Florida. And south? 

2 to 4 inches in length. Mantle under the lobes with a large perforation. 
Sole of foot with a characteristic, muscular disk at each end. Exterior of 
animal dark-olive, indistinctly mottled with irregular spots of dusky buff, 
and having small, sparsely scattered, ragged black spots. Sole of foot yel- 
lowish olive. Found recently along the Venetian Causeway under rock ledges 
at low tide. (For details see Notulae Naturae, Philadelphia, no. 240, pp. i 
to 6, illustrated.) 

Genus Bnrsatella Blainville 181 7 
Bursatella leachi plei Rang Ragged Sea-hare 

West and northwest Florida and the West Indies. 

4 inches in length, elongate-oval, plump, soft and flabby. Greenish gray 
to olive in color, sometimes with white flecks. Surface covered with nu- 
merous, ragged filaments. Shell absent in adults. Commonly found in grassy, 
mud-bottom areas at low tide. The east side of Sanibel Island is a good col- 
lecting spot. This is the only western Atlantic species known in this genus. 
Formerly placed in another genus, Notarcbns Cuvier 18 17. 


Genus Fleiirobranchiis Cuvier 1805 

Subgenus Siisania Gray 1857 

Pleurobranchus atlanticus Abbott Atlantic Pleurobranch 

Figure 61 

Southeast Florida (and the West Indies?). 

I % to 2 inches in length. Mantle with U-shaped notch in front where 
two tube-like rhinophores protrude up. Dorsum or back with numerous 
small rounded warts. Color yellowish orange with irregular splotches of deep 
maroon-brown. Largest warts translucent pale-yellow with a chocolate ring 
around the base. Some tipped with chalk-white. Foot pale-yellow to orang- 



ish. Gill plume on right side of body, with 20 to 22 primary leaflets on each 
side, with a nodule on the main stem where they originate. Primary leaflets 
with 1 5 smaller leaflets, each of which has 5 to i o microscopic plates. Shell 

Figure 61. Pleiirobranchus atlmiticits Abbott, i V2 inches. 2 and 3, entire animal; 
4, rhinophore; 5, cross-section of velum; 6, genitalia; 7, details of gill plume; 8, 
shell; 9, radula; 10, platelets in mandibles. (From R. T. Abbott 1949, Nautilus 

vol. 62.) 

small, calcareous, pinkish white, flat with a small spire, and located under the 
dorsum. Moderately common in shallow water in winter on Soldier Key, 
near Miami. Originally collected by F. M. Bayer, P. gardineri White is a 

288 American Seashells 


This is a well-known family of very small gastropods which are ex- 
tremely baffling to novices attempting to identify any one of the several hun- 
dred so-called species. Even among the experts there is not always agreement 
on what constitutes a species, subgenus or genus in this group. It would be 
impossible to present in a book this siz^e even an account of only the most 
common species. Those interested in delving into this interesting maze of 
species are referred to the works of Bartsch, W. H. Dall and K. Bush. 

The recent work of Fretter and Graham has shown that the Pyrams are 
ectoparasites, with each species feeding on a particular host, usually a tubico- 
lous polychaete worm or a bivalve mollusk. The Pyrams attach themselves 

(Figure 62) 

(The names in parentheses are subgenera. Illustrations are from P. Bartsch, 
1909, Proc. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. 34, no. 4. The measurements refer to the 
length of an average specimen). 

a, Odostojjiia (Chrysallida) ivillisi Bartsch. Willis' Odostome. 3 mm.; milky 

white. Prince Edward Island, Canada. Uncommon. 

b, Turbonilla (Pyrgisais) internipta Totten. Interrupted Turbonille. 6 mm.; 

pale waxy yellow. Casco Bay, Maine, to the West Indies. 2 to 107 fathoms. 

c, Turbonilla (Tiirbo?iilla) stricta Verrill. Varied Turbonille. 5 mm.; milky 

white. Massachusetts to North Carolina. 3 to 8 fathoms. Moderately com- 

d, Turbojiilla (Tiirbo?iilla) iiivea Stimpson. Snowy Turbonille. 5 mm.; milky 

white. Maine to Connecticut. 40 to 400 fathoms. Uncommon. 

e, Pyra7indella (Syrnola) fiisca C. B. Adams. Brown Pyram. 6 mm.; light brown. 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida. Common. 

f, Odostomia (Menestho) trifida Totten. Three-lined Odostome. 4 mm.; shiny 

white. Maine to New Jersey. Shore. Common. 

g, Odostojjiia (lolaea) heiidersojii Bartsch. Henderson's Odostome. 3 mm.; glossy 

white. Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Uncommon. 
h, Odostomia (Menestho) bisutiiralis Say. Double-sutured Odostome. 5 mm.; 

milky white. Nova Scotia to Delaware Bay. Shore to 2 fathoms. Common. 
i, Odostomia (Menestho) impressa Say. Impressed Odostome. 5 mm.; milky 

white. Massachusetts Bay to Gulf of Mexico. Common in shallow water. 
j, Odostomia (Chrysallida) sejniniida C. B. Adams. Half-smooth Odostome. 

4 mm.; whitish. Nova Scotia to Gulf of Mexico. Shore to 12 fathoms. 

k, Odostomia (Odostomia) gibbosa Bush. Fat Odostome. 3 mm.; shiny, yellowish 

white. Maine to southern Massachusetts. Uncommon. (= modesta'^\\y 

not Stimpson) . 



to the host by means of an oral sucker, and pierce the body wall of the host 
with a buccal stylet. They suck the host's blood by means of a buccal pump. 
Embryological and other data have shown that this family of mollusks is 
closely related to the tectibranch mollusks, rather than to the prosobranchs 
with which they have been formerly placed. (See Journal of the Marine 
Biological Assoc, vol. 28, pp. 493-532, 1949.) 

Genus Fyramidella Lamarck 1799 
Pyramidella dolabrata Lamarck 

Bahamas and the West Indies. Florida Keys? 

Giant Atlantic Pyram 

Plate 4q 

% to I inch in length, solid and glossy smooth. Columella large, and 
with 2 or 3 strong, spiral plicae. Color opaque-white with 3 fine, spiral lines 
of brown, i of which is just above the suture. Common in the West Indies 

Figure 62. Atlantic Coast Pyramidellidae. (See opposite page.) 


(The names in parentheses are subgenera. "D. and B." is the abbreviation for 
Dall and Bartsch 1909, Bull. 68, U. S, Nat. AIus., pis. 1-30, from which these 
drawings are taken. The measurements refer to the length of an average specimen.) 

a, Pyrarnidella {Lonchaeiis) adamsi Carpenter. Adams' Pyram. 15 mm. White 

to dark-brown, spotted or banded. San Pedro to Mexico. Common. 

b, Tiirbonilla {Cheimiitzia) kelseyi D. and B. Kelsey's Turbonille. 5 mm. Semi- 

transparent; ribs not on base of shell. Santa Barbara to Mexico. Shore to 
30 fathoms. Moderately common. 

c, Turbo77illa (Ti/rboiiilla) acraD. 2indB. Acta Turbonille. 10 mm. Milk-white; 

15 whorls; ribs extend down over the base of the shell. California. Rare. 

d, Tiirbo7jilla {Striotiirbonilla) buttoni D. and B. Button's Turbonille. 6 mm.; 

yellowish white; spire and base of shell with microscopic, wavy, spiral lines 
not shown in drawing). Southern California to iMexico. Shore to 25 fathoms. 
Common at many places. 

e, Tiirbonilla {Fyrgolampros) chocolata Carpenter. Chocolate Turbonille. 12 

mm.; shiny, golden brown, with 2 or 3 spiral bands of lighter color. Monterey 

to San Diego. Shore to 25 fathoms. Uncommon. 
f, Tw'bomlla {Monmila) tridentata Carpenter. Three-toothed Turbonille. 10 

mm.; chestnut; obscurely banded; minutely reticulated; 3 folds on white 

columella. Monterey to Lower California. Shore to 40 fathoms. Common. 
g, Odostomia {Evalwa) a?nericana D. and B. American Odostome. 3 mm.; milky 

white. San Pedro to Lower California. Shore to 10 fathoms. Uncommon. 
h, Odostomia (Aliralda) aepynota D. and B. Tower Odostome. 2 mm.; trans- 
lucent. San Pedro to Lower California. Shore to 12 fathoms. Uncommon. 
i, Odostomia (Odostoinia) farella D. and B. Farelle Odostome. 3 mm.; white; 

fine growth lines only. Off Long Beach. Rare. 
j, Odostoima (Evalea) phanea D. and B. Phanea Odostome. 5 mm.; milky white. 

Monterey to San Diego. On rocks and abalones. Common. 
k, Turbonilla (Pyrgisciis) aragoni D. and B. Aragon Turbonille. 7 mm.; milky 

white; lower half of whorls brown, upper half flesh-colored. Base with 

1 5 spiral lines. Monterey to Redondo Beach. 10 to 40 fathoms. Uncommon. 
1, Tiirbojiilla (Bartschella) lajimiata Carpenter. Laminate Turbonille. 7 mm.; 

apex waxy yellow; last whorl brown; columella white. Redondo Beach to 

Lower California. Shore to 25 fathoms. Common. 
m, Odostomia (Ividella) pedroana D. and B. San Pedro Odostome. 7 mm.; choco- 
late-brown. San Pedro to Lower California. Shore to 1 2 fathoms. Common. 
n, Odostomia (Chrysallida) helga D. and B. H'^lga Odostome. 5 mm.; milky 

white. Redondo Beach to Gulf of California. Shore to 25 fathoms. Common. 
o, Odostomia (Ivara) terriciila D. and B. Earth Odostome. 4 mm.; milky white. 

Monterey to Lower California. Shore to 25 fathoms. Common. 
p, Odostomia (lolaea) auriaiita D. and B. Pure Odostome. 5 mm.; yellowish 

white. San Mateo to Lower California. Shore to 75 fathoms. Common. 
q, Odostomia {Amaiira) nota D. and B. Nota Odostome. 7 mm.; light yellow. 

Santa Rosa Island to San Diego. Among weeds. Common. 
r, Odostomia (Evalea) donilla D. and B. Donille Odostome. 5 mm.; bluish white. 

Santa Monica to Lower California. Shore to 10 fathoms. Common, 
s, Odostomia (Menestho) fetella D. and B. Fetelle Odostome. 4 mm.; milky 

white. Santa Monica to Lower California. Shore to 6 feet. Common. 
t, Odostomia (Salasiella) laxa D. and B. Lax Odostome. 4 mm.; milky white. 

Catalina Island to Lower California. Shore to 70 fathoms. Common. 



Figure 63. Pacific Coast Pyramidellidae. (See opposite page.) 

292 A?nerican Seashells 

and possibly present in the Lower Florida Keys. This species is a sand- 

(Sea Butterflies or Pteropods) 

These small, pelagic gastropods are very abundant in the open seas in 
nearly every part of the world. They are occasionally washed ashore, but 
more commonly their shells are found in dredge hauls. The identification of 
pteropods is important to many types of oceanographic studies. There are 
two suborders, Thecosomata or those having shells, and the Gymnosomata 
or those without shells. We have omitted the latter group, and refer inter- 
ested workers to our bibliography. Every known American species (eastern 
Pacific and western Atlantic) of the shelled Thecosomata has been included 
and figured. 



Genus Spiratella Blainville 1817 


Spiratella helicina Phipps Helicid Pteropod 

Figure 64a 

Arctic Seas to the Gulf of Maine. Arctic Seas to northern California. 

Up to 8 mm. in length, spire short, shell wider than long. Surface with 
relatively large, axial threads. Adults (over 3 mm.) without an operculum. 
Abundant enough in the Arctic Seas to serve as an important source of food 
for certain whales. S. pacifica Dall is the same. 

Spiratella retroversa Fleming Retrovert Pteropod 

Figure 64c 

Arctic Seas to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

Up to 5 or 6 mm. in length, spire slightly elevated, umbilicus distinct, 
shell higher than wide. Entire surface covered with fine, spiral hues. 10 
whorls. Limacina balea Moller and Spirialis goiildi Stimpson are this species. 

Spiratella trochi^omtis Orbigny Trochiform Pteropod 

Figure 646 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Brazil. (N. Lat. 42° to S. Lat. 28°). 

I mm, in length, very close in characters, except shape, to 5. retroversa, 
and thought by some workers to be a warm-water subspecies of that species. 


Spiratella lesueuri Orbigny Lesueur's Pteropod 

Figure 64b 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, south to Brazil. Indo-Pacific. (N. Lat. 42° 
to S. Lat. 40°). 

1.5 mm. in length, spire elevated somewhat; umbilicus distinct. Shell as 
long as wide. Spiral lines only around the umbilicus. 

Spiratella bulmwides Orbigny Bulimoid Pteropod 

Figure 6^d 

New York to southern Brazil. (N. Lat. 39° to S. Lat. 40°). 

2 mm. in length, spire high, shell twice as long as wide. Umbilicus very 
indistinct. Lip fragile and often broken. 6 to 7 whorls. 

Spiratella inflata Orbigny Planorbid Pteropod 

Figure 64h 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Argentina. (N. Lat. 42° to S. Lat. 40°). 

1.5 mm. in length, spire depressed, with the globose whorls in one plane 
to give a planorboid shape. Limacina scaphoidea Gould is this species. 

Genus Feracle Forbes 1844 

Shell fragile, with sinistral or left-handed whorls (resembling the fresh- 
water pond snail, Physa); aperture very large and elongated; columella pro- 
longed into an elongate rostrum; no umbilicus. Operculum thin, paucispiral, 
sifiistral and subcircular in outline. There are only two species in the genus. 
PeracUs Pelseneer is the same genus. 

Feracle reticulata Orbigny Reticulate Pteropod 

Figure 64g 

Worldwide, pelagic. (40° N. to 20° S.). 

4 mm. in length, brownish yellow, sinistral and with 4 whorls. Suture 
deep. The surface exhibits a raised hexagonal reticulation, the sides of the 
hexagons bearing a regular row of minute teeth. P. physoides Forbes and 
P. clathrata Eyd. and Soul, are the same. 

Feracle bispinosa Pelseneer Two-spined Pteropod 

Figure 6i\i 
Atlantic, pelagic. (38° N. to 28° S.). 

7 mm. in length, milky-white, similar to reticulata, but with a wide, 

294 American Seashells 

shallow suture bearing axial ridges, and with the shoulder of the outer lip 
bearing a small, triangular projection. Uncommonly collected. 


Shell symmetrical (not coiled), fragile, white to brown, and of various 
shapes — needle-like, cylinder-shaped, flattened triangular or bulbous. 

Genus Creseis Rang 1828 
Shell a long cone, almost circular in cross-section, needle-like. 

Creseis acicida Rang Straight Needle-pteropod 

Figure 6411 

Atlantic and Pacific, pelagic. (N. Lat. 48° to S. Lat. 40°). 

20 to 33 mm. (about an inch) in length. A long, straight, slender cone 
tapering to a sharp point. Styliola vitrea Verrill and conica Esch. are this 

Creseis virgula Rang Curved Needle-pteropod 

Figure 64P 

Atlantic and Pacific, pelagic. (N. Lat. 41° to S. Lat. 35°). 

8 to 10 mm. in length. A drawn-out, slender shell similar to acicula, 
but with its narrow end hooked to one side. The amount of bend of hook 
is variable. Hyalaea conijormis Orb. and Cleodora virgula Soul, and Eyd. are 
the same. 

Genus Styliola Lesueur 1825 
Styliola siibula Quoy and Gaimard Keeled Clio 

Figure 64-0 

Worldwide in warm seas, pelagic. 

10 mm. in length, conical, straight, considerably elongated. The surface 
is smooth, and with a dorsal groove not parallel to the axis of the shell, but 
slightly oblique, turning from left to right, with only the anterior extremity 
(which ends in a rostrum) in the median line. There is only one species in 
the genus and it is world-wide in distribution. 

Genus Hyalocylis Fol 1875 
Hyalocylis striata Rang Striate Clio 

Worldwide m warm seas, pelagic. 


8 mm. in length, conical, slightly compressed dorso-ventrally (oval 
in cross-section); apex slightly recurved dorsally; surface with transverse 
grooves; embryonic shell small, smooth, bulbous and separated from the main 
shell by a constriction. This is the only species in the genus. 

Genus Clio Linne 1767 

Shell of a somewhat angular form, colorless, compressed dorso-ventrally, 
and with lateral keels. A cross-section of the anterior or open portion is thus 
always angular at the sides. There is generally a crest or ridge extending 
longitudinally along the back. Embryonic shell varies in form, but is always 
definitely separated from the rest of the shell. Cleodora Peron and Lesueur 
1 8 1 o is the same genus. 

Clio pyramidata Linne Pyramid Clio 

Figure 64k 

Worldwide, pelagic. 

16 to 21 mm. in length. No lateral keels on the posterior portion; with- 
out lateral spines. Lateral margins very divergent. No posterior transverse 
grooves. Dorsal ribs undivided. Common. C. Imiceolata Lesueur and Cleo- 
dora exacuta Gould are this species. The shell exhibits considerable variation 
in form. 

Clio cuspidata Bosc Cuspidate Clio 

Figure 641 

Atlantic and Indo-Pacific, pelagic. 

Without lateral keels on the posterior portion. Lateral spines very long. 

Clio recurva Children Wavy Clio 

Figure 64J 

Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Warm water, pelagic. 

I inch in length, with lateral keels over its entire length. 3 dorsal ribs 
markedly projecting. A large, fragile, transparent and very exquisite species. 
This is C. balantiiim Rang. 

Clio polita Pelseneer Two-keeled Clio 

Figure 64I 

Atlantic, pelagic. 

With lateral keels over its entire length. Dorsal ribs very slightly pro- 
jecting. The posterior portion of the shell is narrow. C. j ale at a Pfeffer is 
the same species. 

296 AmericaJi Seashelh 

Genus Cavolina Abildgaard 1791 

Shell squat, bulbous, horny-brown in color, characterized by a much 
constricted aperture, which is, however, very broad transversely. Sides of 
shell often prolonged into spine-like projections. Cavolinia is an alternate, 
incorrect spelling, and Hyalaea Lamarck is a synonym of this genus. 

Cavolina lojigirostris Lesueur Long-snout Cavoline 

Figure 64V 

Worldwide, pelagic. (47° N. to 40° S.). 

5 to 9 mm. in length. Dorsal lip with a thin margin. Posterior portion 
of the ventral lip markedly projecting laterally. Common. Hyalaea li?nbata 
Orb. and H. angiilata Souleyet are synonyms. 

Cavolina gibbosa Rang Gibbose Cavoline 

Figure 64\v 

Worldwide, pelagic. (43° N. to 38^ S.). 

About 10 mm. in length. Dorsal lip with a thin margin. Shell without 
appreciable lateral points. Ventral lip not more developed than the dorsal. 
Ventral surface with an anterior transverse keel. Common. 

Cavolina tridentata Forskal Three-toothed Cavoline 

Figure 64U 

Worldwide, pelagic. (40° N. to 40° S.). 

10 to 20 mm. in length. Dorsal lip with a thin margin. Ventral Hp not 
more developed than the dorsal one. Shell without appreciable lateral points. 
The shell is as broad at the end of the lips as it is at the anterior end. C. 
gibbosa is narrower at the ends of the lips. Hyalaea afflnis Orb. is merely a 
form of this species. C. televms Linne might possibly be this species. 

Figure 64. The Pteropods or Sea-hut- Pelseneer;m,0/i7(?n77JCo/z/7;777e//irRang; 
terflies of American Waters, a, Spira- n, Creseis aciciila Rang; o, Styliola sub- 
tell a helicina Phipps; b, 5. lesuenri Orb.; zila Q & G; p, Creseis virgula Rang; q, 
c, 5. retroversa Fleming; d, 5. biilnnoides Hyalocylis striata Rang; r, Cavolina i?i- 
Orb.; e, S. trochiformis Orb.; f, Peracle fJexa Lesueur; s, Cavolina qiiadridentata 
bispinosa Pelseneer; g, Peracle reticidata Lesueur; t, C trispinosa Lesueur; u, C. 
Orb.; h, Spiratella infiata Orb.; i, Clio tridentata Forskal; v, C longirostris 
cuspidata Bosc; j, Clio reciirva Children; Lesueur; w, C. gibbosa Rang; x, C. im- 
k, Clio pyramidata Linnc; 1, Clio polita cinata Rang. 



FiGURK 64. F.xplanations on opposite pas^e. 

298 American Seashelh 

Cavolina micinata Rang Uncinate Cavoline 

Figure 64X 

Worldwide, pelagic. (40° N. to 40° S.)- 

6 to 7 mm. in length. Dorsal lip with a thin margin. Ventral lip not 
more developed than the dorsal one. Shell with distinct lateral points. Upper 
lip flattened posteriorly. C. iincinati^ormis Pfeffer is a synonym. 

Cavolina inflexa Lesueur Inflexed Cavoline 

Figure 641 

Atlantic and Indo-Pacific. (41° N. to 42° S.). 

6 to 7 mm. in length, similar to uncinata, but the upper Hp is directed 
straight forward, instead of flattened posteriorly; and the ventral side of the 
shell is weakly, instead of strongly, convex. C. labiata Orb., C. imitans Pfeffer 
and C. elongata Blainville are this species. 

Subgenus Diacria Gray 1842 

Similar to Cavolina s.s., but the dorsal lip of the shell is thickened into 
a pad, and not thin as the true Cavoline is. Some workers use this as a genus. 

Cavolina trispinosa Lesueur Three-spined Cavoline 

Figure 641 

Worldwide, pelagic. (60° N. to 41° S.). 

About 1 1 mm. in length. Dorsal lip thickened into a pad. Shell with a 
long lateral spine on each side, and a very long terminal one. Aperture 
scarcely discernible. Ventral side of shell very slightly convex. C. mucro- 
nata Q. and G., C. cuspidata Delle Chiaje and C. reeviana Dunker are this 
species. Very common. 

Cavolina quadridentata Lesueur Four-toothed Cavoline 

Figure 64s 

Worldwide, pelagic. (36° N. to 28° S.). 

2 to 4 mm. in length. Dorsal lip thickened into a pad. Without promi- 
nent lateral spines. Aperture well-developed. Ventral side greatly inflated. 
Upper lip longer than the bottom one. C. inermis Gould, C. inimita Sowerby, 
C. intermedia Sowerby and C. costata Pfefi^er are synonyms. Quite common. 

Genus CitvierivLt Boas 1886 

Shell cylindrical, shaped somewhat like a fat cigar. Surface smooth. A 
cross-section is almost circular. Behind the aperture the shell is slightly con- 


stricted. There is only one species in the genus. The genera Cuvieria Rang 
and Herse Gistel 1848 (non Oken 181 5) are synonyms. 

Cuvierina columnella Rang Cigar Pteropod 

Figure 64m 

Worldwide, pelagic. (43° N. to 42° S.). 

10 to 14 mm. in length. See generic description and figure. The shell 
varies somewhat in shape. C. oryza Benson, C. iirceolaris Morch and cmi- 
cellata Pfeffer are the same. Common. 


Pteropods characterized by the absence of shell, pallial cavity and 
mantle-skirt; by the presence of a well-developed head, bearing two pairs of 
tentacles, of which the two posterior bear rudimentary eyes. Jaws and radula 
present. Found pelagic in all seas, and sometimes in great abundance. Rarely 
exceed one inch in length. They are carnivorous. Ascend to the surface at 
night, and sink to a lower level in the daytime. They are not treated in this 
book. The group contains such genera as Pjieuviodennopsis Bronn 1862, 
Fneumodernia Cuvier 1805 {=^ Piieiimono derma Agassiz), Cliopsis Troschel 
1854 {= CHonopsis Bronn), Notobrmichaea Pelseneer 1886, Clione Pallas 
1774, PaedocUone Danforth 1907, Anopsia Gistel 1848 (= Halopsyche 
Bronn and Euribia Rang). 


(Nudibranchs and Sea-slugs) 

Super jamily DORIDACEA 


Branchial plumes in an arc or circle usually joined together at their bases, 
usually retractile into a cavity. Rhinophores always with a perfoliate club. 
Pharyngeal bulb never suctorial. 

Genus Archidoris Bergh 1878 

Body not hard, dorsum granular or tubular; tentacles short, thick, with 
an external, longitudinal sulcus. No labial armature. Branchial plumes not 
numerous, 3- to 4-pinnare. Center of radula naked, marginal teeth hooked 
and bearing minute denticles. Penis and vagina unarmed (without hooks). 

Archidoris montereyensis Cooper Monterey Doris 

Plate i6h 


I to 2 inches in length. Rhinophore stalks conical, the clavus slightly 

300 American Seashelh 

dilated, conical, perfoliate with 24 to 30 leaves on each side. Each of the 7 
branchial plumes large, spreading and 3- to 4-pinnate. Radula with 33 rows; 
center naked; with 42 to 49 strongly hooked, denticulate pleural teeth. Com- 
mon in tide pools. 

Subgenus Anisodoris Bergh 1898 
Archidoris 720 bills MacFarland Noble Pacific Doris 

Plate 1 6c 


4 inches in length. Rhinophore stalk stout, conical, the clavus perfoli- 
ate, with about 24 leaves, and the stalk deeply retractile within low sheaths, 
the margins of which are tuberculate. Each of the 6 branchial plumes large 
and spreading, 3- to 4-pinnate. A thin, membrane-like expansion joins the 
bases of the plumes. Radula with 26 rows; center naked; with 55 to 62 
strongly hooked pleural teeth. Moderately common in tide pools. 

Genus Discodorts Bergh 1898 

Body rather soft, oval in outline; branchial aperture slightly crenulate, 
stellate or bilabiate; anterior margin of the foot bilabiate, the upper lip more 
or less notched. 

Discodoris heatbi MacFarland Heath's Doris 

Plate i6i 


I inch in length. Mantle thick, densely spiculate. Rhinophores cylindro- 
conical, the stalk stout, the clavus with 10 to 15 leaves, and wholly retrac- 
tile. Each of the 8 to 10 branchial plumes are tripinnate. Radula colorless, 
with 20 rows of teeth; center naked. 36 to 42 strongly hooked pleural teeth. 
Rather rare in rock pools in the summer. 

Genus Rostanga Bergh 1879 

Back covered with minute, spiculose or stiff papillae; branchiae of 
simple-pinnate leaves. 

Rostanga pulchra MacFarland MacFarland's Pretty Doris 

Plate i6g 


% inch in length. Rhinophores short, stout, translucent-pink, stalk 
stout, prolonged beyond the 20- to 24-leaved clavus as a blunt, cylindrical 
process which is % the length of the entire rhinophore. 10 to 12 erect, sepa- 


rate, retractile branchial plumes. Radula with 65 to 80 rows of 80 denticu- 
late pleural teeth. Lives on red sponges. The egg-ribbon is orange-red and 
often laid on the sponge. Common. 

Genus Diaidula Bergh 1880 

Body fairly soft; back silky finish; branchial aperture round and crenu- 
late; branchial plumes tripinnate. 

Diaulula sandiegensis Cooper San Diego Doris 

Plate i6d 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

2 to 3 inches in length. Body soft; back velvety. Rings of black varying 
greatly in number and clarity (2 or 3 to 30). Rhinophores conical, the 
clavus with 20 to 30 leaves, deeply retractile into a conspicuous sheath with 
a crenulate margin. 6 branchial plumes tripinnate. Radula broad, with 19 
to 22 rows, each row with 26 to 30 falcate teeth on each side of the naked 
center. Moderately common in rock pools of the fucoid zone at all seasons. 
The broad, white, spiral egg bands are commonly laid from June to August, 

Genus Aldisa Bergh 1878 
Aldisa sangtunea Cooper Blood-red Doris 

Monterey Bay to Point Lobos, California. 

Y2 inch in length. In form, superficially resembling our figure of Archi- 
doris mo7itereyensis (pi. i6h), but bright-scarlet to light-red, sprinkled every- 
where with very minute, black spots. Characterized by 2 or 3 very large, 
oval spots of black on the back, Rhinophores similar in form, with 12 to 
15 leaves in the clavus. Branchial plumes 8 to 10, simply or irregularly bi- 
pinnate. Radula with 70 rows of teeth, each row with 70 to 100 teeth which 
are long, slender and with small, swollen bases. Not uncommon in rock 


Labial armature lamelliform, almost annulate, of extremely small hooks. 
Middle of radula with a denticulated tooth. External margin of pleural teeth 

Genus Cadlina Bergh 1879 

Characters of the subfamily. The glans penis is armed with a series of 
hooks. Usually the animal is from i to 2 inches in length. 

302 American Seashells 

Cadlina laevis Linne White Atlantic Doris 

Arctic Seas to Massachusetts. Europe. 

I inch in length, similar to our figure of A. no bills (pi. i6c), but a pure, 
waxy, semi-transparent white. Back with numerous very small, obtuse, 
opaque-white tubercles. An irregular row of white or sulfur-yellow, angu- 
lar spots located down each side near the margin of the back. Rhinophores 
opaque-white or yellowish, with 12 or 13 leaflets, surmounted by a short, 
blunt point. Branchial plumes of 5 imperfectly tripinnate, transparent white 
plumes. Radula with 50 to 70 rows of teeth. 29 to 30 pleural teeth on each 
side of the central tooth, the latter with 3 to 4 denticles on each side of the 
center hook. Locally uncommon. C. repanda Alder and Hancock, C. obve- 
lata Miiller and C. planulata Gould are this species. 

Cadlina flavomaciilata MacFarland Yellow-spotted Doris 

Pacific Grove to San Diego, California. 

% inch in length. Characterized by the 2 rows of lemon-yellow spots 
borne upon low tubercles. Rhinophores with 10 to 12 leaves in its club. 
Branchial plumes small, 10 to 11, either simple pinnate or bipinnate. Radula 
with about 77 rows of teeth, with 23 pleural teeth on each side of the central 
tooth which has 4 to 6 equal-sized denticles. All times of the year in small 
numbers in rocky tide pools. 

Cadlina marginata MacFarland Yellow-rimmed Doris 

British Columbia to Monterey Bay, California. 

1% inches in length, similar to our figure of A. nobilis (pi. i6c), but 
covered everywhere with low, yellow-tipped tubercles surrounded by a nar- 
row ring of white and forming the center of a clearly marked polygonal 
area. Ground color a translucent yellowish white. There is a distinct narrow 
band of lemon-yellow around the margins of the mantle and the lateral and 
posterior edges of the foot. Rhinophores with 16 to 18 leaves in the clavus. 
Branchial plumes 6, bipinnate, sheath with yellow-tipped tubercles on the 
margin. 90 rows of teeth, with about 47 pleural teeth on each side of the 
central tooth which has 4 to 6 even-sized denticles. Not uncommon in rock 


Brilliantly blue-colored; back smooth, body elongate. Labial armature 
strong, of very minute hooks. Center of radula very narrow, often with 


minute, compressed spurious teeth. Penis unarmed. Chromodoris Alder and 
Hancock is a synonym of the following genus. 

Genus Glossodoris Ehrenberg 1831 
Glossodoris porterae Cockerell Porter's Blue Doris 

Plate 1 61 

Monterey to San Diego, California. 

Yo inch in length, characterized by its deep ultramarine blue (dissolves 
out at death) and by the two orange stripes. Foot without orange marks. 
Fairly common in rocky tide pools. This might be the young or a form of 
the next species. 

Glossodoris calif orniensis Bergh Califomian Blue Doris 

Monterey to San Diego, California. 

2 inches in length. Like G. porterae, but with numerous, bright, orange, 
oblong spots in two rows on the mantle, another row down each side of the 
foot, and a group of round spots on the anterior end. Common in tide pools. 
G. universitatis Ckll. is this species. 

Glossodoris macjarlandi Cockerell MacFarland's Blue Doris 

La Jolla to San Pedro, California. 

% inch in length, like a small porterae, but with a ground color of red- 
dish purple (not dissolving out at death); mantle with a yellow-orange mar- 
gin and 3 longitudinal yellow stripes. End of foot with an orange stripe. 


Body soft, Doris-shaped. Pharyngeal bulb and elongated sucking tube, 
destitute of mandibles and radulae. Penis armed with a series of hooks. 
Doriopsis Pease is a synonym of the following genus. 

Genus Defidrodoris Ehrenberg 1831 
Dendrodoris fulva MacFarland Common Yellow Doris 


2 inches in length. Back soft, with low, papilla-like elevations tipped 
with white. Rhinophores with 18 to 20 leaves in the clavus which is % the 

304 Ainerican Seashelh 

length of the entire rhinophore. It is completely retractile. 5 branchial 
plumes are tripinnate. No mandibles or radula. One of the commonest Pa- 
cific Coast species. In tide pools at all times of the year, especially common 
in summer. Coiled t^^ band is yellow. 

Body limaciform (slug-like); branchial plumes not retractile. 

Genus Laila MacFarland 1905 
Laila cockerelli MacFarland Laila Doris 

Plate i6j 
Monterey to San Diego, CaHfornia. 

% inch in length. Rhinophores with 1 3 leaves in the clavus. 5 branchial 
plumes tripinnate, non-retractile into the cavity. 76 to 82 rows of radula; 
center with a series of rectangular, flattened plates; on the side are 2 pleural 
teeth, then 10 to 13 closely set pavement-like uncinal teeth. Glans penis 
long, armed with 10 to 12 irregular rows of minute, thorn-like hooks. Not 
very common. Found under shelving rocks in tide pools. 

Genus Triopha Bergh 1880 
Triopba carpenteri Stearns Carpenter's Doris 

Plate 1 6k 

Monterey to Point Lobos, California. 

I inch in length. Rhinophores with 20 to 30 leaves in the club. 5 
branchial plumes, large, tripinnate. 30 to 33 rows of radulae, with 4 teeth on 
the center part (the rhachis); pleural teeth 9 to 18, strongly hooked. Un- 
cinal teeth 9 to 18, quadrangular in outline. Very common in rock pools. 

Triopha maculata MacFarland Maculated Doris 

Plate i6f 

Monterey to Point Lobos, Cahfornia. 

I inch in length. Rhinophore stalk and club same length, the latter with 
18 leaves. Branchial plumes 5, tripinnate 14 rows of teeth, each row with 
4 flattened plates, 4 to 5 pleurals, and 7 to 8 uncinal teeth. Blunt glans penis 
armed with minute hooks. Abundant in summer in rock pools, in winter un- 

Triopha grandis MacFarland MacFarland's Grand Doris 

Plate 1 6b 



2 to 3 inches in length. With 8 to 12 tuberculate processes in front of 
head, and 6 to 7 more down the sides of the back. Back yellowish-brown, 
often flecked with bluish spots. Tips of yellow processes, tip of tail and tips 
of branchial plumes with yellowish red. Rhinophores set in conspicuous 
sheaths, club yellow with 20 leaves. Branchial plumes 5, bushy, tri- and 
quadri-pinnate. 18 rows of radular teeth; 4 centrals, 8 pleurals and 8 uncinal 
teeth. Found on brown kelp. Fairly common. 

Genus Polycera Cuvier 1817 

Frontal margin with finger-like processes. Finger-like processes border- 
ing branchial plumes. Center of radula naked, flanked by 2 lateral teeth and 
several uncini. 

Polycera atra MacFarland Orange-spiked Doris 

Plate i6e 

Monterey to San Diego, California. 

^/4 to I inch in length. The blue-black lines shown in our figure are 
usually thinner and less conspicuous. 8 gill plumes. Common on brown 
algae. 9 to 10 rows of radular teeth, dark-amber; 2 pleurals, 3 to 4 uncinal 

Genus Acanthodoris Gray 1850 

Body Dorid-like with a furry back. Labial disk armed with minute 
hooks. Center of radula naked; first pleural tooth large, external pleurals 4 
to 8, small. Glans penis armed. Vagina very long. 

Acanthodoris pilosa Abildgard Pilose Doris 

Plate 15b 

Arctic Seas to New Haven, Connecticut. Alaska. 

% to 1% inches in length. Semi-transparent. Color variable, ranging 
from pure white to yellowish white, canary-yellow, yellowish brown, gray- 
speckled, purple-brown and black. Back covered with soft, slender, conical, 
pointed papillae, which give it a hairy appearance. Rhinophores long, its 
club bent backwards and with 19 to 20 leaves. Sheath denticulate. Branchial 
plumes 7 to 9, large and spreading, tripinnate, transparent. A number of 
color forms have been described from Alaska by Bergh and from New Eng- 
land by A. E. Verrill. Radula with about 27 rows. No central tooth, 4 
pleurals on each side. Moderately common at low tide, sometimes found 
out of water, 

306 AiJierican Seashells 

Acanthodoris brunnea MacFarland Pacific Brown Doris 

Monterey Harbor, California. 

% inch in length, somewhat like our figure of A. pilosa (pi. 15b). Some- 
what broader at the anterior end. Brown tubercles on back rounder, fewer, 
not as pointed. Back brown with flecks of black and with small spots of 
lemon-yellow between the tubercles. Rhinophores deep blue-black, tipped 
with yellowish white. Club with 20 to 28 obliquely slanting leaves. 7 bran- 
chial plumes, wide-spreading, bipinnate. About 10 tubercles are included 
within the rosette, 4 or 5 of them large and enclosing the anal papilla. An- 
terior margin of back is yellow. 24 to 28 rows of radular teeth. No centrals. 
First pleural large, with 14 to 19 denticles on the inner border. 6 to 7 other 
smaller pleural teeth. Dredged 30 to 60 fathoms. 

Genus Adalaria Bergh 1878 
Adalaria proxhim Alder and Hancock Yellow False Doris 

Plate 15! 

Arctic Seas to Eastport, Maine. Europe. 

V2 inch in length; deep yellow, white or yellow-orange. Back covered 
with stout, subclavate, or elliptical bluntly pointed tubercles, set at a little 
distance apart, and mixed with smaller ones. Calcareous spicules appear 
through the skin, radiating from the tubercles. Rhinophores with 1 5 leaves 
reaching almost to the base. Margin of sheath smooth. Branchial plumes 11. 
40 rows of radular teeth. No central tooth. First pleural large, sickle-shaped, 
other II small and plate-like. Uncommon (?) in New England. 

Genus Ancula Loven 1846 

Ancula cristata Alder Atlantic Ancula 

Plate i5f 

Arctic Seas to Massachusetts. Europe. 

Yz inch in length, of a transparent watery white, smooth. Rhinophores 
with 8 to 10 leaves. 3 branchial plumes, tripinnate. Labial armature of rows 
of imbricated hooks. Radula narrow, center naked, 25 to 27 rows of teeth; 
inner pleural large, denticulate on the inner margin. Outer pleural tooth 
small, smooth. A. sulpJmrea Stimpson is probably this species. On the north- 
west coast of Florida there is a Polycera {hummi Abbott) which superficially 
resembles this species in external features, but its radula indicates its true 


Ancula pacifica MacFarland Pacific Ancula 


% inch in length, very similar to our figure of A. cristata (pi. i5f). 
Color translucent-yellow with 3 narrow, orange lines on the anterior half 
of the back, and one down the center of the back half. Rhinophores with 
9 yellowish leaves. 3 branchial plumes. 4 (not 6) finger-like processes on 
each side of the plumes. 35 rows of teeth in the radula. Center with a small 
quadrangular plate, flanked by one large and one small pleural tooth. 

Genus Hopkinsia MacFarland 1905 
Hopkinsia rosacea MacFarland Hopkins' Doris 

Plate 16a 

Monterey to San Pedro, California. 

1 inch in length. Rhinophores long and tapering, the anterior side 
smooth along the entire length. % of the posterior side bears about 20 pairs 
of oblique plates. Branchial plumes 7 to 14, entirely narrow and naked. 
I large pleural tooth on each side, flanked by a tiny, triangular pleural. Spiral 
tgg ribbon rosy. Moderately common at all times of year under shelving 
rock between tide marks. 

Superfamily AEOLIDIACEA 


Genus Dendronotus Alder and Hancock 1845 

Body compressed; 2 tentacles laminated, with arborescent sheaths; nu- 
merous branchiae ramose. Arrow-shaped central tooth with a denticulate 
margin; about 9 elongate laterals on each side. About 40 rows of teeth. 

Dendro7iotus frondosus Ascanius Frond Eolis 

Plate i5e 

Arctic Seas to Rhode Island. Alaska to Vancouver Island. 

2 inches in length. Rhinophores with 5 or 6 large leaves, interspaced by 
about 15 smaller ones. Other characters as shown in our figure and the 
generic descriptions. D. arborescens Miiller is this species. Common from 
shore to 60 fathoms. 

Dendronotus giganteus O'Donoghue Giant Frond Eolis 

Northwest United States. 

5 to 8 inches in length. Similar to our figure of frondosus. 16 to 18 

308 American Seashells 

leaves, all told, in the club of the rhinophore. Distinguished from frondosus 
by the 3 to 5 small but well-marked dendriform papillae on the posterior 
edge of the rhinophore sheath. Usually dredged down to 25 fathoms. Prob- 
ably the largest of the American nudibranchs. 

Genus Scyllaea Linne 1758 

Scyllaea pelagic a Linne Sargassum Nudibranch 

Southeast United States. Other warm seas. 

I to 2 inches in length. Translucent cream-brown to orange-brown. 
With numerous flecks of red-brown. Body elongate. Oral tentacles absent. 
Two slender long rhinophores. Sides of body with 2 pairs of large, club- 
like, foliaceous gill plumes or cerata. Common in floating sargassum weed 
in the Gulf Stream. 

Genus Aeolidia Cuvier 1798 

Body depressed, rather broad; branchiae a httle flattened, set in numer- 
ous, close, transverse rows; 4 tentacles simple; foot broad, anterior angles 
acute. Radula of a single, broad, pectinate plate, 

Aeolidia papulosa Linne Papillose Eolis 

Plate i5g 

Arctic Seas to Rhode Island. Europe. Arctic Seas to Santa Barbara, 

I to 3 inches in length. Color variable: brown, gray or yellowish, 
always more or less spotted and freckled with lilac, gray or brown and 
opaque-white. Number of papillae fcM^er in young specimens. 30 rows in 
radula of a single, broad, arched tooth bearing about 46 denticles. 


Genus Catriona Winckworth 1941 

(Cratena of authors) 

Catriona aurantia Alder and Hancock Orange-tipped Eolis 

Plate 15J 

Arctic Seas to Connecticut. Europe. 

% inch in length. Branchiae numerous, occurring in 10 or 11 close, 
transverse rows, anteriorly with 5 to 6 papillae per row, posteriorly with 2 


to 4. Radula of 80 plates which are horseshoe-shaped and with 6 strong, 
straight denticles. Not too common. C. aurantiaca A. and H. is the same 

Genus Tergipes Cuvier 1805 

Body slender; tentacles simple, the oral pair very short. Branchiae not 
very numerous, fusiform, inflated, set in a single series on each side of the 
back; foot narrow, anterior angles rounded. Egg mass kidney-shaped. Rad- 
ula with a single row of plates, each with a stout central denticle and numer- 
ous delicate marginal denticles. 

Tergipes despectus Johnston Johnston's Balloon Eolis 

Plate i5d 

Arctic Seas to New York. Europe. 

% inch in length, characters as shown in our figure and in the generic 
description. Gregarious on hydroids. Shore to 8 fathoms. Common (?). 

Genus Glaucus Forster 1777 

Glaiiciis mamnis Du Pont 1763 Blue Glaucus 

Worldwide, pelagic in warm waters. 

2 inches in length, body elongate, head small. Tentacles and rhinophores 
very small. 4 clumps of vivid-blue frills on each side of the body. Dorsal 
side smooth, striped with dark-blue, light-blue and white. Underside pale 
grayish blue. With strong jaws and a radula of a center row of about 10 
denticulated teeth. Moderately common at certain seasons. Washed ashore 
with Janthina, the Purple Sea-snail. G. atlanticiis Forster, G. radiata Gmelin 
and G, forsteri Lamarck are all this species. 

Genus Eiibranchiis Forbes 1838 

Resembling Tergipes. Radula with central plate with several stout 
denticles. A triangular lateral tooth is on each side of the central plate, 

Eubranchus exiguiis Alder and Hancock Dwarf Balloon Eolis 

Plate 15c 

Arctic Seas to Boston, Massachusetts. Europe. 

% inch in length, characters as shown in our figure and the generic 
description. Seasonally uncommon. 

310 American Seashells 

Eubranchus pallidus Alder and Hancock Painted Balloon Eolis 

Plate i5h 

Arctic Seas to Boston, Massachusetts. Europe. 

% inch in length, characters as shown in our figure and the generic 
description. Uncommon (?), 

Genus Coryphella Gray 1850 

Branchiae numerous, clustered, elongate or fusiform. Foot narrow, 
with the anterior angles much produced. Radula with a single longitudinal 
series of central teeth which bear a large central denticle and several marginal 
denticles. There is a denticulated lateral tooth on each side of the central. 

Coryphella rufibranchialis Johnston Red-fingered Eolis 

Plate 15a 

Arctic Seas to New York. Europe. 

I inch in length, characters as shown in figure and in the generic de- 
scription. Common (?) in New England. 


Genus Siphonaria Sowerby 1824 

Shells closely resembling the true limpets, Acmaea, but at once distin- 
guished by the nature of the muscle scars on the inside. In both, the long, 
narrow scar is horseshoe-shaped, but in Siphonaria the gap between the ends 
is located on one side of the shell, while in Acmaea it is located at the front 
end. In some Siphonaria, the area near the gap is trough-shaped. These 
are air-breathers and are more closely related to the land garden snails than 
to the gill-bearing, water-breathing limpets. 

Siphonaria pectinata Linne Striped False Limpet 

Figure 65b 

Eastern Florida, Texas, Mexico and St. Thomas. 

I inch in length, rather high, with an elHptical base. Exterior with 
numerous, fine, radial threads or rather smoothish. Color whitish with nu- 
merous, brown, bifurcating, radial lines. Interior glossy, similarly striped. 
Center cream to brown. Muscle scar with 3 swellings, the gap occurring be- 
tween the two at the side. Do not confuse with Acmaea leiicopleura which 
commonly has a blackish owl-shaped figure inside. Common along the shores 
on rocks. This is S. ?iaufragum Stearns and S. lineolata Orbigny. 



Figure 65. Atlantic Coast False Limpets. Side and interior views of a, Siphonaria 
alternata Say; b, S. pectinata Linne. Natural size. 

Siphonaria alternata Say Say's False Limpet 

Figure 65a 

Southeast Florida (and Sarasota), the Bahamas and Bermuda. 

% to % inch in length, with about 20 to 25 small, white, radial ribs 
between which are smaller riblets. Background gray to cream. Interior 
glossy-tan, sometimes striped or mottled with dark-brown. Fairly common 
on rocks near the shore line. 


and Other Chitons 




Genus Lepidoplemiis Risso 1826 

Lepidopleurus cancellatus Sowerby iVrctic Cancellate Chiton 

Greenland to the Gulf of Maine. Bering Sea to Oregon. 

^ inch in length, arched; color of exterior an orange-gray to whitish 
gray; interior white. Anterior valve microscopically granulated in radial 
rows. Central areas of the intermediate valves very finely granulated with 
densely placed, round pimples. Posterior valve with a smooth, slightly ele- 
vated central apex. Girdle narrow, same color as the valves and densely 
packed with tiny, split-pea scales. Some scales are commonly club-shaped, 
especially at the margins of the girdle, or sometimes so irregular and crowded 
as to give the appearance of fine moss. Moderately common on gravel 
bottoms from 20 to 100 fathoms. 

Key to the Small Red Chitons (^ to i inch) 
Girdle naked: 

Valves dull, color pattern maculated To7iicella marmorea Fabr. 

Valves glossy, with bright, black and white lines 

Tonicella lineata Wood 

Girdle with scales: 

With overlapping, split-pea scales Lepidopleurus cancellatus Sby. 



With tiny, granular scales: 

Interior of valves bright pink .... Ischnochiton ruber L. 
Interior of valves white Ischnochiton albus L. 

Genus Tonic ella Carpenter 1873 

Tonicella Tnannorea Fabricius Mottled Red Chiton 

Greenland to Massachusetts. Japan and the Aleutian Islands. 

About I inch in length, oblong to oval, elevated and rather acutely 
angular. Colored a light-tan over which is a heavy suffusion of dark-red 
maculations and specks. Upper surface appears smooth, although under 
high magnification it is seen to be granulated. Lateral areas of intermediate 
valves not very distinctly outlined. Interior of valves tinted with rose. Pos- 
terior valve with 8 to 9 slits. Girdle is leathery and without scales or bristles. 
Superficially this species resembles Ischnochiton ruber which, however, has 
scales on its girdle. Common from i to 50 fathoms. 

Tonicella lineata Wood Lined Red Chiton 

Japan to the Aleutians to San Diego, California. 

About an inch in length, similar to T. marjuorea, but with its valves 
smooth and shiny, and it is brightly painted with black-brown lines bordered 
with white which run obliquely backwards on the intermediate valves. The 
end valves have these same color lines concentrically arranged. Common 
on the rocky shores of Alaska. The young live in waters off the shore 
from 10 to 30 fathoms, but as they mature they migrate toward shore. 

Genus Lepidochitona Gray 1821 
Subgenus Cyanoplax Pilsbry 1892 

Lepidochitona dentiens Gould Gould's Baby Chiton 

Alaska to Monterey County, California. 

% inch or slightly more in length, oval, slightly elevated. Color tawny, 
olivaceous, slaty or brownish, usually covered with specklings of a darker 
hue. Upper surface of valves covered with microscopic, sharp granulations 
which are rarely aligned in any direction. Lateral areas may be slightly 
raised, and may be bounded in front by a very low rib. The apex of the 
posterior valve is near the center and is raised; behind the apex, the valve 

314 American Seashells 

is concave. Girdle very narrow, same color as the valves, and with very 
minute, gritty granules. 

L. (C.) dentiens is a common intertidal form found north of Monterey 
County, California. It is replaced to the south by the very similar and 
common L. (L.) keepiana Berry (Keep's Baby Chiton). In the former, the 
insertion teeth are prominently developed, their bounding slits in general 
widely V-shaped, and the teeth of the posterior valve very acute on the 
sides; the eaves are wide and conspicuously porous or "spongy." In the latter 
species, there are numerous short, fiarroivly slitted teeth in the terminal 
valves, and extremely thin, narrow, less openly porous eaves. (See S. S. Berry, 
1948, Leaflets in Malacology, vol. i, no. 4.) 

Lepidochitoiia hart^uegi Carpenter ' Hartweg's Baby Chiton 

Washington to Lower California. 

I to 1 34 inches in length, oval, rather flattened. Similarly colored to L. 
de?itiens. Girdle narrow and finely granulated. Sculpture of the end valves 
and the lateral areas of the middle valves differs from the microscopic granu- 
lations of dentiens in bearing easily seen, but very tiny, warts. It also differs 
in having the area behind the apex of the posterior valve convex instead of 
concave. Moderately common in intertidal areas. 

Genus Nuttallina Carpenter 1879 
Nuttallina californica Reeve Californian Nuttall Chiton 

Vancouver Island to San Diego, California. 

About I inch in length, almost 3 times as long as wide. Color dark- 
brown to olive-brown. Upper surface of valves finely granulated and with 
a shallow furrow on each side of the smooth dorsal ridge. Apex, or mucro, 
of posterior valve so far back that it extends beyond the posterior margin 
of the eaves. Interior of valves bluish. Posterior valve about as wide as long 
and with 8 to 9 slits. Girdle with short, rigid spinelets mostly brown in 
color and with a few white ones intermingled. The girdle looks mossy. 
Moderately common. 

Nuttallina scahra Reeve Rough Nuttall Chiton 

San Diego to Lower California. 

Very similar to N. californica, but the posterior valve twice as wide as 
long. Color of valves lighter. Girdle spines much less numerous. This 
is Carpenter's Acanthopleura flexa. 


Genus Mopalia Gray 1847 

Mopalia ciliata Sowerby Hairy Mopalia 

Alaska to Monterey, California. 

I to 1% inches in length, oblong, usually colored with splotches of 
black and emerald-green, although sometimes having cream-orange bands 
on the sides of the valves. Sometimes grayish green with grayish black or 
white mottlings. Girdle colored yellowish brown to blackish brown. Valves 
slightly beaked; lateral area separated from the central area by a prominent, 
raised row of beads. Central areas with many coarse, wavy, longitudinal 
riblets, which are sometimes pitted between. Lateral areas coarsely granu- 
lated or wrinkled. Posterior valve small, with a deep slit on each side and 
a broad, deep notch at the very posterior end. Girdle fairly wide, generally 
notched at the posterior end and clothed with curly, strap-like brown hairs 
between which are much smaller, glassy white hairs or spicules. Interior 
of valves greenish white. Anterior valve granulated and with 8 to 9 coarse, 
raised rays of beads. A common intertidal species. The subspecies ivosnes- 
senski Middendorff (Alaska to Puget Sound) is supposed to be without the 
tiny white spicules in the girdle. 

Mopalia muscosa Gould Mossy Mopalia 

Alaska to Lower California. 

I to 2 inches in length, oblong to oval. Very similar to M. ciliata, but 
differing in having a very shallow and small notch at the very posterior 
end. Color usually a dull-brown, blackish olive or grayish. Interior of 
valves blue-green, rarely stained with pinkish. Girdle with stiff hairs resem- 
bling a fringe of moss. The following species have been considered by some 
workers as varieties of 7miscosa, and perhaps with some justification: lignosa 
Gould, hindsi Reeve, acuta Carpenter, the latter having also been named 
plumosa and fissa by Carpenter. A common intertidal species. 

Mopalia lignosa Gould Woody Mopalia 

Alaska to Lower California. 

I to 2^4 inches in length, oblong. Color a grayish green or blackish 
green, rarely with whitish cream and brown, feathery markings. The sculp- 
turing on the valves is very delicate and may consist only of numerous small 
pittings near the center. Concentric growth lines in smoother specimens are 
quite easily seen. Radial ribs absent on the end valves. Girdle solid or macu- 

316 American Seashells 

lated with browns and yellows. Strap-like, brown hairs not numerous. In- 
terior of valves greenish white to white. Moderately common. 

Mopalia hindsi Reeve Hinds' Mopalia 

Alaska to the Gulf of California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, oblong, flattened and resembhng M. ciliata 
Sowerby, but generally smoother. Girdle brown, rather thin and fairly 
wide, and almost naked except for a few short hairs. Interior of valves 
white with short crimson rays under the beaks. Moderately common. 

Genus Placiphorella Dall 1878 
Placiphorella velata Pilsbry Veiled Pacific Chiton 

Figure 66a 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

1 to 2 inches in length, readily recognized by its flat, oval shape and 
wide girdle which is very broad in front. There are a few hairs on the 
girdle which, if viewed under a lens, will be seen to be covered by a coat 
of diamond-shaped scales. Girdle reddish yellow. Valves colored a dull 
olivaceous brown with streaks of buff, blue, pink or chestnut. Interior 
of valves white with a slight bluish tint. Posterior valve with i to 2 slits 
and with very large sutural plates. Fairly common intertidally. 

Genus Katharina Gray 1847 
Katharina tunicata Wood Black Katy Chiton 

Figure 66b 

Aleutian Islands to southern California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, oblong and elevated. Characterized by its shiny, 
naked, black girdle which covers % of each gray valve. Valves usually 
eroded. Anterior valve densely punctate. Interior of valves white. Foot 
salmon to reddish. Very common between tides, especially in the north. 

Genus Syimnetrogephyriis Middendorff 1847 
(Amicula Gray 1847, not 1842) 

Symmetrogephyrus vestitus Broderip and Sowerby Concealed Arctic Chiton 

Figure 66c 

Arctic Seas to Massachusetts Bay. Arctic Seas to the Aleutian Islands. 

I to 2 inches in length, oval, rather elevated. Valves covered with a 
thin, smooth, brown girdle except for a small, heart-shaped exposure at the 



center of each valve. Girdle may have widely scattered tufts of hair. In- 
terior of valves white. Common from 5 to 30 fathoms. 

S. pallasi Middendorff (Concealed Pacific Chiton) is very similar to 
vestitus, but the girdle is much thicker and the bunches of reddish hairs 
more numerous. Uncommon from 3 to 10 fathoms. 

Figure 66. Pacific Coast chitons, a, Placiphorella velata Pilsbry, i to 2 inches 
(California); b, Katharina timicata Wood, 2 to 3 inches (Pacific Coast); c, Syjn- 
metrogephynis vestitus Brod. and Sby., i to 2 inches (Arctic waters to Massa- 
chusetts and Alaska); d, Amicula stelleri Midd., 6 to 12 inches (Pacific Coast), 
showing position of the ist and 7th valves only. 

Genus Ceratozona Dall 188: 

Ceratozona rugosa Sowerby 

East Florida to the West Indies. 

Rough Girdled Chiton 

Figure 67a 

I to 2 inches in length, oblong, slightly beaked. Surface commonly 
eroded, whitish gray with blue-green to moss-green mottlings on the sides 
of the calves. Surface roughly sculptured. Anterior valve with 10 to 11 
strong, rugose, radiating ribs. Lateral areas bounded in front and behind 
by a large, rugose rib. Central area with low, rough, longitudinal ribs. In- 
terior of valves bluish green. Girdle leathery, yellowish brown and with 
numerous, yellowish brown clusters of strap-like hairs. Posterior valve 
rather small and with 8 to 10 slits. 35 to 36 gill lamellae. The gills extend the 
length of the foot, but do not go as far as the posterior end. Very common, 
especially in the Greater Antilles. 

Genus Cryptoconchus Burrow 1815 

Cryptoconchiis floridanus Dall 

Southeast Florida to Puerto Rico. 

White-barred Chiton 

Figure 67b 

Rarely over an inch in length, long and narrow, and characterized by 
its thin, black, naked girdle which extends on to the valves except over 
the narrow, beaded dorsal area. These exposed bands in the valves make 

318 Arnencmi Seashells 

it appear as if a streak of white paint had been appHed along the top of the 
animal. The side of the girdle at each valve-suture has a minute pore bearing 
short bristles, but these 2 features are commonly difficult to see. A variety 
is found with a brown-colored girdle. 16 gill lamellae. They begin halfway 
back along the side of the foot. Uncommon. 

Genus Acanthochitona Gray 1821 
Acanthochitona spicnlosa Reeve Glass-haired Chiton 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to I /4 inches in length, elongate, with the girdle covering most of 
the valves. There are 4 clumps of long, glassy bristles near the anterior valve 
and one on each side of the other valves. The clumps are set in cup-like 
collars of the girdle skin. End valves and lateral areas of middle valves cov- 
ered with tiny, round, sharply raised pustules. The dorsal, longitudinal 
ridge is raised, narrow, distinct and smoothish except for microscopic pin- 
points. Lower edge of girdle with a dense fringe of brown or bluish bristles. 
3 2 gill lamellae. The gills begin about % back along the side of the foot and 
do not extend quite so far back as the posterior mantle margin. A moderately 
common species in shallow water. A. astriger Reeve is the same species. 

Acanthochitona pygmaea Pilsbry Dwarf Glass-haired Chiton 

West Coast of Florida to the West Indies. 

^ to % inch in length, moderately elongate and colored cream, green, 
brown or variegated with these colors. Similar to A. spicnlosa, but smaller, 
and with its dorsal ridge triangular, less elevated and cut by longitudinal 
grooves. The pustules on the lateral areas and the end valves are round 
or oval. The clumps of bristles are the same. Not uncommonly found 
among rocks and dead shells at low tide. 

Acanthochitona balesae Pilsbry 1940 from the Lower Keys is very 
elongate, only % inch in length; the pustules on the lateral areas are pro- 
portionately larger and fewer, and the dorsal ridge is rounded and covered 
with small, granulose pustules. Rare at Bonefish Key, Florida. 

Genus Amiciila Gray 1842 
(Cryptochiton Middendorff 1847) 

Amicula stelleri Middendorff Giant Pacific Chiton 

Figure 66d 

Japan and Alaska to California. 

6 to 1 2 inches in length, oblong and flattened. The large, white, butter- 



fly-shaped valves are completely covered by the large, leathery, firm girdle 
which is reddish brown to yellowish brown. Minute red spicules make 
the girdle feel gritty. Common in the northern part of its range. Formerly 
called Cryptochiton stelleri. 

Figure 67. Atlantic Coast chitons, showing from the underside the position and 
length of gills and the nature of the lappets, a, Ceratozona nigosa Sby., i to 2 
inches; b, Cryptoconchns floridaniis Dall, i inch; c, Calloplax jajieirejisis Gray, 
% inch; d, Chaetopleura apiculata Say, % inch; e, Tojiicia schranmti Shuttleworth, 
I inch; f, Chitoji tuber ciilata Linne, 3 inches. 


Genus Calloplax Thiele 1909 

Rio Janeiro Chiton 

Figure 67c 

Calloplax janeirensis Gray 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. Brazil. 

% to % inch in length, oblong, gray to greenish brown, or speckled 
with red. Very strongly sculptured. Lateral areas strongly elevated by 
3 to 4 very coarse, large, beaded ribs; anterior valve with 12 to 18 such ribs. 
Central ridge (or jugal tract) with longitudinal rows of fine beads; apex 
elevated, smooth and rounded. Central area with about 1 2 very sharp, gran- 
ulose, longitudinal ribs. Interior white. Anterior valve with i o, middle valves 
with I and posterior valve with 9 slits. Girdle with very fine "sugary" 
scales and an occasional single hair. Gills start Ys the way back from the head 
and extend posteriorly to a large, fleshy lappet on the posterior margin of 
the girdle. An uncommon species. 

Genus Chaetopleura Shuttleworth 1853 
Chaetopleura apiculata Say Common Eastern Chiton 

Figures 6-jd\ 68 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to both sides of Florida. 

% to % inch in length, oblong to oval. Valves slightly carinate. Central 


American Seashelh 

Figure 68. Common Eastern 

Chiton, Chaetopleiira apiculata 

Say, Yo inch. 

areas with 15 to 20 longitudinal rows of raised, neat beads. Lateral areas 
distinctly defined, raised and bear numerous, larger, more distantly spaced 

beads which may or may not be present on 
the more dorsal region. Interior white or 
grayish. Slits of anterior valve 11, central 
or middle valves i , posterior valve 9 to 11. 
Girdle narrow, mottled cream and brown, 
microscopically granulose and with sparsely 
scattered, transparent, short hairs. 22 to 24 
gill lamellae in each gill which start just be- 
hind the juncture of the head and foot and 
extend all the way back to the posterior 
margin of the mantle where there is located 
a small, single-lobed lappet. Common from 
I to 15 fathoms. 

In the north, the exterior color is buff to ashen, rarely reddish. On the 
west coast of Florida, where they are commonly found attached to Finna 
shells, the colors vary from light-gray, mauve, yellow to white, and are 
commonly with a darker or lighter streak down the center or rarely with 
longitudinal blue stripes. 

Genus Ischnochiton Gray 1847 
Subgenus Stenoplax Carpenter 1878 

Ischnochiton floridanus Pilsbry Florida Slender Chiton 

Miami to Dry Tortugas, Florida. 

I to 1 34 inches in length, about 3 times as long as wide, elevated, with 
the valves roundly arched, not carinate. Color whitish to whitish green with 
markings of olive, blackish olive or gray. Lateral axeas raised and with wavy, 
longitudinal riblets which are commonly strongly beaded. Central areas 
with wavy, longitudinal ribs. Interior of valves mixed with white, blue 
and pink, rarely all pink or all white. End valves concentrically (or rarely 
axially) beaded. Intermediate valves with i slit, posterior valve with 9. 
Girdle marbled with bluish and gray, and densely covered with round, solid, 
finely striated scales. Moderately common. 

Ischnochiton purpmascens C. B. Adams (Purplish Slender Chiton) 
from the West Indies is very similar, but the end valves and lateral areas 
have smooth, instead of beaded, wavy, concentric riblets. Common. 

Ischnochitoji papillosus C. B. Adams Mesh-pitted Chiton 

Tampa to the Lower Keys and the West Indies. 


% to /4 inch in length, oval. Moderately sculptured and without very 
distinct lateral areas. It has microscopic, even, quincunx pittings on the upper 
surfaces of the valves. End valves with concentric rows of fine, low beads. 
Lateral areas with fine, wavy, longitudinal, incised lines. Posterior slope of 
posterior valve is concave and with 9 slits. Color whitish with heavy mottlings 
of olive-green; rarely with white spots. Girdle narrow, colored with alter- 
nating bars of white and greenish brown. Scales like microscopic split peas 
which are finely striated. A fairly common shallow-water species. 

Ischnochiton magdalenensis Hinds Magdalena Chiton 

Coos Bay, Oregon, to Lower California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, elongate. Color a drab greenish, commonly 
whitish due to wear. Central areas with fine, irregular, longitudinal cuts 
and with diamond-shaped pits near the lateral areas. Lateral areas prominently 
raised and with 10 to 12 coarse, radial ribs of gross, low beads. Front slope 
of anterior valve straight. Interior of valves bluish with the posterior end of 
each whitish. Girdle rather narrow and with alternating, faint bars of 
brown and yellowish brown. Scales round and so small that the girdle has 
the texture of fine sandpaper. Common. 

Ischnochiton conspicuus Pilsbry Conspicuous Chiton 

San Miguel Island, California, to the Gulf of California. 

2 to 6 inches in length, very similar to magdalenensis, but the front slope 
of the anterior valve is very concave; the central areas are practically smooth 
and with flecks of green. Scales are elongate, hard, and so densely packed that 
the girdle feels velvety. Interior of valves pinkish and blue. Moderately 
common between tides. 

Ischnochiton acrior Pilsbry Acrior Chiton 

San Pedro, California, to Lower California. 

2 to 6 inches in length, very similar to magdale7iensis. Instead of dia- 
mond-shaped pittings on the sides of the central areas, there are wavy ribs. 
The front slope of the anterior valve is very concave, as in conspicuus. The 
scales are similar to those in inagdalenensis, but much larger. Interior of 
valves pinkish with a blue spot at the anterior end of each valve. Moderately 

322 American Seashells 

Ischnochiton regularis Carpenter Regular Chiton 

Southern CaHfornia. 

I to i^ inches in length, oblong, appears smooth to the naked eye. 
Color an even slate-blue or uniform olive-blue. Valves slightly carinate. 
Central areas with very fine, longitudinal threads. Lateral areas slightly 
raised and with radial threads. Interior of valves gray-blue. Girdle with 
very tiny, closely packed, low, round scales. Moderately common between 

Subgenus Lepidopleuroides Thiele 1928 
Ischnochiton albus Linne White Northern Chiton 

Arctic Seas to Massachusetts. Europe. Arctic Seas to off San Diego, 

About Yz inch in length, oblong, moderately elevated. Upper surfaces 
smoothish except for irregular, concentric growth ridges and a microscopic, 
sandpapery effect. Color whitish, cream, light-orange or rarely marked with 
brown. Interior of valves white. Posterior valve with 12 to 13 weak slits. 
17 to 19 gill lamellae on each side, beginning about halfway alongside the 
foot. Girdle sandpapery, with tiny, closely packed, gravelly scales. Com- 
mon from shore to several fathoms in cold water. Distinguished from ruber 
by the anterior slope of the anterior valve which is straight to slightly con- 
cave in albus, but convex in ruber. 

Ischnochiton ruber Linne Red Northern Chiton 

Arctic Seas to Connecticut. Europe. Alaska to Monterey, California. 

V2 to I inch in length, oblong, moderately elevated and with the valves 
rather rounded. Upper surfaces smooth except for growth wrinkles. Colored 
a light-tan over which is a heavy suffusion of orange-red marblings, or en- 
tirely suffused with red. Interior of valves bright pink. Posterior valve with 
7 to 1 1 slits. Girdle reddish brown with weak maculations; covered with 
minute, elongate scales which do not overlap each other. 15 to 18 gill la- 
mellae, similar to those in albus. Common from i to 80 fathoms. Do not 
confuse with Tonicella marmorea Fabr. whose girdle is naked. 

Subgenus Lepidozona Pilsbry 1892 
Ischnochiton mertensi Middendorff Mertcn's Chiton 

Aleutians to Lower California, 


I to 1V2 inches in length, rather oval in shape. Color variable: com- 
monly yellowish with dark reddish brown streaks and maculations. Central 
areas with strong, longitudinal ribs and smaller, lower cross ridges which 
give a netted appearance. Jugal area V-shaped and with 5 to 6 smooth longi- 
tudinal ribs. Lateral areas raised, smoothish and with a few prominent warts. 
Anterior valves with 30 or more radial rows of warts which are largest 
near the girdle. Interior whitish, or rarely tinged with pink. Girdle with al- 
ternating yellowish and reddish bands; covered with tiny, low, smooth, split- 
pea scales. Very abundant just offshore, especially in the northern part of 
its range. 

Iscknochiton calif orniensis Berry Trellised Chiton 

Southern California to Lower California. 

I to 1% inches in length, oval to oblong, heavily sculptured. Color a 
dull-greenish with yellowish splotches and with a dark-brown area on the 
top of each valve. Central area with longitudinal and cross ribs which give a 
strong netted appearance. Lateral areas raised and with 4 rows of prominent 
beads. Posterior edge of valves serrated with about 20 small tooth-shaped 
beads. Anterior valve with 20 to 27 strongly granular ribs. Girdle closely 
packed with convex, tiny, split-pea scales. Moderately common and for- 
merly thought to be /. clathratus Reeve which, however, is only from the 
Panamic Province to the south. 

Ischnochiton cooperi Pilsbry Cooper's Chiton 

Southern California. 

I to 1% inches in length, rather oval in shape. Color olive-green to 
olive-brown and clouded with light-blue. Central area with closely packed, 
sharp, longitudinal ribs which are finely striated. Jugal area with the same 
type of ribs and with its anterior end having about 10 notches. Lateral areas 
raised and with 4 to 8 irregular rows of prominent, rounded warts. 
Interior of valves bluish. Girdle covered with tiny, flat, striated, split-pea 
scales. Uncommon. 

Ischnochiton palmulatiis Pilsbry Big-end Chiton 

Southern California. 

% inch in length, oblong and with the posterior valve massive and 
greatly swollen. Color of valves yellowish brown to light grayish green 
with dark blackish green in the areas just above the girdle. Central areas 
carinate at the top, with 20 to 30 strong, rounded, longitudinal ribs. Lateral 

324 American Seashells 

areas greatly raised and with 2 convex, strong ribs of coarse beads. Anterior 
valve with 9 convex, beaded ribs. Posterior valve very high, convex and 
with 7 to 8 pairs of strong ribs. Interior bluish white. Girdle yellowish with 
reddish bands; thin, narrow and with microscopic, striated scales. Uncom- 

Genus Chiton Linne 1758 

Outer edges of insertion plates with tiny, sharp teeth or pectinations; 
girdle with small, hard scales that look like overlapping split peas; girdle 
colored with alternating bars of grayish green and black; interior of valves 

Key to the American Chiton 
Valves entirely smooth: 

Girdle scales glassy; sinus of valves narrow . laevigatus (Pacific) 

Girdle scales dull; sinus of valves wide . marmoratus (Atlantic) 

Valves with sculpturing: 

Central area with longitudinal ribs: 

Posterior valve with round pimples . . tuberculatus (Atlantic) 
Posterior valve with radiating ribs . . virgulatus (Pacific) 

Central area smoothish and dull .... squamosus (Atlantic) 

Chiton tuberculatus Linne Common West Indian Chiton 

Plate id; figure 6-ji 

Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length. Color a dull grayish green or greenish brown. 
Some or all of the valves may have a smooth, dark-brown, arrow-shaped 
patch on the very top. Girdle with alternating zones of whitish, green and 
black. The scales are placed on the girdle, so that they appear slightly higher 
than broad, while in squamosus they appear to be broader than high. Lateral 
areas with 5 irregular, radiating cords. Central areas smooth at the top and 
with 8 to 9 long, strong, wavy, longitudinal ribs on the sides. End valves with 
irregular, wavy radial cords. Gills beginning at the juncture of the head and 
foot and with 46 to 48 lamellae. A very common species on wave-dashed, 
rocky shores. 


Chiton squa?7tosiis Linne Squamose Chiton 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length. Color a dull, ashen-gray with wide, irregular, 
dull-brown, longitudinal stripes. Posterior edge of first 7 valves marked 
with 4 or 5 squares of blackish brown. Girdle with alternating pale stripes 
of grayish green and grayish white. Posterior valve with minutely pimpled 
ribs. Lateral areas of middle valves with 6 to 8 rows of small beads between 
which are microscopic pinholes. Central areas smoothish, with fine, transverse 
scratches. Common. 

Chiton viridis Spengler from the West Indies is very similar, but the 
margins of the central areas have 6 to 1 1 very short, wavy ribs, and the 
lateral areas have 3 or 4 strong ribs of rounded pustules. Uncommon. 

Chiton niarmoratus Linne Marbled Chiton 

South Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length. Color variable: (i) entirely blackish brown; 
(2) olive with flecks, patches and lines of whitish merging together towards 
the middle; or (3) purplish brown or light-olive with zebra-like stripes on 
the sides. Entire surface of valves smooth except for a microscopic, silky 
texture. Lateral areas a little raised. Underside of posterior valve with 14 to 
16 slits. A common West Indian littoral species. 

Chiton laevigatus Sowerby Smooth Panama Chiton 

Gulf of California to Panama. 

2 to 3 inches in length, similar to marmoratus. Girdle scales broader 
than high and not very glossy. Valves smooth, with a silky sheen and 
colored a grayish green over which are radiating rays of dark-brown. 
Similar coloration in the other valves. Underside of posterior valve with 2 1 
narrow slits. Sutural plates on underside of middle valves with a dark blotch 
at the base. Common. 

Chiton albolineatus Sowerby (western Mexico, uncommon) is also a 
smooth species, but differs in having only 16 to 17 slits in the posterior 
valve and has snow-white, radiating lines on the lateral areas and on the 
end valves. The girdle scales are light blue-green and edged with white. 

Chiton virgulatus Sowerby Virgulate Chiton 

Magdalena Bay, Lower California, to Panama. 

326 Americaji Seashells 

2 to 3 inches in length, similar to tuberculatus. Girdle scales glassy. 
End valves with rather even, raised, radiating threads. Middle valves with 
the lateral areas bearing about 8 raised threads which split in two at the margin 
of the valve. Central area with about 6o to 70 even, longitudinal threads. 
Posterior valve with 19 to 20 prominent slits. Common. The closely re- 
sembling species, C. stokesi Broderip, from Mexico to West Colombia has 
only 15 to 16 slits in the posterior valve. 


Genus Acanthopleura Guilding 1829 

Subgenus M auger ia Gray 1857 

Acanthopleura granulata Gmelin Fuzzy Chiton 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length, usually so worn and eroded as to eliminate the 
brown color and granulated sculpturing. Girdle thick, ashy white with 
an occasional black band, and matted with coarse, hair-like spines. Underside 
of valves colored a light-green, with the middle valves having a rather large, 
black splotch behind the sinus. Posterior valve with about 9 slits. Compare 
with Ceratozojja rugosa whose gills do not extend to the very posterior end 
as they do in this species. Common. 

Genus Tonicta Gray 1847 

Resembling Chiton in having pectinate or toothed sutural plates, but 
the girdle is naked and the upper surface of the valves have microscopic 

Tonicia schrammi Shuttleworth Schramm's Chiton 

Figure 676 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

About an inch in length, colored a brownish red to buff and with 
darker mottlings and speckles. Upper surface of valves glossy; interiors 
white with a crimson stain in the center. Lateral areas separated from the 
smooth central area by a strong, rounded rib. The central area has a pep- 
pering of about 75 tiny, black eyes. Head valve smooth except for 8 to 10 
broad rays of tiny, black eyes. Girdle naked, leathery and brownish to flesh- 
colored. Posterior valve with 14 slits. 36 lamellae in each of the 2 gills. They 
begin just behind the juncture of the head and the foot and extend back 
almost to the posterior end where there is a bilobed, small, fleshy lappet. 
A moderately common, intertidal species. 


Dentaliums and Other 



The tusk-like shell is generally swollen in the middle and is entirely 
smooth. The foot is worm-like and can be expanded at the end into a 
round disk. The median tooth of the radula is almost as long as wide. 

Genus Cadulus PhiHppi 1844 

Shell small, white, without sculpture and swollen in the middle some- 
what like a cucumber. Aperture constricted and very oblique. The genus 
is divided into four subgenera as follows: 

Apex with 2 deep slits Dischides ]t&.vtys i^6-] 

Apex with 4 deep slits Polyschides Pilsbry and Sharp 1 897 

Apex with 2 or 4 shallow slits Platyschides Henderson 1920 

Apex without slits: 

Obese, convex on both sides Cadulus s. str. 

Slender, almost flat on one side Gadila Gray 1 847 

Subgenus Polyschides Pilsbry and Sharp 1897 
Cadulus carolinensis Bush Carolina Cadulus 

Figure 69a 

North Carolina to Florida and to Texas. 

10 mm. in length. Slightly swollen. Apex with 4 shallow slits. In cross- 
section the shell is roundish. Commonly dredged from 3 to 100 fathoms. 


328 American Seashells 

Cadulus quadridentatus Dall Four-toothed Cadulus 

Figure 69b 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

5 to 10 mm. in length, swollen behind the aperture. Apex with 4 well- 
defined slits. In cross-section the shell is roundish. Commonly dredged from 
3 to 50 fathoms. 

Subgenus Gadila Gray 1847 
Cadulus mayori Henderson Mayor's Cadulus 

Southeast Florida. 

3 to 4 mm. in length, swollen just anterior to the middle of the shell. 
Apical opening % the size of the aperture and usually has i or 2 callus rings 
within the opening. Fairly common from 1 6 to 1 00 fathoms. 


Shell with the greatest diameter at the aperture. Foot conical and with 
epipodial processes. Median tooth of the radula twice as wide as long. 

Genus Dentalium Linne 1758 

The shell is an elongate, curved tube open at both ends, and somewhat 
resembles an elephant's tusk. The diagnostic characters are the type of sculp- 
turing (ribs, riblets and circular threads or incised lines), the form of the 
apex, the degree of curvature, the size and thickness of shell and the position 
and form of the apical slit. The ten or so subgenera are nebulous in charac- 
ter and definition and one should consult the works of J. B. Henderson, 
H. A. PUsbry and W. H. Dall. 

Subgenus Dentalium s. str. 
Dentalium laqueatum Verrill Panelled Tusk 

North Carolina to south Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 2/4 inches in length, thick-shelled and dull-white in color. Apex 
sharply curved; anterior % of shell slightly arched. 9 to 12 strong, elevated, 
primary longitudinal ribs with equally spaced, concave intercostal (space 
between ribs) spaces. Ribs fade out at the anterior third. There are fine 
reticulations over the entire shell. A supplemental tube is present in the 
young shells. Abundant in sandy mud from 4 to 200 fathoms. 



Dentalium texasianum Philippi 

North Carolina and the Gulf States. 

Texas Tusk 

Figure 69c 

% to I % inches in length, thick-shelled, well-curved, hexagonal in cross- 
section and dull, grayish white in color. The broad spaces between the ribs 
are flat. Common from 3 to 10 fathoms. The subspecies cestum Henderson 
from Texas has numerous, cord-like riblets between the six main ribs. 



Figure 69. Tusk Shells, a, Cadiihis carolmensis Bush, % inch (southeast United 
States), showing an enlargement of the apical end; b, apical end of Caduliis qiiadri- 
dentatiis Dall, % inch (southeast United States); c, Dentalium texasiamnn Philippi, 
I inch (southeast United States), showing cross-section at each end; d, cross-section 
of D. pilsbryi Rehder, i inch (west Florida); e, D. eboreum Conrad, 2 inches 
(southeast United States); f, D. pretiosiim Sowerby, 2 inches (Pacific Coast). 

Subgenus Dentale Da Costa 1778 

Dentalium entale stimpsoni Henderson 

Stimpson's Tusk 

Nova Scotia to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. 

I to 2 inches in length, round in cross-section and dull, ivory-white in 
color. Region of the apex always very eroded and chalky. Surface uneven 
and with some longitudinal wrinkles in better preserved specimens. A poor 
subspecies of the north European D. entale Linne. Common from 8 to 1 200 
fathoms. The subgenus Antalis H. and A. Adams is the same as Dentale. 

Dentalium occidentale Stimpson Western Atlantic Tusk 

Newfoundland to off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

3 30 American Seashells 

I to 1% inches in length. Primary ribs i6 to i8, fairly distinct in 
the young stages; sculptureless in the senile stage. Round in cross-section. 
Chalky-white when eroded. Common from 20 to 1,000 fathoms. 

Dentalium autillarum Orbigny Antillean Tusk 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

About I inch in length, roundish in cross-section. Primary ribs 9, but 
increasing to 1 2 near the middle and finally with 24 near the aperture. Mi- 
croscopic, transverse lines between the ribs. Color opaque-white, rarely 
reflecting a greenish tint. Encircled with weak, zigzag bands or splotches 
of translucent gray. 

Dentalium pilsbryi Rehder Pilsbry's Tusk 

Figure 69d 

West Florida and Brazil only. 

% to 1% inches in length, roundish in cross-section. Primary ribs 9, 
with a smaller, weaker, rounded, secondary rib appearing between each. All 
ribs fade out toward the anterior end. Intercostal spaces flat, crossed by 
coarse growth lines. No transverse, microscopic sculpture. Color opaque- 
white; without gray splotches. Formerly known as D. pseiidohexagonum 
Henderson 1920, not Arnold 1903. Uncommon from 2 to 5 fathoms. 

Dentalium pretiosum Sowerby Indian Money Tusk 

Figure 6gi 

Alaska to Lower California. 

About 2 inches in length, moderately curved and solid; opaque-white, 
ivory-like, commonly with faint dirty-buff rings of growth. Apex with a 
short notch on the convex side. A common offshore species which was used 
extensively by the northwest Indians for money. 

Subgenus Fissidentalium Fischer 1895 
Dentalium floridense Henderson Florida Tusk 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length, roundish in cross-section. Shell hard and yel- 
lowish white. Apex hexagonal with concave spaces between. Ribs increase 
to 24 anteriorly and are rounded, equal-sized and crowded. There is a long, 
narrow apical slit on the convex side. Rare from 35 to 100 fathoms. 


Subgenus Graptacme Pilsbry and Sharp 1897 
Dentalimn eboreum Conrad Ivory Tusk 

Figure 696 

North CaroHna to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 2^ inches in length, glossy, ivory-white to pinkish. Apical slit 
deep, narrow and on the convex side. Apical end with about 20 very fine 
longitudinal scratches. Common in sandy, shallow areas. 

Dentalium semistriolatum Guilding Half-scratched Tusk 

South Florida and the West Indies. 

About I inch in length. Similar to eboreum, but curved more, with 
apical slits on the side, and its color translucent-white with milky patches. 
Some specimens may be reddish near the apical end. Common from i to 90 

Dentalium calamus Dall Reed Tusk 

North Carolina to east Florida and the Greater Antilles. 

% to I inch in length, almost straight and glassy-white. Most of the 
shell has minute, longitudinal scratches (about 16 per mm.). The apical end 
is sealed over by a bulbous cap which bears a small slit. Uncommon. 

Subgenus Episiphon Pilsbry and Sharp 1897 

Shells very small, needle-like, wholly lacking longitudinal sculpture and, 
as in some other •subgenera, having a projecting, thin tube at the posterior 
end after the tip is broken or lost. Only one species in the Western Atlantic. 

Dentalium sowerbyi Guilding Sowerby's Tusk 

North Carolina and Texas to Florida and the Lesser Antilles. 

10 to 15 mm. in length. Needle-like, not fragile, curved, glossy-white. 
Crowded rings of growth microscopic on tip. Apex without slit and from it 
projects a very thin inner tube. Erroneously known previously as D. filum 
Sowerby. Commonly dredged from 17 to 180 fathoms. 


Scallops, Oysters and 
Other Clams 


The bivalves or clams are dwellers of fresh, marine or brackish waters. 
They lack a head and are without jaws or radular teeth; they are protected 
by a pair of shelly valves which are connected or hinged by a horny ligament 
and which are moved by the contraction of one to three muscles attached 
to the inner sides of the valves; feeding is usually done with the aid of their 
ciliated or hair-covered gills. Further details have been presented in the 
chapter on "The Life of the Clam." The class is also known as Lmnelli- 
branchia, Bivalvia or Acephala. The class may be divided into the follov/ing 
orders and suborders: 


Suborder SOLEMYACEA (Awning Clams) 



Suborder NUCULACEA (Nut Clams) 


Suborder TAXODONTA (Ark Shells) 

Suborder ANISOMYARIA (Scallops, Oysters, Sea Mussels) 


Suborder SCHIZODONTA (River Mussels) 
Suborder HETERODONTA (Cockles, Lucines, Venus) 
Suborder ADAPEDONTA (iVlya and Razor Clams, Teredos) 
Suborder ANOMALODESMACEA (Pandora Clams) 


Suborder POROMYACEA (Dipper Clams, Meat Eaters) 





Genus Solemya Lamarck 1818 

The Awning Clams are very primitive in their characters and they have 
no near relatives. Their shells are fragile, with a weak, toothless hinge, 
gaping at both ends, and covered by a polished, horny, brown periostracum 
which extends well beyond the margins of the valves. 

Subgenus Petrasma Dall 1908 
Solemya velum Say Common Atlantic Awning Clam 

Plate 27a 

Nova Scotia to Florida. 

% to I inch in length, very fragile, and with a delicate, shiny, brown 
periostracum covering the entire shell and extending beyond the edges. Light 
radial bands of yellowish brown are present in some specimens. Chondro- 
phore supported by 2 curved arms. Commonly dredged in shallow water in 
mud bottom. Compare Florida specimens with occidentalis. 

Solemya bore alls Totten Boreal Awning Clam 

Nova Scotia to Connecticut. 

2 to 3 inches in length, very similar to velum, but more compressed, 
heavier, and colored grayish blue or lead on the inside of the valves (instead 
of purplish white). The striking difference is in the siphonal opening of the 
animal. In velum, there are 2 small, median, low tubercles above the opening 
and 5 or 6 pairs of short tentacles at the lower end of the opening. In bo- 
realis, there are 3 pairs (one of which is large and long) of tentacles above 
the opening and about 1 5 smaller ones bordering the lower half. S. borealis 
is moderately common offshore. 

Solemya occidentalis Deshayes West Indian Awning Clam 

West coast of Florida and the West Indies. 

^ inch in length, similar to S. velum, but much smaller, and has only 
one slender ridge or rib bordering the chondrophore. Uncommon just off- 
shore. Described first by Deshayes in 1857, later by Fischer in 1858. 

Solemya valvidus Carpenter Pacific Awning Clam 

San Pedro, California, to the Gulf of California. 

3 34 America}! Seashells 

% inch in length, thin, translucent. Periostracum shiny, light-brown, 
with slender, radial lines of darker brown which are finely striate posteriorly. 
Ligament bounded by a single, arched prop or rib. Uncommonly dredged 


Key to Families 
a. Chondrophore below hinge present: 

b. External ligament absent; shell ovate Nuculidae. 

bb. External ligament present; shell elongate .... Nuculanidae. 

aa. Chondrophore absent; shell ovate Malletiidae. 

Genus Nucula Lamarck 1799 

Shell ovate, usually less than Yz inch in size; interior pearly; ventral mar- 
gins usually with fine denticulations. 



Figure 70. Atlantic Coast Nut Clams, a and b, Nucida proxima Say, ^ inch; 

c, N. tenuis Montagu, Yo inch (both coasts); d, N. delphinodonta Mighels, Yiq 

inch; e, N. atacellaim Schenck, Y& inch. 

Subgenus Nucula s. str. 
Nucula proxima Say 

Nova Scotia to Florida and Texas. 

Atlantic Nut Clam 

Figure 70a, b 

% inch in length, obhquely ovate, smooth. Color greenish gray with 
microscopic, embedded, axial, gray lines and prominent, irregular, brownish, 
concentric rings. Outer shell overcast with oily iridescence. Anterior end 
often with microscopic, axial lines. Ventral edge minutely crenulate. Com- 
mon just offshore in mud. 


Nucula atacellana Schenck Cancellate Nut Clam 

Figure yoe 

Massachusetts to Maryland. 

Vs inch in length and oval in outline; the cancellate sculpturing is due 
to the crossing of numerous radial and concentric threads. Interior scarcely 
pearly and with a thick, transparent glaze. Color yellowish brown to light- 
tan. Commonly dredged offshore down to 500 fathoms. Formerly known 
as N. reticulata Jeffreys and cancellata Jeffreys. 

Nucula crenulata A. Adams Atlantic Crenulate Nut Clam 

South Carolina to Key West, Florida. 

% inch in length, ovate, internal margin finely crenulate. With numer- 
ous concentric, fine ribs which have numerous microscopic crenulations be- 
tween them. Interior scarcely pearly; overlaid by a thick, transparent layer 
of shell matter, through which radial fractures or lines are discernible; color 
yellowish. Dredged in shallow water. Similar in outline to N. tenuis (see 
fig. 70c). 

Nucula exigua Sowerby Pacific Crenulate Nut Clam 

Southern California to Ecuador. 

%6 inch in length (5 mm.), shaped hke tenuis and the preceding species. 
Concentric rings strong with radial crenulations between. Strongly project- 
ing lunular area just under the beaks. Color yellowish. Dredged in shallow 
water. Very similar to N. crenulata from the Western Atlantic. 

Nucula delphinodonta Mighels Delphinula Nut Clam 

Figure jod 

Nova Scotia to Maryland. 

Vie inch (3 mm.) in length, ovate, fat and smooth except for coarse 
concentric growth lines. Anterior end slightly pushed in under beaks and 
bordered by slight carination. Ventral edge smooth. Color olive-brown. 
9 teeth posterior to and 4 teeth anterior to chondrophore. 

Nucula tenuis Montagu Smooth Nut Clam 

Figure 70c 

Labrador to Maryland. Alaska to Lower California. 

Usually %6 inch in length (up to % inch in Alaska), ovate, smooth 
except for irregular growth lines. Color a shiny olive-green, sometimes with 
darker lines of growth. No radial lines. Ventral edge smooth. 

3 36 Avierican Seashells 

Genus Acila H, and A. Adams 1858 

Similar to Nucula but characterized by the presence of divaricate sculp- 
ture on the outside of the shell. One common species in North American 

Subgenus Trunc acila Schenck 193 1 

Shell without the shallow sinus as seen in true Acila, and the posterior 
end of the shell nearly at right angles. 

Acila castrensis Hinds Divaricate Nut Clam 

Figure 72c 

Bering Sea to Lower California. 

H inch in length, abruptly truncate at the anterior end. Divaricate, 
radiating ribs plainly visible. Commonly dredged from 4 to 100 fathoms in 
sandy mud. 


Genus Nuculana Link 1807 

(Leda Schumacher 1817) 

Nuculana pernula Miiller Miiller's Nut Clam 

Arctic Ocean to Cape Cod. Northern Alaska. 

% to I inch in length, elongate and truncate posteriorly, moderately 
fat, slightly gaping at the rounded anterior end. Numerous raised, concen- 
tric growth lines. Periostracum light-brown to dark green-brown, semi- 
glossy. Shell dull-white, interior shiny-white. Interior of rostrum (posterior 
end of shell) reinforced by a strong radial roundish low rib. Lunule long, 
prominent, with sharp edge. Commonly dredged offshore in cold water. 
N. conceptionis Dall is much more elongate, smoother and glistening brown. 

Nuculana minuta Fabricius (Arctic to off San Diego; and to Nova 
Scotia) is /4 inch in length, % as high, rather plump, and with a short ros- 
trum whose smoothish lunule is bounded by a rather coarse rib. Concentric, 
raised threads are numerous and crowded. Beaks are one third to almost one 
half the way back from the rounded anterior end. Uncommon offshore. 

Nuculana tenuisulcata Couthouy Thin Nut Clam 

Figure 71a 

Arctic Seas to Cape Cod. 

Up to % inch in length, elongate, moderately compressed; rostrum mod- 
erately long with ^ sharp, high keel down the dorsal center (margin of the 



valves). Concentric ribs fairly even, well-developed, numerous. Periostra- 
cum light- to dark-brown. Commonly found in mud just below low-tide 

Figure 71. Nut and Yoldia Clams, a, Nuculana teimisiilcata Couthouy, % inch 

(Atlantic); b, Yoldia liinatiila Say, 2 inches (Arctic waters, both coasts); c, Yoldia 

montereyensis DzW, i inch (California). 

Nuculana carpenteri Dall 

North Carolina to West Indies. 

Carpenter's Nut Clam 

About Vi inch in length, compressed, thin, translucent yellow-brown, 
with a long, slightly upturning rostrum. Anterior end round. Umbones very 
small, close together. Almost smooth except for minute, concentric growth 
lines and microscopic axial scratches which are absent in dead, white valves. 
Commonly dredged offshore from 10 to 100 or more fathoms. 

Nuculana fossa Baird Fossa Nut Clam 

Alaska to Puget Sound, Washington. 

% to I inch in length, elongate, moderately fat and smoothish except 
for small, pronounced, concentric ribs at the anterior end and on the beaks. 
Dorsal area of rostrum smoothish, depressed and bounded by 2 weak radial 
ribs. Periostracum dark- to light-brown. Dredged offshore in shallow water. 
Some workers consider the following forms or variations as subspecies: 
sculpta Dall, vaginata Dall and curtulosa Dall. 

Subgenus Ledella Verrill and Bush 1897 
Nuculana ?nessanensis Seguenza Messanean Nut Clam 

Cape Cod to the West Indies. 


American Seashelh 

% to % inch in length, moderately elongate, with a very short, slightly 
pinched rostrum. Almost smooth except for a few very small concentric 
growth ridges near the base of the shell. When alive, glistening light-brown 
with a slight oily iridescence. When dead, grayish white with concentric 
chalk streaks. Commonly dredged in moderately deep water. One of our 
smallest species. 

Subgenus Saccella Woodring 1925 

Nuculana acuta Conrad 

Pointed Nut Clam 

Cape Cod to the West Indies. 

% to % inch in length, moderately elongate, with a sharp-pointed poste- 
rior rostrum. Concentric ribs evenly sized and evenly spaced and extending 
over the rib which borders the dorsal surface of the rostrum. Shell usually 
dredged dead in a white condition. Periostracum thin, very light yellowish. 
Common offshore. 

Nuculana concentrica Say 

Northwest Florida to Texas. 

Concentric Nut Clam 

^ to % inch in length, strong, rather obese and moderately rostrate. 
Yellow-white, semi-glossy and with very fine, concentric grooves which are 
evident in adults on the ventral half of the valves. Beaks and the area just 
below smooth. Radial ridge on rostrum smoothish, not crossed by strong 
threads. Differing from acuta in being more obese, in having a smooth beak 
area, smooth rostral ridge and in having much finer, more numerous, con- 
centric threads or cut lines. Moderately common in i to 3 fathoms. 

Figure 72. Pacific Coast Nut Clams, a and b, Nuculana taphria Dall, % inch 
(California); c, Acila castrensis Hinds, ^> inch (Pacific Coast). 

Nuculana taphria Dall 

Bodego Bay, California, to Lower California. 

Taphria Nut Clam 

Figure 72 a, b 


About H to % inch in length, shiny green-brown, with prominent con- 
centric sculpture and characterized by the nearly central umbones. Rostrum 
bluntly pointed, slightly upturned at the end. Concentric ribs disappear just 
anterior to the carinate border of the dorsal area which is strongly wrinkled. 
Adults over K' inch become quite fat. Commonly dredged off southern Cali- 
fornia in shallow water. Sorensen reports that this species is found com- 
monly in fish stomachs off Monterey. 

Nuculana penderi Dall and Bartsch Pender's Nut Clam 

Forrester Island, Alaska, to Santa Barbara, California. 

/4 to % inch in length, moderately elongate, very fat; rostrum short 
and pointed; concentric ribs prominent and evenly developed. Dorsal area 
of rostrum oval, finely ribbed and bounded by a sharp, smooth, large rib. 
Periostracum light-brown. Moderately common offshore. 

Nuculana hindsi Hanley Hinds' Nut Clam 

Nazan Bay, Alaska, to Costa Rica. 

% inch in length, moderately elongate (example: 7.8 mm. long; 4.4 
mm. high; both valves 3.0 mm. wide); posterior end rostrate, slightly turned 
up at the end. Dorsal area of rostrum smoothish except for faint axial threads 
bounded by smooth carinate rib. Sculpture of evenly sized, closely spaced, 
distinct, concentric ribs which become obsolete just before the rostral rib. 
Exterior light yellowish brown. Interior white with faint pearly sheen. N. 
acuta Conrad, a name often given to this Pacific Coast species, has its rostral 
rib crossed by concentric ribs. N. penderi Dall and Bartsch is twice as fat, 
with a very ovate lunule and is more rounded at the ventral margin. Hanley 
in i860 first reported this species from "Gulf of Nicoya, Costa Rica." This 
is probably "N. re don do en sis''"' "Burch" \\'oodring 1951. It is dredged com- 
monly off the West Coast from 1 5 to 600 fathoms. 

Subgenus Thestyleda Iredale 1929 
Nuculana hamata Carpenter Hamate Nut Clam 

Figure z6A 

Puget Sound to Panama City, California. 

Under % inch in length, moderately compressed, exterior with strong 
concentric ribs; characterized by the squarely truncated posterior end of the 
long rostrum. Fairly commonly dredged off Calif ornian shores from 20 to 
200 fathoms. 

340 American Seashells 

Genus Yoldia MoUer 1842 

Somewhat similar to Nuculana, but the valves are much thinner and 
fragile, rarely with a long rostrum, usually gaping at both ends, much 
smoother and glistening. 

Subgenus Yoldia s. str. 
Yoldia limatula Say File Yoldia 

Figure 71b 

Maine to Cape May, New Jersey. Northern Alaska. 

I to 2 ^ inches in length, elongate, narrowing at the posterior end. Um- 
bones very small, halfway between the ends of the shell. Exterior glistening 
greenish tan to light chestnut-brown, with only faint concentric growth 
lines. Interior glossy white. A rather common species just below low-water 
mark. Distinguished from Y. sapotilla by its more elongate shape. It is pres- 
ent in northern Alaska, but it is replaced to the south by the following sub- 

Yoldia limatida gardneri Oldroyd Gardner's Yoldia 

Southern Alaska to off San Diego, California. 

Very similar to the true Innatida, but always having the anterior ventral 
margin with a small concave depression. In general shape it falls within the 
variations of the Atlantic specimens. Moderately common. 

Yoldia sapotilla Gould Short Yoldia 

Plate 27b 

Arctic Seas to North Carolina. 

% to 1% inches in length, oblong, smooth, with a moderately extended 
posterior end. Periostracum yellowish to greenish brown. Differing from 
limatula in being shorter and less extended and more truncate at the poste- 
rior end. Commonly dredged off New England in shallow water; often 
found in fish stomachs. This species can be confused with the uncommon 
Y. myalis Couthouy (pi. 2 yd) which is found from Labrador to Cape Cod 
and Alaska and which, however, is shorter and more pointed at the posterior 

Subgenus Megayoldia Verrill and Bush 1897 
Yoldia thraciaejormis Storer Broad Yoldia 

Plate 276 

Arctic Seas to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Alaska to Puget Sound. 


1% to 2 inches in length, oblong. Characterized by its squarish, up- 
turned posterior end; coarse, dull, flaky periostracum; large circular chon- 
drophore; and the coarse, oblique rib running from beak to posterior ventral 
margin. A4oderately common from shallow to deep water. Found in fish 


Shell not pearly inside, oval, compressed, gaping at both ends; ligament 
external, elongated, resting on nymphs; numerous teeth; no resilium. A linear 
depression extends from the umbonal cavity to the anterior muscle scar. 
Worldwide, usually deep water. Includes several genera and subgenera in- 
cluding Tindaria Bellardi 1875, Neilonella Dall 1881, Malletia Desmoulins 
1832 and Frotoniiciila Cotton 1930. 

Genus Tindaria Bellardi 1875 

Shell small, resembling a tiny Venus clam; fat; beaks facing slightly for- 
ward; ligament minute, external; hinge smooth, continuous just below beaks. 
Generally deep water and rare. 

Tifidaria brunnea Dall Brown Tindaria 

Bering Sea, Alaska, to Tillamook, Oregon. 

/4 inch in length, fat, moderately pointed at posterior end. Very fine 
concentric scratches. Exterior dark olive-brown. Interior glossy cream. Has 
been dredged abundantly in a few places in deep water. There are 8 other 
rare species on the West Coast of America. 



Superfamily ARCACEA 

Key to Families 

a. Shell elliptical, hinge straight Arcidae 

aa. Shell circular or lopsidedly circular, hinge curved: 

b. Ligament partly sunk into shell Limopsidae 

bb. Ligament external Glycymeridae 


The ark shells have undergone intensive study in the last few years, and 
the nomenclature is still not settled. It is obvious, though, that not all of the 

342 American Seashelh 

arks can be placed under the single genus Area. The geological history and 
morphological studies force us to recognize three subfamilies. Many of the 
subgenera listed here are considered by some authorities as full genera. 1 
have refrained from defining their limits. 

Subfamily ARCINAE 
Genus Area Linne 1758 

Characterized by the long, narrow hinge line with numerous small teeth, 
by the large byssal notch on the ventral side, and the wide ligamental area 
between the beaks. 

Area zebra Swainson Turkey Wing 

Plate 2711 

North Carolina to Lesser Antilles. Bermuda. 

2 to 3 inches in length, about twice as long as deep. Color tan with 
flecks and zebra-stripe markings of reddish brown. Periostracum brown, 
matted. Ribs of irregular sizes. No concentric riblets. Do not confuse with 
A. umbonata. A common species which attaches itself to rocks with its 
byssus. Used extensively in the shellcraft industry. Formerly A. oceiden- 
talis Philippi. 

Area wnbonata Lamarck Mossy Ark 

Plate 27] 

North Carolina to the West Indies. 

i^ to 2% inches in length. Similar to A. zebra, but differing in having 
beaded ribs and a very large byssal opening, usually having the posterior end 
much larger, and in lacking the zebra stripes. Periostracum sometimes quite 
heavy and foliated. Commonly attached to underside of rocks in shallow 

Genus Barbatia Gray 1847 
Subgenus Barbatia s. str. 

Barbatia eandida Helbling White Bearded Ark 

Plate 271 

North Carolina to Brazil. 

1/4 to 1V2 inches in length; fairly thin, not heavy. Irregular in shape. 
Byssal opening at base of shell. Numerous weak, slightly beaded ribs; those 
on the posterior dorsal area being very strongly beaded. Periostracum 
brown, longest at posterior end. Exterior and interior of shell white. Liga- 


ment moderately developed. This species was also named Candida Gmelin, 
jamaicensis Gmelin and helblingi Brug. Common, attached under stones. 

Barbatia cancellaria Lamarck Red-brown Ark 

Plate zyq 

Southern Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 1% inches in length, similar to B. Candida, but with low, cancel- 
late sculpture and colored a dark, purplish brown. This is a common species 
which is erroneously called B. barbata Linne (a Mediterranean species). 

Subgenus Acar Gray 1857 
Barbatia dontingensis Lamarck White Miniature Ark 

Plate 27U 

North Carolina to Florida and the Lesser Antilles. 

^ to % inch in length, somewhat box-shaped, whitish in color and with 
no appreciable periostracum. Similar in shape and sculpture to Arcopsis 
adamsi, but instead of having a small, triangular ligament between the beaks, 
domingensis has a very narrow, long ligament posterior to the beaks. The 
posterior end is usually larger than the anterior end and characteristically 
dips slightly downward. Common at low tide under rocks. Erroneously 
called Area reticulata Gmelin by Dall and others (see Lamy and Woodring) . 

Barbatia bailyi Bartsch Baily's Miniature Ark 

Santa Monica, California, to Gulf of California. 

A little over ^ inch in length, oblong to squarish, fat; cancellate sculp- 
ture in which the beads become foliate at the posterior end. Ligament small, 
narrow and placed well posterior to the fairly close beaks; about 15 teeth. 
Color white to brownish white. 

Very common in certain localities under stones at low tide. A. pernoides 
Carpenter was thought to be this shell but is apparently some other much 
larger species of unknown identity. 

Subgenus Fugleria Reinhart 1937 
Barbatia tenera C. B. Adams Doc Bales' Ark 

Plate 27k 

Southern half of Florida to Texas and the Caribbean. 

I to I >2 inches in length, thin-shelled, rather fat and evenly trapezoidal 
in shape and with numerous rather evenly and finely beaded, thread-like ribs. 
Ligamental area fairly wide at the beak end, becoming narrow at the other. 

344 American Seashelh 

Small byssal gape present on the ventral margin. Moderately common. Area 
balesi Pilsbry and McLean is this species. 

Genus Arcopsis von Koenen 1885 

Ligament limited to a very small, triangular, or bar-like area bet^veen 
the umbones. 

Arcopsis adamsi E. A. Smith Adams' Miniature Ark 

Figure 26b 

Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Brazil. 

/4 to % inch in length, oblong in shape, moderately fat, flattened sides; 
white to cream in color. Periostracum very thin. Sculpture cancellate. Lig- 
ament limited to a very small, triangular, black patch between the umbones. 
The muscle scars are usually bordered by a calcareous ridge. Inner margin 
of valves smooth. Common under rocks. 


Genus Anadara Gray 1847 

Subgenus Larkinia Reinhart 1935 

Anadara multicostata Sowerby Many-ribbed Ark 

Newport Bay, California, to Panama. 

Shell large, 3 to 4 inches in length, very thick and squarish, 31 to 36 
radial ribs. The left valve slightly overlaps the right valve. Found in sandy 
areas by dredging in depths over 12 feet. A. grandis Broderip and Sowerby 
in Mexican and Panamic waters is larger, heavier and has 25 to 27 ribs. 

Anadara notabilis Roding Eared Ark 

Plate 27P 

Northern Florida to the Caribbean and Brazil. Bermuda. 

1/4 to 3^ inches in length. 25 to 27 ribs per valve. Fine concentric 
threads cross the ribs and are prominent between the ribs. The ribs never 
split. Rare in Florida; common in the West Indies. 

Formerly called auriculata Lamarck which is from the Red Sea. A. 
deshayesi Hanley is a synonym of notabilis. 

Anadara lienosa fioridana Conrad Cut-ribbed Ark 

Plate 27-0 

North Carolina, Florida to Texas and the Greater Antilles. 


2/4 to 5 inches in length, elongate. Ribs 30 to 38 in number, square, 
faintly divided by a fine-cut line. Fine, raised, concentric lines seen between 
weakly beaded ribs. Left valve very slightly larger than right valve. Peri- 
ostracum light- to dark-brown. Not very common. 

Typical lienosa Say is fossil and very close in characters to floridana. 
This species has often been called A. secticostata Reeve which is not so 
elongate and whose origin is unknown. 

Anadara baiighvimii Hertlein Baughman's Ark 

Off the Texas Coast. 

1% inches in length, similar to A. lienosa fioridmia, but much fatter, 
with 28 to 30 weakly noduled ribs which are not split, and with a strongly 
posterior-sloping anterior ventral margin. Common offshore down to 50 
fathoms. A. springeri Rehder and Abbott, published a month later, is this 

Anadara transversa Say Transverse Ark 

Plate 27s 

South of Cape Cod to Florida and Texas. 

% to 1/4 inches in lengtli. Left valve overlaps right valve. Ligament 
fairly long, moderately narrow, rough or pustulose. Ribs on left valve usually 
beaded, rarely so on right valve; 30 to 35 ribs per valve. Periostracum gray- 
ish brown, usually wears off except along base of valves. Fairly common in 
mud below low water. The smallest of the Atlantic Anadaras. Distinguished 
from ovalis by its longer, wider, more distinct external ligament. A. sulcosa 
van Hyning 1 946 is this species. 

Subgenus Lunar ca Grav 1847 

The subgenera Argina Gray and Arginarca McLean 1951 are probably 
the same. 

Anadara ovalis Bruguiere Blood Ark 

Plate 27t 

Cape Cod to the West Indies and the Gulf States. 

1/4 to 2% inches in length, not very thick, roundish to ovate; square, 
smooth ribs; ligament very narrow and depressed; beaks close together. Peri- 
ostracum black-brown, hairy. Ribs 26 to 35 in number. 

Dall considered the forms ''pexata Say" and ''americana Wood" too in- 
distinct for recognition. This species was known for a long time as cam- 
pechiensis Gmelin and is common. 

346 American Se ash ells 

Subgenus Cunearca Dall 1898 
Anadara brasiliana Lamarck Incongruous Ark 

Plate 27y 

North Carolina to West Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

I to 1V2 inches in length; almost as high as long. Beaks facing each 
other at center of short, transversely striate ligamental area. Left valve over- 
laps right valve considerably. Ribs 26 to 28, square with strong bar-like beads. 
Periostracum thin, light-brown. A. mcongnia Say is this species. 

A. chemnitzi Philippi from the Greater Antilles to Brazil is similar, but 
thick-shelled, less than i inch in length; the beaks are slightly forward of the 
center of the ligamental area. 

Subfamily NOETllNAE 
Genus Noetia Gray 1857 

Beaks point posteriorly; valves the same size; ligament transversely stri- 
ate; posterior muscle scar raised to form a weak flange. 

Subgenus Eontia MacNeil 1938 

The subgenus Eontia is an Atlantic group only. Noetia s. str. differs in 
having decidedly more regular sculpture, the ribs smoother and never di- 
vided; deeper and longer crenulations on the inner margin. There is only 
one Recent American true Noetia (reversa H. and A. Adams) which occurs 
from the Gulf of California to Peru. 

Noetia ponderosa Say Ponderous Ark 

Plate 27Z; figure 28a 

Virginia to Key West, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico. 

2 to 2 % inches in length, almost as high as long. Ribs raised, square and 
split down the center by a fine incised line; 27 to 31 ribs per valve. Posterior 
muscle scar raised to form a weak flange. Periostracum thick, black, but 
wears off at the beaks. A common shallow-water sand-dweller. Fossil speci- 
mens are rarely found on Nantucket, Massachusetts, beaches. 

Genus Limopsis Sasso 1827 

Rather small, obliquely oval, clams with tufted, velvety brown peri- 
ostracum. Hinge line curved, with a series of oblique teeth. The hinge 
resembles that of the Glycymeridae. Ligament external, small, central, tri- 



angular. Mostly deep water. Four species on the Pacific Coast, about six on 
the Atlantic side. 

Figure 73. Limopsis diegensis Dall, % inch (California), a, interior of valve; b, 
exterior, showing the fur-like periostracum. 

Limopsis diegensis Dall San Diego Limopsis 

Figure 73 

Santa Barbara Islands to Coronado Island, California. 

Vs to Yz inch in length, obhquely oval. Shell white; exterior glossy 
white with concentric striae, often studded by tiny pinpoint holes. Radial 
scratches present. Periostracum heavy, tufted with hairs, and often with 
a cancellate pattern. Uncommonly dredged below 20 fathoms. 

Limopsis cristata Jeffreys 

Cristate Limopsis 

Cape Cod to southeastern Florida. 

% inch in length, similar to sulcata but much smaller, less tufted with 
periostracum, with the inner margin of the valves having a series of strong, 
pimple-like nobs or teeth, and the outside of the shell having its radial sculp- 
ture stronger than its faint concentric sculpture. Commonly dredged off 

Limopsis minuta Philippi (Newfoundland to both sides of Florida) is 
very close to this species but has cancellate or beaded sculpture and attains 
a length of H inch. The shells of L. ajitillensis Dall (Florida to the Lesser 
Antilles) are % inch in size and unique in being brightly colored with pink, 
orange or yellow. 

Limopsis sulcata Verrill and Bush Sulcate Limopsis 

Plate zji 

Cape Cod to Florida, the Gulf States and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, strongly oblique, with prominent, rounded ribs which 

348 American Seashells 

are finely cut on the upper edge by short radial grooves. Inner margin of 
valves smooth. Shell dull-white. Periostracum thick, tufted, extending be- 
yond the ventral edge of the shell. Commonly dredged in moderately shal- 
low water. 


Genus Glycymeris DaCosta 1778 

Shell heavy, usually orbicular, equivalve, porcellaneous, usually with a 
soft, velvety periostracum. Beaks slightly curved inward. Hinge heavy, with 
numerous, small, similar teeth. Ligament external, its area distinct and with 
diverging grooves. The largest muscle scar is at the anterior end. Often mis- 
spelled Gly cimerts or GHcymeris. 

Glycymeris pectinata Gmelin Comb Bittersweet 

Plate 27! 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in size; characterized by 20 to 40 raised, radial ribs which 
have no fine radial striae or scratches on them. Color grayish and commonly 
splotched with brown. A common shallow-water species. 

Glycyjneris undata Linne Atlantic Bittersweet 

Plate 27g 

North Carolina to east Florida and the West Indies. 

2 inches in length, heavy, smoothish, except for microscopic radial 
scratches and somewhat larger concentric scratches, giving a silky appear- 
ance. There are numerous very weak and hardly discernible radial ribs sepa- 
rated by lines of white. Beaks at about the middle of the ligamental area. 
Color cream to white wdth bold splotches of nut-brown. Interior all white 
or well-stained with brown. This is G. Hneata Reeve. 

In the region of the Carolinas, an inch-long species (spectralis Nicol 
1952) is found which is more oval, its beaks face slightly toward the rear 
and the color is almost a uniform light-brown. Both common. 

Glycyiiwris deciissata Linne Decussate Bittersweet 

Plate lyh 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 inches in size, very similar to undata, but differs in the posteriorly 
pointing beaks, and in having nearly all of the ligamental area in front of 
the beaks. The radial scratches are stronger. This is G. pen?iacea Lamarck- 
Moderately common. 



Glycymeris americana DeFrance Giant American Bittersweet 

North Carolina to north Florida to Texas. 

Up to 5 inches in length, rather compressed, always much flatter than 
imdata. The dorsal or hinge side of large specimens is quite long. Beaks 
point toward each other and are located at the midpoint of the hinge. Color 
drab-gray or tan, rarely with weak mottlings. Rare. 

Glycymeris subobsoleta Carpenter 

Aleutian Islands to Lower California. 

West Coast Bittersweet 

Plate 3ie 

I inch in size, subtrigonal, texture chalky. Periostracum velvety, but 
usually worn away. Ligament area short. Radial ribs flat, with narrow inter- 
spaces; usually white, but may be with light- to medium-brown markings. 
A rather common shallow- to rather deep-water species. 




Figure 74. Hinges of some genera of mussels. 

Superfamily MYTILACEA 

Genus Crenella Brown 1827 

Shells small, oval to oblong-oval, thin, brownish periostracum and with 
fine decussate radial ribs. Ligament weak, internal. Margins crenulated. In- 


American Seashelh 

terior of shell glossy-white with a faint trace of iridescence. Mantle open in 
front, and folded at the posterior end into a sessile excurrent siphon. Foot 
worm-shaped with a disk-shaped end. Hinge finely dentate. 

Crenella faba O. F. Miiller 

Arctic Seas to Nova Scotia. 

Faba Crenella 

Figure 75a 

Vi to Y2 inch in length, oval-oblong, with numerous radial ribs. Color 
reddish brown. Thin periostracum varnish-like. Byssus golden-brown. Com- 
mon offshore. 

FiGtJRE 75. Crenella Clams, a, Cre?iella faba Miiller, Y^ inch (Arctic waters); 
b and c, Crenella glandula Totten, % inch (New England); d, Miisculus lateralis 

Say, % inch (Atlantic Coast) 

Crenella glandula Totten 

Labrador to North Carolina. 

Glandular Crenella 

Plate 28); figure 75b, c 

% to % inch in length, squarish, with the beaks near one corner. Radial 
ribs are fine, numerous, slightly beaded and often crossed by much finer, con- 
centric threads. Color olive-brown. A very common offshore, cold-water 
species. The smaller decussata has its beaks at the center of its more sym- 
metrical shell. 

Crenella decussata Montagu Decussate Crenella 

Bering Sea to San Pedro, California. Greenland to North Carolina. 

Less than % inch in size, oval, with numerous fine, decussated radial 
ribs. Color tan to yellowish gray. Dredged from 3 to 150 fathoms. A food 
of many marine fishes. Compare with glandula. 

Crenella divaricata Orbigny (North Carolina to southeast Florida and 
the West Indies) is even smaller than decussata, is pure white, and very in- 


Crenella columbiana Dall British Columbia Crenella 

Figure 26g, h 

Aleutian Islands to San Diego. 

A little over H inch in length, oval-oblong, inflated, with numerous very 
fine, decussate radial ribs. Color greenish yellow-brown. lo to loo fathoms. 

Genus Modiolus Lamarck 1799 

This group of mussels have shells of various forms in which the hinge is 
without teeth. The anterior end of the shell extends in front of the beaks, 
while in Mytilus 3 to 5 tiny teeth are present on the hinge and the beaks are 
at the very anterior end of the shell. Volsella Scopoli has been rejected. 

Modiolus modiolus Linne Northern Horse Mussel 

Figure 26) 

Arctic Seas to northeast Florida. Arctic Seas to San Pedro, California. 

2 to 6 inches in length, heavy, with a coarse, rather thick, black-brown 
periostracum which in dried specimens flakes off to reveal a mauve-white, 
chalky shell. One of the largest and commonest mussels found in cooler 
waters below low-water mark. Do not confuse with M. americanus. 

Modiolus ajnericajms Leach Tulip Mussel 

Plate 35I 
North Carolina to the West Indies. 

1 to 4 inches in length, smooth, except for the periostracum, which is 
commonly hairy and sometimes resembles a beard. Color light-brown flushed 
with deep rose and sometimes with several radial streaks of light-purple. An- 
terior ventral area with a deep chestnut splotch. Interior dull white, some- 
times stained with bluish, rose or brownish. 

Recently killed specimens are commonly washed ashore in large num- 
bers. A very common species. Formerly known as Volsella or Modiolus 
tulipa Linne or Lamarck. The subspecies found in Charleston Bay, North 
Carolina, and Tampa, Florida, is more compressed and a soft brown in color. 

Modiolus demissus Dillwyn Atlantic Ribbed Mussel 

Plate 28h 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to South Carolina. Introduced to California. 

2 to 4 inches in length, black-brown in color, often shiny, and with 
strong, rough, radial, bifurcating ribs. Interior bluish white with the poste- 
rior end flushed with purple or purplish red. This is the only ribbed Modi- 
olus in our waters, but do not confuse it with Brachidontes recurvus which 

352 American Seashelh 

has a strongly curved beak, tiny teeth at the umbo, and is a soHd rosy-brown 
on the inside. Mytilus plicatuhis Lamarck is this species. 

The subspecies deriiissus granosissiimis Sowerby (both sides of Florida to 
Texas and Yucatan) is very similar but with almost twice as many ribs which 
are finely and neatly beaded. Common. 

Modiolus forjjicatus Carpenter California Horse Mussel 

Plate 29-0 
Monterey to San Pedro, California. 

About I inch in length, smoothish, inflated, light-brown periostracum 
which wears white at the beak end. Beaks curved strongly forward. Inte- 
rior dull white. Found in moderately deep water, and rarely cast ashore. 
Associated with Haliotis rufescens. 

/Modiolus capax Conrad Capax Horse Mussel 

Santa Cruz, California, to Peru. 

2 to 6 inches in size. Periostracum thick, often with coarse hairs, 
chestnut-brown in color. Worn shell brick-red with bluish mottlings. In- 
terior half white, half (ventral) brownish purple. Resembles figure of 
Modiolus americanus (PI. 35I). 

Genus Brachidontes Swainson 1840 
Subgenus Brachidontes s. str. 

Brachidontes citriniis Roding Yellow Mussel 

Plate 35! 

Southern Florida and West Indies. 

I /<i inches in length, elongate, with numerous wavy, fine axial ribs, col- 
ored a light brownish yellow outside, and inside mottled a metallic purplish 
and white. Anterior end has four very tiny white teeth. Bordering the liga- 
ment are about 30 very small, equal-sized teeth on the edge of the shell. Com- 
pare with B. exustus Linne which is wider. The genus is commonly mis- 
spelled Brachy domes. 

Subgenus Horinomya Morch 1853 
Brachidontes exustus Linne Scorched Mussel 

Plate 35) 

North Carolina to the West Indies. 

% inch in length, rather elongate with numerous fine axial ribs; colored 
a yellowish brown to dark-brown outside, and inside mottled with a metallic 


purplish and white. Anterior end has two very tiny purplish teeth. Beyond 
the ligament (posterior end) there are 5 to 6 very tiny, equal-sized teeth on 
the edge of the shell. Compare with B. citrinus, which is more elongate. 

Brachidontes stearnsi Pilsbry and Raymond Stearns' Mussel 

Santa Barbara, California, to Oaxaca, Mexico. 

/4 to I inch in length, obtusely carinate, with numerous coarse, beaded, 
radial ribs which bifurcate. Color brownish purple on the dorsal half, straw- 
yellow to brownish yellow on the flattened ventral half. Hinge on dorsal 
edge with about a dozen very tiny bar-like teeth. Usually found in colonies 
in crevices of stones. Two small clams, Lasaea cistula Keen and L. subviridis 
Dall, attach themselves to the byssus of this species. Do not confuse B. 
stearjisi with Septifer bifurcams, with which it often lives. B. multijormis 
Carpenter and B. adamsianus Dunker are closely related species, if not mere 
forms, found in the Panamic province. 

Subgenus Ischadiwn Jukes-Brown 1905 
Brachidontes recurviis Rafinesque Hooked Mussel 

Plate 3511 

Cape Cod to the West Indies. 

I to 2% inches in length, flattish, rather wide, with numerous wavy 
axial ribs. Color outside a dark grayish black, inside a purplish to rosy 
brown with a narrow blue-gray border. At the umbonal end there are 3 to 
4 extremely small, elongate teeth on the edge of the shell. The anterior end 
of the shell is strongly hooked. This ■s\as known as M. hamatus Say and has 
sometimes been placed in the genus Mytilus. 

Genus Amygdahnn Megerle von Miihlfeld 181 1 

Shell thin, very smooth, often with colored, cobwebby designs. These 
clams build nests for themselves with a copious supply of byssal threads. 

Amygdaluni papyria Conrad Paper Mussel 

Plate 28i 

Texas and Maryland to Florida. 

I to 1% inches in length, elongate, smooth, glistening, fragile, and 
colored a delicate two-tone of bluish green and soft yellowish brown. In- 
terior iridescent-white. The ligament is very weak and thin. A. sagittata 
Rehder, sometimes dredged off^ Florida and Mississippi, is very shiny, ivory- 
white, half of each valve with fine, gray, cobwebby streaks. The umbo is 
reinforced inside by a very small, smooth column or rib. 

354 Ainerican Seashelh 

Genus Septifer Recluz 1848 
Septifer bifurcatus Reeve Bifurcate Mussel 

Crescent City, California, to Gulf of California. 

I to 2 inches in size, subtriangular in outline, inflated. With a couple 
of dozen strong, wavy radial ribs. Inner margin crenulated. Periostracum 
black, although often worn white between the ribs. Interior pearly-white, 
often stained bluish brown on one half of the inner side. The subspecies 
obsoletus Dall from San Diego is mostly black on the interior and is a 
quite elongate form. 

Genus Mytilus Linne 1758 
Mytilus edulis Linne Blue Mussel 

Plate 35m 

Arctic Ocean to South Carolina. Alaska to CaHfornia. 

1 to 3 inches in length, no ribs but often with coarse growth lines. 
Ventral margin often curved. Color blue-black with eroded areas of chalky 
purplish. Periostracum varnish-like. Interior slightly pearly-white with 
deep purple-blue border. Occasionally, specimens have radial rays of brown- 
yellow. Very common in New England. Sometimes found in more south- 
erly waters attached to floating wood. 

Mytilus edulis diegensis Coe 1946 (Northern California to Lower Cali- 
fornia) is indistinguishable from specimens of edulis found in Alaska and 
New England, and probably only represents an ecological or physiological 
race (see W. R. Coe, 1946). 

Mytilus calif ornianus Conrad Calif ornian Mussel 

Plate 19P 

Aleutian Islands to Socorro Island, Mexico. 

2 to 10 inches in length, thick, inflated; ventral margin nearly straight; 
with less than a dozen or so, fairly broad, weak radial ribs which are best 
seen on the middle part of the shell. Growth lines very coarse. An abun- 
dant species found between tides attached to rocks. 

Genus Musculus Roding 1798 

Mussel-like shells with the sculpturing divided into three oblique areas, 
the center one being smooth or almost so, and the two end areas having 
radial ribs. The ligament is much longer than that in Crenella. These are 
moderately deep-water clams. Mantle folded in front into a wide, incurrent 


siphon and behind into a conical excurrent siphon. Foot strap-shaped. This 
genus was formerly known as Modiolaria Beck 1838. Hinge finely dentate. 

Musculus niger Gray Black Musculus 

Plate 2 8g 

Arctic Seas to North Carolina. Alaska to Puget Sound. 

About 2 to 3 inches in length. Similar to M. discors, but much more 
compressed and with strongly developed axial, decussated ribs on the pos- 
terior and anterior thirds. Center section with microscopic concentric wavy 
threads and pimples. Often pinkish on the inside. Common. 

Musculus laevigatus Gray Smooth Musculus 

Plate 28f 

Arctic Ocean to Puget Sound, and North Atlantic. 

I to I % inches in length. Distinguished from discors by its larger size, 
and in having no pronounced radial riblet or depression separating the pos- 
terior third from the middle area. The periostracum is more often black in 
this species. The posterior area very often has numerous microscopic con- 
centric scratches which, to the naked eye, give this area a dull finish. Like 
discors, this species is much fatter than niger. 

Musculus lateralis Say Lateral Musculus 

Figure yjd 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, oblong, fragile, with a center area on the valve with 
concentric growth lines only. Remainder of shell with radial ribs. Color 
light-brown with a strong blush of blue-green. Interior slightly iridescent. 
Common offshore. 

Musculus discors Linne Discord Musculus 

Plate 28e 

Atlantic: Arctic Seas to Long Island Sound. Pacific: Arctic Seas to 
Puget Sound. 

I inch in length, oblong, fairly fragile. Anterior and posterior thirds 
of outer shell with very weak radial ribs; center section smooth except for 
irregular growth lines. Periostracum shiny and either dark black-brown 
or light-brown. Interior bluish white with slight iridescence. Commonly 

356 A77ierican Seashelh 

Genus Botula Morch 1853 
Subgenus Adula H. and A. Adams 1857 

Botula falcata Gould Falcate Date Mussel 

Plate 29k 

Coos Bay, Oregon, to Lower California. 

2 to 4 inches in length, very elongate, slightly curved. Beaks rounded 
and about one-eighth the length from the anterior end; a strongly marked 
angle occurs from the beaks to the base of the posterior extremity; numerous 
vertical, wavy ribs over all the shell. Color a shiny chestnut-brown. Com- 

Botula californiensis Philippi Californian Date Mussel 

Plate 29h 

I to 1^4 inches in length, elongate, curved and smooth, except for a 
velvety, hair-like covering over the posterior end. Shiny, chocolate-brown 
in color. Moderately common. 

Genus Lioberus Dall 1898 
Lioberus castaneus Say Say's Chestnut Mussel 

Both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, oval-elongate, well-inflated and thin-shelled. Exterior 
chestnut- to dark-brown, the anterior half glossy, the posterior half dull 
and commonly with a fine grayish matting of periostracum. Interior bluish 
white and with an irregular surface. Hinge simple with a slight swelling or 
pad under the beaks. Moderately common in shallow water. 

Botula fusca Gmelin from North Carolina to southeast Florida (rare) 
and the West Indies (common) is similar, but distinguished by its longer, 
hooked or arcuate shape, by the thick, concentric ridges on the outside, by 
the more anteriorly placed beaks, and by the tiny, vertical threads on the 
hinge just posterior to the ligament. Attached in clusters to wood and 

Genus Lithophaga Roding 1798 
Lithophaga nigra Orbigny Black Date Mussel 

Plate 2 8in 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in length, elongate and cylindrical. Black-brown outside 
and an iridescent bluish white inside. Anterior lower third of each valve 


with strong, vertical, smooth ribs; remainder of shell smoothish with only 
irregular growth lines. Commonly found boring into soft coral blocks. 

Lithophaga antillanim Orbigny Giant Date Mussel 

Plate 28k 

Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

2 to 4 inches in length, elongate, cylindrical and colored a light yellow- 
ish brown on the outside and iridescent cream inside. Sides of valves marked 
with numerous, irregular, vertical riblets. Fairly common in soft rocks in 
moderately deep water. 

Subgenus Myoforceps P. Fischer 1886 
Lithophaga aristata Dillwyn Scissor Date Mussel 

Plate 29) 

Southern Florida and the West Indies. La Jolla, California, to Peru. 

H to I inch in length. Characterized by the pointed tips at the posterior 
end being crossed like fingers. Color yellowish brown, but generally covered 
by a smooth, gray, calcareous encrustation. Moderately common in soft 

Subgenus Dibenis Dall 1898 
Lithophaga bisulcata Orbigny Mahogany Date Mussel 

Plate 28n 

North Carolina, the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indies. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, elongate, cylindrical and coming to a point 
at the posterior end. A sharp, oblique, indented line divides each valve into 
two sections. Anterior half of valve smooth, mahogany-brown, but com- 
monly encrusted with porous, gray, calcium deposits. Posterior end more 
heavily encrusted with a gray, porous covering which projects beyond the 
edge of the shell. A fairly common rock-boring species. 

Lithophaga plujnula kelseyi Hertlein and Strong Kelsey's Date Mussel 

Plate i()i 

San Diego north to Mendocino County, California. 

I to 2 inches in length, similar to L. bisulcata, but the calcareous matter 
on the posterior end is strongly pitted and furrowed to look like a wet, ruffled 
feather. Typical plmnula Hanley ranges from Lower California to Peru. 
Both fairly common in rocks. 

358 America}! Seashells 

Superfamily PTERIACEA 


Genus Iso gnomon Solander 1786 

Shell thin and greatly compressed; interior pearly; anterior margin with 
a narrow byssal gape near the dorsal margin. Hinge with numerous parallel 
grooves perpendicular to the dorsal margin of the valve. Perna Bruguiere 
and Pedalion Dillwyn are synonyms. Pedalion Solander 1770 is invalid. 

tsognomon alatus Gmelin Flat Tree Oyster 

Plate 35b 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length. Hinge has 8 to 12 oblong grooves or sockets 
into which are set small, brown resiliums. Exterior with rough or smoothish 
growth lines. External color drab purplish gray to dirty-gray. Interior 
moderately pearly with stains of purplish brown or mottlings of blackish 
purple. This very flat, oval bivalve is commonly found in compact clumps 
on mangrove tree roots. Distinguished from /. radiatus by its flat, more 
regularly fan shape and darker color. 

ho gnomon radiatus Anton 1839 Lister's Tree Oyster 

plate 35a 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to 2 inches in size, very irregular in shape, commonly elongate. 
Sometimes twisted and irregular. Hinge short, straight and with 4 to 8 very 
small, squarish sockets. Exterior rough with weak, flaky lamellations. Color 
a solid, translucent yellowish, but commonly with a few wavy, radial stripes 
of light purplish brown. Common on rocks at low tide. Formerly /. listen 
Hanley 1843. 

Isognomon bicolor C. B. Adams (Lower Florida Keys, Bermuda and 
Caribbean) is heavier, more oval, and commonly with strong lamellations 
on the outside. It is usually darkly and heavily splotched with purple inside 
and out. Common. According to Lamy, /. vulsella Lamarck is a different 
species which is limited to the Red Sea. 

The Western Tree Oyster, Isognomon chemiiitzianus Orbigny, from 
the Coronado Islands to Chili, lives in crowded colonies under stones in 
shallow water. It resembles the above two species, is about i to 2 inches in 
size; its right valve flattish, left valve slightly swollen. It is the only Cali- 
fornian Isognomon. 


Genus Pteria Scopoli 1777 

Fairly thin-shelled, moderately fat, and with the hinge ends considerably 
drawn out. Pearly inside. The right and left valves bear i or 2 small denticles 
which fit into shallow sockets in the opposite valve. 

Pteria colymbiis Roding Atlantic Wing Oyster 

Plate 35d 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I /4 to 3 inches in length, obliquely oval with a long extension of the 
hinge line toward the posterior end. Left valve inflated. Right valve 
somewhat flatter and with a strong anterior notch for the byssus. Periostra- 
cum matted, brown and with cancellate fimbrications. Exterior color vari- 
able: brown, black or brownish purple with broken, radial lines of cream 
or white. Interior pearly with a wide, non-pearly margin of purplish black 
with irregular cream rays. Common from low water to several fathoms. 

The Western Wing Oyster, Pteria sterna Gould is very similar, 3 to 4 
inches in length, and deep purplish brown with occasional paler rays. An- 
chored in mud; from San Diego to Panama. Common. 

Genus Pinctada Roding 1798 

This is the famous genus of pearl oysters. The byssal gape is in the 
right valve below the small, triangular auricle. Margaritifera Schumacher 
is a synonym. 

Pinctada radiata Leach Atlantic Pearl Oyster 

Plate 35c 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

1% to 3 inches in length, moderately inflated to flattish, thin-shelled 
and brittle. There is a small, thin, flat ligament at the center of the hinge. 
Exterior tan with mottlings or rays of purplish brown or black. Rarely 
tinted with dull-rose or greenish. In quiet waters, thin scaly and very deli- 
cate, periostracal spines may be developed. Interior a beautiful mother-of- 
pearl. Common in shallow water attached to rocks. 

Genus Pinna Linne 1758 

The Pen Shells are large, fragile, fan-shaped clams which live in sandy 
or mud-sand areas, usually in colonies. The apex or pointed end is deeply 

360 Afjierican Seashells 

buried, and there is a mass of byssal threads attached to small stones or frag- 
ments of shells. The broad end of the shell projects above the surface of the 
sand an inch or so. In the genus Pinna, there is a weak groove running down 
the middle of each valve. In Atrina, this character is absent. 

Pinna carnea Gmelin Amber Pen Shell 

Plate 27W 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

4 to 9 inches in length, relatively narrow, thin-shelled and with a 
central, radial ridge in the middle of the valve which is more conspicuous 
at the pointed or hinge end. With or without 10 radial rows of moderately 
large, scale-like spines. Color usually a light orangish to translucent-amber. 
Rare in Florida but common in the Bahamas. This is the only Pinna in the 
western Atlantic. P. nidis Linne is apparently a Mediterranean and West 
African species which is heavier and darker red. The name P. haiidigjjobilis 
Karsten is invalid, as are all this author's names. 

Genus Atrina Gray 1842 
Atrina rigida Solander Stiff Pen Shell 

Plate 27X 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the Caribbean. 

5 to 9 inches in length, relatively wide, moderately thick-shelled and 
with 15 to 25 radial rows of tube-like spines; rarely smoothish. Color dark 
to light brown. Commonly washed ashore. A small, commensal crab lives 
inside the mantle cavity. A number of unusual snails and chitons are found 
in or on dead or live Pinna shells. 

Atrina serrata Sowerby Saw-toothed Pen Shell 

Plate 27V 

North Carolina and south half of Florida. 

Similar in size and shape to rigida, but covered with many more, much 
smaller, sharp spines. It is usually thinner-shelled and lighter in color. Com- 
monly washed ashore with rigida. 

Super jamily PECTIN ACE A 


Genus Plicatula Lamarck 1801 

Shell trigonal or spathate, thick-shelled and attached by either valve 
to rocks or other shells. Sculpture of broad, radial ribs. Hinge with a nar- 


row, elongate chondrophore which is flanked on each side by a fluted tooth 
and a socket. 

Plicatula gibbosa Lamarck Kitten's Paw 

Plate 356 

North CaroHna to Florida, the Gulf States and West Indies, 

About I inch in length, somewhat cat's-paw-shaped. Shell strong, 
heavy, with 5 to 7 high ribs which give the valves a wavy, interlocking 
margin. Hinge in upper valve with 2 strong, equally sized teeth; lower 
attached valve with 2 sockets in the hinge with 2 smaller teeth set rather 
close together. Color dirty-white to gray with red-brown or purplish lines 
on the ribs. A common intertidal to offshore species. 


Because of the great number of fossil and living species of scallops and 
the almost limitless modifications exhibited by them, there have been no 
less than 50 genera and subgenera proposed in this family by various authors. 
Doubtlessly, many more will be invented. Most, if not all, of these genera 
are closely integrated by connecting species. Workers have a choice of 
using the single genus, Pecteji, or employing a genus for nearly every species. 
We are arbitrarily employing only six genera — Pecte??, Aequipecten, Chla- 
772ys, Placopecten, Lyropecteii and Himiites — and we cannot justify these 
on biological grounds. It may be noted that we have moved the glassy, thin- 
shelled Propeamiisshim from the Pectinidae into a family of its own on 
anatomical grounds. This new family refers to what was once called "Amus- 
siidae." True Aumsiwn, however, is merely a subgenus of Pecteii connected 
to it by a series of species in the Euvola group. 

Genus Pecten Miiller 1776 
Subgenus Pecten s. str. 

Pecten diegensis Dall San Diego Scallop 

Plate 336 

Cordell Bank, California, to Lower California. 

2 to 3 inches in size. Right valve convex with 22 or 23 flat-topped ribs 
which are generally longitudinally ridged on top. Left valve much flatter, 
with 21 to 22 narrow, rounded ribs. Dredged from 10 to 75 fathoms. 

Subgenus Patinopecten Dall 1898 
Pecten caurinus Gould Giant Pacific Scallop 

Plate 29b 

Wrangell, Alaska, to Humboldt Bay, California. 

362 America?! Seashells 

6 to 8 inches in size, roughly circular; upper valve almost flat, reddish 
gray and with about 17 low, rounded ribs; lower valve deeper, whitish and 
with a few more, stronger, rather flat-topped ribs. This is the common, 
edible deep-sea scallop of Alaska. 

Subgenus Amusiujn Roding 1798 
Pecten papyraceus Gabb Paper Scallop 

The Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

About 2 inches in size, oily smooth, glossy, exterior without ribs, but 
internally with about 22 very fine ribs which are commonly arranged in 
pairs. Both valves moderately convex to flattish. Upper valve light-mauve 
to reddish brown with darker flecks. Lower valve whitish at the center 
with yellow to cream margins or all white. Hinge line strongly arched. 
Rather rare in collections, but commonly brought up from several fathoms 
by shrimp fishermen. 

Pecten laurenti Gmelin (pi. 33f) from the Greater Antilles is larger, 
with a straight hinge line and with the lighter-colored valve more convex 
than the darker valve. Rare. 

Section Euvola Dall 1897 
Pecten ziczac Linne Zigzag Scallop 

Plate 33d 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 4 inches in size. Upper (left) valve flat; lower valve very deep and 
convex. There are 18 to 20 broad, very low, rather indistinct ribs on the 
deep valve which is generally colored a brownish red (rarely orange). The 
ribs fade out or are not present near the side margins of the valve. Flat 
valve with a bright mozaic of whites and browns. A fairly common species. 
Do not confuse with raveneli. 

Pecten raveneli Dall Ravenel's Scallop 

Plate 33g 

North Carolina, the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in size, similar to ziczac, but the deep valve has about 25 
very distinct ribs which are commonly whitish in color. Between them are 
fairly wide, tan or pinkish grooves. In the flat valve, the 25 or so ribs are 
rounded in cross-section whereas in ziczac they are flat-topped and much 
closer together. A rather uncommon species. 


Pecten tereinus Dall Tereinus Scallop 

Southern Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

I inch in size, quite fragile. Upper (left) valve flat, with about 20 small, 
narrow ribs; lower valve deep to moderately deep and with low, irregularly 
defined, roundish ribs. Color whitish tan, slightly translucent, with faint 
mottlings of pink near the beaks. Rarely, the flat valve may be flecked with 
brown, zigzag, fine lines. A rare species uncommonly dredged by private 
collectors in 10 to 40 fathoms. 

Genus Chlamys Roding 1798 
Chlamys sentis Reeve Sentis Scallop 

Place 34a 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to i^ inches in length, but not so wide (like a fan opened only 80 
degrees). Valves rather flat. One hinge ear small, the other twice as large. 
With about 50 ribs of varying sizes, each with tiny, closely set scales. There 
are 2 to 4 smaller ribs between the slightly larger ones. Color commonly 
brilliant: purple, red, vermilion, orange-red, brownish, white or mottled 
(especially near the beaks). Common under rocks below low-tide mark. 
Do not confuse with ornata, mildredae or be?iedicti. 

Chlamys inildredae F. M. Bayer Mildred's Scallop 

Plate 34c 

Southeast Florida and Bermuda. 

I to I ^ inches in length, similar to sentis and ornata, but the ribs of the 
upper valve (one without the byssal notch) 30 in number and every third 
or fourth one larger. Sculpture of rather large, erect scales set about i mm. 
apart. Ribs of lower valve about 30, in groups of 2 or 3. Exterior color 
much like sentis; interior yellowish with purple stains near the margins. 
Rare under rocks at low tide. 

Chlamys ornata Lamarck Ornate Scallop 

Plate 3 4b 

Southeast Florida to the West Indies. 

I to 1% inches in length, similar to sentis, but with about 18 high, major, 
slightly scaled ribs separated by 2 small, scaly cords on the upper valve. 
Ribs of lower valve are in 18 groups of 3#closely spaced riblets. Exterior 
ivory to yellowish cream with strong maculations of maroon or purplish. 
Interior usually white. Compare with mildredae. An uncommon and favorite 
collector's item. 

364 American Seashells 

Chlamys benedicti Verrill and Bush Benedict's Scallop 

South half of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Rarely over % inch in length. Very similar to sentis, but with a greater 
range of colors and having 2 color variations not found in sentis (pure lemon- 
yellow or mottled with chalk-white zigzag stripes). With about 22 strong 
ribs alternating with weaker ribs, total about 45. Shorter ear has a sharp, 
90-degree corner and bears prominent spines, while in se7itis it is more rounded 
or considerably more than 90 degrees and is smoother. Hinge margin of 
longer ear has small projecting scales. Color pink, pinkish red, light purple 
or yellow, and commonly with pronounced whitish zigzag markings. A 
moderately common species usually misidentified as young sentis or vniscosa. 

Chlcniiys im brie at a Gmelin Little Knobby Scallop 

Plate 34f 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

1 to I % inches in length, but not quite so wide. Lower valve (the one 
with the byssal notch) slightly convex. Upper valve almost flat and fairly 
thin. Ribs 8 to 10, uncommonly with smaller cords between. They have 
prominent, cup-shaped, delicate, distantly spaced scales. Color dirty-white 
or pinkish with small, squarish, red or purplish blotches. Interior yellowish, 
commonly with purplish stains. Moderately common. 

Chlamys bastata hastata Sowerby Pacific Spear Scallop 

Plate 34) 

Monterey to Newport Bay, California. 

2 to 1V2 inches in size; without microscopic reticulations; right valve 
(with byssal notch) with about 18 to 21 primary, strongly spined ribs which 
have 5 to 7 much smaller, weakly spined, secondary ribs in between left 
valve with i o to 11 distantly spaced, strongly scaled primary ribs, with 1 2 to 
16 very weak, beaded secondary ribs in between. This is not so common 
as the subspecies hericia, and is much more colorful, commonly being bright 
orange, red or lemon. 

Chlamys hastata hericia Gould Pacific Pink Scallop 

Plate 34k 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

2 to 2% inches in size; without microscopic reticulations; right valve 
(with byssal notch) with about 18 to 21 primary, moderately scaled ribs 
which have 5 to 7 much smaller spined ribs between; left valve with about 
10 to II primary, spined ribs which have a single, rounded, almost as large 


secondary rib in between. Between these large ribs there are 15 to 1 8 tiny, 
spined ribs, 3 of which are on the large secondary rib. Color variable: solid 
rose, pink, white, light yellowish and blends of all these. Commonly dredged 
in shallow waters. 

Chlamys hindsi Dall Hinds' Scallop 

Plate 34I 

Alaska to off San Diego, California. 

2 X.0 1V2 inches in size; with microscopic reticulations between the ribs 
either near the beaks or the margins of the valves. Left valve (without the 
byssal notch) with numerous primary ribs, each bearing 3 rows of spines, 
and with a secondary spined rib between. Right valve flattish, usually lighter- 
colored, and with fewer ribs which are smoothish, rounded and inclined to 
be grouped in pairs. The reticulate sculpturing is best seen on this side. 
Color variable: light-rose, mauve, lemon-yellow, pale-orange and blends of 
these. A rather common species dredged in shallow water down to 822 

Chlmnys islandica Miiller Iceland Scallop 

Plate 27I 

Arctic Seas to Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. Alaska to Puget Sound, 

3 to 4 inches in length, not quite so wide. Long hinge ear is twice the 
length of the short one. Valves moderately convex to flattish. With about 
50 coarse, irregular ribs which split in two near the margin of the valve. 
Rarely, the ribs are grouped more or less in groups of twos, threes or fours. 
Color usually a dirty-gray or cream, but some are quite attractively tinged 
with peach, yellow or purplish both inside and out. A very common species 
offshore on the continental shelf. 

Genus Leptopecten Verrill 1897 
Leptopecten latianratus Conrad Kelp-weed Scallop 

Plate 34! 

Point Reyes, California, to Lower California. 

About I inch in size, thin, lightweight, with 12 to 16 squarish ribs. Ears 
strongly pointed at the ends. Color varies from translucent yellowish to 
chestnut-brown; commonly mottled with white. The subspecies monothneris 
Conrad has rounded ribs which form broad corrugations on the shell and it 
has less acutely pointed ears. This is a common species found attached to 
kelp weeds, stones and bottoms of boats. Sometimes spelled latiauritus. 

366 American Seashells 

Genus Placopecten Verrill 1897 
Placopecten magellanicus Gmelin Atlantic Deep-sea Scallop 

Plates 33c; 27m 

Labrador to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

5 to 8 inches in size, almost circular. Valves almost flat to slightly 
convex. Interior flaky-white. Exterior rough with numerous very small, 
raised threads. Exterior yellowish gray to purplish gray or dirty-white. 
This is the common, edible, deep-sea scallop fished off our New England 
coasts. The name grandis Solander is nude and cannot be used. 

Genus Lyropecten Conrad 1862 
Subgenus Lyropecten s. str. 

Lyropecten antillarum Recluz Antillean Scallop 

Plate 34g 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to % inch in length and width. Valves fragile, both nearly flat. 
Only about 15 moderately rounded, low ribs. Growth lines exceedingly 
fine (seen with the aid of a strong lens). Color either pastel-yellow, tawny- 
orange or light-brown, commonly with chalk-white mottlings, flecks or 
stripes. Found uncommonly in shallow water. 

Subgenus Nodipecten Dall 1898 
Lyropecten nodosiis Linnc Lion's Paw 

Plate 33b 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

3 to 6 inches in size, rather heavy and strong-shelled. Characterized by 
the 7 to 9 large, coarse ribs which have large, hollow nodules. The entire 
shell also has numerous, much smaller, but distinct, riblets. The color is 
commonly dark maroon-red, but may be bright-red or orange. Fairly com- 
mon offshore, especially on the west coast of Florida, 

Genus Aeqiiipecten P. Fischer 1887 
Subgenus Aeqiiipecten s. str. 

Aequipecten glyptus Verrill Tyron's Scallop 

Plate 33a 

South of Cape Cod to the Gulf of A4exico. 

I to 2/4 inches in size. Both valves rather flat. Shell somewhat lop- 
sided and spathate in shape. About 17 ribs which start out as fine, sharp, 
slightly prickled ribs, but become flattened and indistinct or absent near the 


margin of the valve. One valve pure-white, the other with broad, rose rays 
corresponding to the ribs. Internally white and with weak, fine ribs. Rare, 
but has been brought in by commercial trawlers. This is P. tryoni Dall. 

Aequtpecten phrygius Dall Spathate Scallop 

Off Cape Cod to east Florida and the West Indies. 

About I inch in size. Characterized by its peculiar spathate or open- 
fan shape. With 17 sharp ribs. On closer inspection, it will be seen that 
each rib is composed of 3 rows of very fine, closely packed scales which 
are welded together to form a single rib. In cross-section, this would give 
the rib the shape of the letter M. Hinge-line straight with one ear slightly 
shorter than the other. Color dull-gray with indistinct blotches of dull- 
pink. Uncommonly dredged off Miama and the Lower Keys. 

Aequipecten Uneolaris Lamarck Wavy-lined Scallop 

Florida Keys to the Lesser Antilles. 

1 to 2 inches in size, ears about equal. Valves moderately inflated. Sur- 
face highly glossy, the colored valve with about 18 very low, rounded ribs. 
Bottom valve white. Top valve rosy-tan with characteristic, numerous small, 
wavy, thin lines of pink-brown running concentrically. A few brown mot- 
tlings may be present. A very gorgeous and rare species dredged from 7 
to 50 fathoms. A. may aguezensis Dall and Simpson is this species. 

Aequipecten muscosus Wood Rough Scallop 

Plate 34d, e 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I ^ inches in size, both valves inflated and fairly deep. Hinge-ears 
equal to the width of the main part of the shell. 18 to 20 ribs, the center 
part of each bearing prominent, erect, concave scales, and on each side 2 
rows of much smaller scales. Color orange-brown, red, lemon-yellow, 
orange, or commonly mottled with purple. Beach-worn specimens may 
lose most of their scaliness. Moderately common just offshore to 90 fathoms. 
Formerly called exasperatus Sby. and fusco-purpureus Conrad. 

Subgenus Flagiocteniuin Dall 1898 
Aequipecten irradians Lamarck Atlantic Bay Scallop 

Plate 33! 

Nova Scotia to northern half of Florida and Texas. 

2 to 3 inches in size. This is the common edible scallop of our east 

368 American Seashells 

coast. It is not a very colorful species, although its drab browns and grays 
are rarely enhvened with yellow. There are 3 distinct subspecies which 
previously have been little understood. Each has a distinct geographical 
range and peculiar habitat. 

A. irradians irradians Lamarck. Nova Scotia to Long Island, N.Y. 17 to 
18 ribs which are low and roundish in cross-section. Each valve is about 
the same fatness, and the lower one is only slightly lighter in color. Drab 
gray-brown with indistinct, darker-brown mottlings. The most compressed 
of the 3 subspecies. This is borealis Say. 

A. irradians concentricus Say. New Jersey (rare), Virginia to Georgia 
and Louisiana to Tampa, Florida. 1 9 to 21 ribs which are squarish in cross- 
section. Lower valve (the lightest in color and commonly all white) is 
much fatter than the dull bluish gray to brown upper valve. Common. 

A. irradians ajnplico status Dall (fig. i6i). Central Texas to Mexico 
and Colombia. Similar to concentricus, but with only 12 to 17 ribs; more 
gibbose; lower valve commonly white and with high, squarish to slightly 
rounded ribs. Common in Texas. 

Aequipecten gib bus Linne Calico Scallop 

Plate 33) 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and West Indies. 

I to 2 inches. A common, colorful scallop found abundantly in southern 
Florida a little offshore. Both valves quite fat. Ribs usually 20 (19 to 21), 
quite square in cross-section. Bottom valve commonly whitish with a little 
color; upper valve can be of many bright hues (lavender-rose, red, whitish 
with purple or reddish mottlings, etc.). This is dislocatus Say. If collecting in 
southeast Florida, do not confuse with A, nucleus, 

Aequipecten gib bus nucleus Born Nucleus Scallop 

Plate 34h 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 1/4 inches in size. This is a difficult subspecies to identify, and 
it is possible that it is only a form. It is rarely over an inch in size, has i to 3 
more ribs than gibbus, is usually fatter, and is characteristically colored with 
small, chestnut mottlings on a cream background and commonly with snow- 
white specklings. Both or only one valve may be heavily colored. Never 
with the bright shades of orange, red, etc. Not uncommon in the Keys from 
low tide to a few fathoms on grass. 

Genus Hinnites Def ranee 1821 
Biologically speaking, this genus is really a Chlamys in which the adults 


are attached to rocks and become quite massive like Spojidyhis. For con- 
venience, we are considering it a full genus. 

Himjttes multirugosiis Gale Giant Rock Scallop 

Plate 29a 

Aleutian Island to Lower California. 

Up to 8 inches in length. A heavy massive shell characterized by the 
early "Chlamys-Hke" shell at the beaks. Interior white with a purplish hinge 
area. Attached to rocks by the right valve. The ^2-inch long young are 
almost impossible to separate from some species of Chlainys, except when 
they show a mauve spot on the inside of the hinge line on each side of the 
resilium pit, or if they show signs of distortion or a mottling pattern of 
color on the outside of the valves. Some vouno- are bright-orancre. A common 
species. Formerly known as H'mnites gigante7is Gray. This is a regrettable 
name change which I have followed, since leading workers on the Pacific 
Coast have adopted it. 


Genus Propeaviusshmi Gregorio 1883 

Propeavitissmm poiirtalesiaimm Dall Pourtales' Glass Scallop 

Plate 27c 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length. Valves very slightly convex. Shell extremely thin 
and transparent (hke thin mica flakes). Each valve reinforced inside with 
about 9 rod-like, opaque \\'hite ribs. Exterior of one valve is smoothish, the 
other valve with numerous, microscopic, concentric threads. Common off- 
shore. Frequently dredged off Aliama by amateurs. There have been a 
number of other species described, some of which may only be forms of this 
variable species. 

Genus Spondylus Linne 1758 

Spondylus americanus Hermann Atlantic Thorny Oyster 

Plate 36b 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

3 to 4 inches in size. Spines 2 or less inches in length, usually standing 
fairly erect. Color variable: white with yellow unbones, red or purple; 
sometimes all rose, all cream or all pink. The young are much less spinose, 
and might be confused with Chama which, however, does not have the ball- 
and-socket type of hinge. Beautiful and large specimens are found clinging 

370 American Seashells 

to old wrecks in fairly deep water. Perfect specimens have recently sold for 
over $40. Formerly called americanus Lamarck, echinatus Martyn and domi- 
nicensis Roding. Sometimes called the Chrysanthemum Shell. Not un- 

Spondylus pictorum Schreiber Pacific Thorny Oyster 

Plate 36a 

Gulf of California to Panama. 

Up to 5 inches in size. The spines are 1% inches or less in length and 
usually bent over. Color variable, and usually more brilliant than the Atlantic 
species. A popular, and now fairly high-priced collector's item. Often found 
on beaches with their spines worn off. They live in fairly deep water at- 
tached to rocks and wrecks. 


Genus Lima Bruguiere 1797 

Lima lima Linne Spiny Lima 

Plate 35g 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to I /4 inches in height and pure-white in color. Sculpture of numer- 
ous even, radial ribs bearing many erect, sharp spines. The posterior ear is 
much smaller than the anterior one. No large posterior byssal gape as in 
scabra. Moderately common under coral stones in shallow water. This 
species and its various forms or subspecies (squa?nosa Lamarck, multicostata 
Sowerby, caribaea Orbigny and tetrica Gould) are found all over the world 
in tropical waters. 

Lima pellucida C. B. Adams Antillean Lima 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in height, elongate, fragile, semi-translucent, white, with a 
large posterior gape and with a long, narrow anterior gape. Radial ribs small, 
fine, uneven in size and distribution. Hinge-ears almost equal in length. 
Closely related to L. Mans Gmelin from Europe. A fairly common species 
which is often misidentified in collections as L. inflata Lamarck (not Gmelin) . 
L. antillensis Dall is the same. In thicker and older specimens there is a small, 
pinhole depression in the hinge just off to one side of the ligamental area. 

Subgenus Ctenoides Morch 1853 
Lima scabra Born Rough Lima 

Plate 35f, o 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 


I to 3 inches in height, half as long. Sculpture coarse, consisting of ir- 
regular, radial rows of short, bar-like ribs, somewhat giving the appearance 
of shingles on a roof. Periostracum thin, dark- to light-brown. A common 
variation of this species (form tenera Sowerby) is startlingly different, in 
that the small radial ribs are much more numerous and much smaller (pi. 
35h), Common under rocks in shallow water at low tide. 

Subgenus Mantellum Roding 1798 
Lima heinphilli Hertlein and Strong Hemphill's Lima 

Plate 29c 

Monterey, California, to Mexico. 

I inch in length, white, obliquely elliptical in shape. With fine, irreg- 
ular, radial ribs which are crossed by very fine, rough threads. Anterior and 
posterior margins smooth. This fairly common species has been erroneously 
called dehiscejis Conrad and L. orientaUs Adams and Reeve. 

Genus Limatula Wood 1839 

Liinatida subauriculata Montagu Small-eared Lima 

Greenland to Puerto Rico. Alaska to Mexico. 

% inch in height, ovate-oblong, greatly inflated (having the shape of 
the shell of a pistachio nut), and sculptured with numerous small, longitudi- 
nal riblets. On the inside of the valves there are 2 prominent, longitudinal 
riblets at the center of the shell. Periostracum over the white shell is yel- 
lowish brown. Moderately common in cooler waters from just offshore to 
1000 fathoms. 

Genus Lime a Bronn 1831 

Limea bronniana Dall Bronn's Dwarf Lima 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

Very small, 5.0 mm. in height, ovate, superficially resembling a small 
Cardiuvi. With about 25 to 30 strong, smooth, rounded, radial ribs. Micro- 
scopic, concentric scratches between the ribs. Inner margin of valves serrated 
and reinforced by small, round teeth. Shell pure-white in color. Hinge-ears 
with an internal set of 3 or 4 small teeth. 

Superjamily ANOMIACEA 

Genus Anomia Linne 1758 

The valve without the hole has i large and 2 small muscle scars. The 

372 American Seashells 

shell is attached to a rock or wood surface by means of a calcified byssus 
which passes through a large notch in the right valve. The genus Pododes- 
mus differs in having only 2 muscle scars in the top or holeless valve. 

Anomia simplex Orbigny Common Jingle Shell 

Plate 35k 

Cape Cod to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in size, irregularly oval, smoothish, thin but strong. The 
upper or free valve is usually quite convex; the lower valve is flattish and 
with a hole near the apex. Color either translucent-yellow or dull-orange. 
Some with a silvery sheen. Specimens buried in mud become blackened. 
Very commonly attached to logs, wharfs and boats. 

Anomia aculeata Gmelin Prickly Jingle Shell 

Nova Scotia to North Carolina. 

Rarely exceeding % inch in size, irregularly rounded, moderately fragile. 
Upper valve convex, rough, often with small prickles. Lower valve flat and 
with a small hole near the hinge end. Color drab, opaque whitish tan. A. 
common cold-water species attaching itself to rocks and broken shells. 

Anomia peruviana Orbigny Peruvian Jingle Shell 

Plate 296 

San Pedro, California, to Peru. 

I to 2 inches in size, variable in shape, thin, partially translucent, smooth 
or with irregular sculpture; colored orange or yellowish green. Occurs be- 
tween tides attached to rocks, other shells and waterlogged wood. Common. 

Genus Pododesmus Philippi 1837 
The valve without the hole has i large and i small muscle scar. 
Pododesmus macroschismus Deshayes False Jingle Shell 

Plate igdi 

Alaska to Lower California. 

I to 4 inches in size. Radiating ribs very irregular and coarse. Color 
yellowish or greenish white, inner surface green and somewhat pearly. Lower 
valve with a large opening for the byssus. This is a very common species 
which is found attached to stones and wharf pilings from low-tide mark to 
about 35 fathoms. Often found on Haliotis. P. cepio Gray is a synonym. 

Pododesmus rudis Broderip from Florida and the West Indies is very 


similar to the Pacific Coast species. Inch-long, brownish specimens are fpund 
in the crevices of coral boulders below low-water mark to several fathoms. 
Larger, more whitish specimens are found clinging to iron wrecks. Moder- 
ately common. P, decipiens Philippi. See plate 38b. 

SuperfavTily OSTREACEA 

Genus Ostrea Linne 1758 

This genus used to include all of the oysters, but today several valid 
genera are recognized, so that only three American species are included in 
true Ostrea. These are O. eqiiestris Say and O. permolUs Sowerby from the 
Atlantic Coast and O. hirida Carpenter from the Pacific Coast. The Euro- 
pean oyster, O. ediiUs Linne is also in this group. All of these oysters are 
relatively small. The eggs are fertilized and developed within the mantle 
chamber and gills. Usually around one million eggs are produced at one 
spawning. The prodissoconch hinge is long, the valves symmetrical. In the 
adults, the muscle scar is near the center of the shell and is not colored. 

Ostrea equestris Say Crested Oyster 

Plate 28c 

North Carolina, Florida, the Gulf States and West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in length, more or less oval, and with raised margins which 
are crenulated. The attached valve has a flat interior with a rather high, ver- 
tical margin on one side. Interior dull grayish with a greenish or opalescent- 
brown stain. Margin sometimes stained a weak-violet. Not very abundant 
except in some Florida bays. It lives in water that is much saltier than that 
in which virginica lives. Also named spreta Orbigny. O. cristata Born is 
quite different and is limited to South America. 

Ostrea pons Linne 'Coon Oyster 

Plate 28d 

Florida, Louisiana and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in size. The radial plicate sculpture and corresponding 
sharply folded valve margins are characteristic of this intertidal species. Inner 
margins of valves closely dotted with minute pimples for nearly the entire 
circumference of the valves. Muscle scars located well up toward the hinge. 
Beaks somewhat curved. Interior translucent-white, exterior usually purplish 
red. Frequently elongate and attached to stems of trees by a series of clasp- 
ing projections of the shell, but may be also oval in shape. O. rubella and 
O. limacella Lamarck are this species. O. jolimn Linne is a Philippine species. 

374 American Seashells 

Ostrea permollis Sowerby Sponge Oyster 

Plate 28b 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

Rarely over 3 inches in size. Lives embedded in sponges with only the 
margins of the valves showing. The surface of the valves has a soft, silky 
appearance. Beak twisted back into a strong spiral. Exterior light-orange to 
tan; interior white. Inner margins with numerous small, round denticles. 

Another flat, but larger and light-shelled oyster, Pycnodonta hyotis 
Linne, is found in deep water attached to old wrecks off Florida and in the 
West Indies. It is immediately recognized by the peculiar structure of the 
shell which under a lens appears to be filled with numerous bubbles or empty 
cells, much like a bath sponge. It reaches a diameter of 3 or 4 inches, is 
generally circular in outline and may be colored whitish cream, brownish or 
even lavender. Ostrea thovmsi McLean is this species according to the French 
worker, Gilbert Ranson. 

Ostrea lurida Carpenter Native Pacific Oyster 

Plate igi 
Alaska to Lower California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, of various shapes; generally rough with coarse 
concentric growth lines, but sometimes smoothish. Interior usually stained 
with various shades of olive-green, and sometimes with a slight metallic 
sheen. It occasionally has purplish brown to brown axial color bands on the 
exterior. This is the common intertidal native species of the Pacific Coast. 
A number of ecological forms have been described: expansa Carpenter, 
rufoides Cpr. and possibly conchaphila Cpr. 

Genus Crassostrea Sacco 1897 

This genus includes the commercially important American Oyster, C. 
virginica Gmehn, which was formerly placed in the genus Ostrea. In 
Crassostrea, the left or attached valve is larger than the right. The inner 
margin is smooth. The eggs are small, produced in large numbers at one 
spawning (over 50 million), and are fertilized and develop in the open wa- 
ters outside of the parents. The muscle scar is usually colored. The prodisso- 
conch hinge is short, and the valves asymmetrical. The Japanese Oyster (C. 
gigas)^ introduced to west American shores, the Portuguese Oyster (C angu- 
lata Lamarck), and C. rhizophorae Guilding from Cuba also belong to this 
genus. Gryphaea Lamarck is a fossil genus which should not be associated 
with this genus. 


Crassostrea virginica Gmelin Eastern Oyster 

Plate 28a 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 

2 to 6 inches in length. This is the familiar edible oyster which varies 
greatly in size and shape. The valve margins are only slightly undulating or 
are straight. The muscle scar is usually colored a deep purple, the rest of the 
shell being white inside and dirty-gray exteriorly. Beaks usually long and 
strongly curved. "Blue Points," a form originally harvested at Blue Point, 
Long Island, are rounded in shape and with a rather deep, lower valve. 
"Lynnhavens" arc broad, elongate forms originally harvested at Lynnhaven 
Bay, Virginia. These variations are due to environmental differences. C. 
brasiliana Lamarck and C. floridensis Sowerby are this species. 

Crassostrea rhizophorae Guilding (brasiliana of authors) is found in the 
Caribbean region, and it is a lightweight shell, deep-cupped, with a flat upper 
valve small and fitting well down into the lower valve. The inner margin of 
the lower, attached valve is splotched with bluish purple. Common. 

Crassostrea gigas Thunberg Giant Pacific Oyster 

Plate 29g 
British Columbia to California. Japan. 

3 to 12 inches in length, of various shapes, but generally characterized 
by its large size, its coarse, widely spaced, concentric lamellae or very coarse 
longitudinal flutings or ridges on the outside. Interior enamel white, often 
with a faint purplish stain on the muscle scar or near the edges of the shell. 
Very rarely with a greenish stain. A common, large and marketable oyster 
introduced yearly into Canada and the United States from Japan. The form 
lapermisi Schrenck is round. The typical gigas is the long, strap-like form. 
O. gigas Aleuschen is an invalid name and does not preoccupy that of Thun- 
berg's. Also known as the Japanese Oyster. 

S7iperfa77nly ASTARTACEA 

Genus Astarte Sowerby 18 16 

Astarte borealis Schumacher Boreal Astarte 

Plate 28q 
Arctic Seas to Massachusetts Bay. Alaska. 

I to 2 inches in length, ovate, moderately compressed. External liga- 
ment large. Concentric ridges strong near the beaks but disappearing near 

376 America?! Seashelh 

the margins of the valves. Differing from subequilatera in being more ellip- 
tical in side view, in having the beaks near the middle, with weaker con- 
centric ribs, and with the inner surface of the valve margins smooth. A com- 
mon shallow-water species. 

Astarte subequilatera Sowerby Lentil Astarte 

Plate 28-0 
Arctic Seas to off Florida. 

I to I /4 inches in length, ovate, moderately compressed. External liga- 
ment small. Concentric ridges strong, rounded, evenly spaced. Internal mar- 
gin of valves finely crenulate. Beaks turned slightly forward, often eroded. 
Color dull light- to dark-brown. Found in shallow water in the north and 
below 50 fathoms in the south. Common. Compare with bore alls. 

Astarte undata Gould Waved Astarte 

Plate 28r 

New Brunswick to Maine. 

Similar to subequilatera, but less elliptical, with its beaks near the center 
and with fewer and stronger concentric ridges. Probably the commonest 
Astarte in New England. 

Astarte castaiiea Say Smooth Astarte 

Plate 28s 

Nova Scotia to Cape Cod. 

I inch in length, as high, trigonal in shape, quite compressed. Beaks 
pointed and hooked anteriorly; external ligament small. Shell almost smooth, 
except for weak, low concentric lines. Color a glossy light-brown. Inner 
margin of valves finely crenulate. A commonly dredged species. 

Astarte nana Dall Southern Dwarf Astarte 

North Carolina to Florida and the Gulf States. 

/4 inch in length, slightly trigonal in shape, compressed. With or with- 
out about 25 well-developed, evenly spaced, rounded, concentric ridges. 
Ventral and inner edge of valves usually with 40 to 50 distinct small pits or 
crenulations. Shell cream, tan, brown or rose-brown in color with the beaks 
usually whitish. A very abundant species dredged in moderately shallow 
water, especially off eastern Florida. 

Genus Eucrassatella Iredale 1924 

Shell large, thick, equivalve, posteriorly rostrate; ligament and resilium 


adjacent and internal in a triangular resilifer; left valve with 2 diverging cardi- 
nal teeth; right valve with 3, of which the posterior one is more or less obso- 
lete. 3 laterals in each valve. Crassatella Lamarck is fossil and not this genus. 
Crassatellites Krueger is believed to be invalid. 

Eucrassatella speciosa h. Adams 1852 Gibb's Clam 

Plate 30Z 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

1V2 to 2/0 inches in length, % as high, heavy, beaks at the center, and 
the shell somewhat diamond-shaped. Concentric sculpture of neat, rather 
heavy, closely packed ridges (about 15 per half inch). Lunule and escutcheon 
sunken, lanceolate in shape and about the same size as each other. Exterior 
with a thin, persistent, nut-brown periostracum. Interior glossy ivory with 
either a tan or pink blush. Moderately common just offshore in sand. C. 
floridana Dall is the same, being based on a young specimen. E. gibbesi 
Tuomey and Holmes 1856 is a synonym. 

Genus CrassineUa Guppy 1874 

Shell small, compressed, subtriangular, and slightly inequivalve. 2 cardi- 
nals in each valve, i anterior lateral in the right valve, i posterior lateral in 
the left valve. 

CrassineUa lunulata Conrad Lunate CrassineUa 

Figure 28k 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to H inch in length, as high, quite compressed, solid, with the tiny, 
closely pressed-together beaks at the middle or slightly toward the anterior 
end. Dorsal margins straight and about 90 degrees to each other, the anterior 
margin slightly longer and with a \\4der sunken area. The valves are pecu- 
liarly askew, so that the posterior dorsal margin of the left valve is more 
obvious than that of the right valve. Concentric sculpture of coarse but well- 
developed ribs (about 15 to 17 plainly visible). Color whitish or pinkish, 
interior commonly brown. Sometimes faintly rayed. A common shell from 
beach to 60 fathoms. 

CrassineUa mactracea Lindsley Lindsley's CrassineUa 

Plate 30b 

Massachusetts Bay to Long Island, New York. 

Almost identical with lunulata from more southern waters, but more 
obese, with a more oval lunule, and generally with a chalky texture to the 

378 American Se ash ells 

shell. Occasionally the ribs are less strongly developed. Common from just 
offshore to 30 fathoms. 

Superfajnily CARDITACEA 


Genus Cardita Bruguiere, 1792 

Shell small, thick, radially ribbed, quadrate, with a slight ventral gape 
and having a byssus. The animal has a marsupium to contain its eggs. Pos- 
terior right cardinal usually absent or almost so. This appears to be the 
accepted use of Cardita according to Winckworth, Chavan, Lamy and Dall. 

Subgenus Carditamera Conrad 1838 

Carditaviera has shells which are more elongate and have strong lateral 

Cardita floridana Conrad Broad-ribbed Cardita 

Plate 30a 

Southern half of Florida and Mexico. 

I to I /4 inches in length, about half as high, elongate, inflated, solid and 
heavy. Surface with about 20 strong, rounded, raised, beaded, radial ribs. 
In live material, the gray periostracum obscures the color of the shell. Ex- 
terior whitish to gray with small bars of chestnut color on the ribs arranged 
in concentric series. Interior white with a small light-brown patch above 
the two muscle scars. Beaks close together. Lunule small, very deeply in- 
dented under the beaks. Ligament moderately large, visible from the out- 
side. Very common on the west coast of Florida where it is washed ashore. 
Used extensively in the jewelry business. 

Cardita gracilis Shuttleworth is doubtfully recorded from Florida but is 
known from Mexico to Puerto Rico. It is quite elongate, narrow at the 
anterior end, with larger, smoothish ribs, and the posterior lateral tooth is 
stained dark-brown. Uncommon. 

The Pacific Coast species is Cardita carpenteri Lamy (pi. 29r) which is 
V'z inch long and ranges from British Columbia to Lower California in shal- 
low to deep water. Its color is brownish gray with a purplish interior. 

Subgenus GJaiis Miihlf eld 1 8 1 1 
Cardita dominguensis Orbigny Domingo Cardita 

North Carolina to southeastern Florida. 

% inch in length, ovate, inflated; beaks close together, pointing toward 


each other, located nearer the anterior end. Lunule narrow, rough, ill- 
defined. Numerous strong radial ribs are weakly beaded. Color whitish with 
a rose tint. Moderately common from i foot to 70 fathoms on sandy bot- 
toms. Compare with the commoner and closely resembling Venericardia 

Genus Venericardia Lamarck 1801 

Shell rounded-trigonal, with strong radial ribs which are commonly 
beaded; internal margins crenulate; right anterior cardinal and laterals absent. 
No byssus made. 

Subgenus Cyclocardia Conrad 1867 
Cyclocardia has whitish shells and a rough periostracum. 

Venericardia borealis Conrad Northern Cardita 

Plate 28t 

Labrador to Cape Hatteras. 

I to i^ inches in height, rounded, obliquely heart-shaped, thick and 
strong; beaks elevated and turned forward. Surface with about 20 rounded, 
moderately rough or beaded, radial ribs. Shell white, usually covered by a 
fairly thick, velvety, rusty-brown periostracum. Lunule small but very deeply 
sunk. Hinge strong; in the left valve the central tooth under the beak is 
large, triangular and curved. Very common on the Grand Banks where it 
serves as a food for fish. 

V. novangliae Morse (Nova Scotia to New York) is similar, but is ovate, 
the length being slightly greater than the height of the shell. It is sometimes 
considered a variety of borealis. 

Venericardia ventricosa Gould Stout Cardita 

Plate 29I 
Puget Sound to Santa Barbara Islands. 

About % inch in length, rounded-trigonal, moderately fat, lunule small; 
with about 1 3 rather wide, radial ribs which are bluntly beaded. Inner mar- 
gins of the valves have prominent, squarish, widely spaced crenulations which 
correspond to the external ribs. There are two other forms, one from Mon- 
terey (stearnsi Dall), the other from Redondo Beach, which are very close, 
but their distinctiveness and proper names are yet to be decided. The latter 
form is V. redondoensis "Burch" P. Morris 1952. C. ventricosa is dredged 
fairly commonly. 


A^jierican Seas he Us 

Subgenus Fleurovieris Conrad 1867 
Venericardia tridentata Say Three-toothed Cardita 

North Carolina to all of Florida. 

V4, inch in length and height, trigonal in shape, inflated, with 15 to 18 
heavily beaded strong radial ribs. Beaks close together, pointing slightly 
forward. Lunule oval, sharply impressed, smoothish. Escutcheon small, nar- 
row. External color grayish brown, sometimes with red-brown mottlings. 
Hinge-teeth often purplish blue. Interior of valve stained with light-brown 
on white background. A common, moderately shallow-water species, usually 
confused with Cardita do77nngiiensis which, however, lacks the strong tri- 
dentate hinge, is ovate in shape, whose ribs are weakly beaded and whose 
beaks point toward each other. 

Venericardia perplana Conrad 

North Carolina to southern half of Florida. 

Flattened Cardita 

Plate 2 81 

^ inch in size, similar to V. borealis but much smaller, without a peri- 
ostracum, pinkish or mottled brown, and more obhque. The ribs are wider, 
and close to each other. The subspecies flabella Conrad from Tampa Bay, 
Florida, has fewer ribs which are squarish and separated by furrows almost 
equal in size to the ribs themselves. V. perplana is common, flabella only 
locally found at certain seasons in few numbers. 

Figure 76. Kelsey's Milner Clam, Milneria kelseyi Dall, Yg to ^ inch (southern 


Kelsey's Milner Clam 

Figure 76 

Genus Milneria Dall 1881 
Milneria kelseyi Dall 

Monterey to Lower California. 

% to ^ inch in length. An extraordinary clam which resembles a tiny 
Brazil nut. The bottom margins of the valves are pushed in to form a small 
cup-shaped hollow. Into this, the females put the 50 or so young whose 


shells are smooth and round. The hollow is covered over by a sheath of peri- 
ostracum. Hinge of adult with large triangular tooth in left valve which fits 
snugly between tM^o smaller ones in the right valve. Found in shallow water 
under stones. External sculpture of scaled ribs and concentric ridges. Color 
light-brown. Shell thick, translucent glaze inside. 

Genus Folymesoda Rafinesque 1820 

Folymesoda caroliniana Bosc Carolina Marsh Clam 

Plate 3obb 

Virginia to north half of Florida and Texas. 

I to I % inches in length, about as high, subtriangular in outline, rather 
obese and with a strong shell. Exterior of smoothish shell is covered with 
a very fuzzy or minutely scaled periostracum which is mostly glossy-brown 
and rather thin. Interior white, rarely stained with purple. Each hinge with 
3 small, almost vertical, equally sized teeth below the beaks and each hinge 
with I anterior and posterior lateral. Ligament external, long, narrow and 
dark-brown. Common at the mouths of rivers where the influence of the 
tides is felt. 

Genus Pseudocyrena Bourguignat 1854 
Pseiidocyrena fioridana Conrad Florida Marsh Clam 

Plate 3oy 

Key West to northern Florida and to Texas. 

I inch in length, quite similar to Folymesoda caroliniana, but more vari- 
able in shape (ovalish to elongate), without the fuzzy periostracum, with its 
beaks never eroded away and with 2 long, slender anterior and posterior 
laterals. Exterior with irregular growth lines, dull dirty-white, commonly 
flushed with purple or pink. Interior white with a wide margin of deep 
purple or entirely purple. Brackish warm water in mud. Common. 


Genus Arctica Schumacher 1817 

(Cyprina Lamarck) 

Arctica islandica Linne Ocean Quahog 

Plate 32f 

Newfoundland to oflF Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. 

3 to 5 inches in length, almost circular in outline, rather strong, porcel- 
laneous, but commonly chalky. Exterior covered with a brown to black, 
rather thick periostracum. The posterior laterals and the absence of a pallial 

382 American Seashells 

sinus will distinguish this clam from the true Quahogs (see Mercenaria 
mercenaria). A common, commercially dredged species found in sandy mud 
from 5 to 80 fathoms. This is the only living species in this family. There 
are numerous fossil species. Also called the Black Clam and Mahogany Clam. 

Genus Coralliophaga Blainville 1824 

Shell cigar-shaped, with the beaks at the anterior end. 3 cardinals in 
each valve, the posterior one extending along the hinge line like a lateral. 
Posterior muscle scar considerably larger than the anterior one. Some work- 
ers have placed this genus in the Petricolidae. 

Coralliophaga coralliophaga Gmelin Coral-boring Clam 

Plate 28p 

West coast of Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

% to I % inches in length, oblong to elongate, and quite thin. Very 
finely sculptured with radial threads. Concentric lamellations present at the 
posterior end. Exterior yellowish white; interior white. This shell is very 
similar in appearance to Lithophaga antillarum, but may be told from it by 
the presence of distinct teeth in the hinge. This is an uncommon species 
which lives in the burrows of other rock-boring mollusks. 

Superfainily DREISSENACEA 


Genus Cojigeria Partsch 1835 

Subgenus Mytilopsis Conrad 1857 

Congeria leucophaeata Conrad Conrad's False Mussel 

New York to Florida to Texas and Mexico. 

V2 to % inch in length, superficially resembling a Mytiliis or Septifer 
because of its mussel-like shape. The Septifer-like shelf at the beak end has 
a tmy, downwardly projecting, triangular tooth on the side facing the long, 
internal ligament. The hinge has a long thin bar under the ligament. Exte- 
rior bluish brown to tan with a thin, somewhat glossy periostracum. Interior 
dirty bluish tan. This common bivalve attaches itself by its short byssus to 
rocks and twigs in clumps which resemble colonies of Mytihis. Found in 
brackish to fresh water near rivers. 


Super jamily LUC IN ACE A 


Genus Diplodonta Bronn 1831 

Shell thin, orbicular and strongly inflated. There are 2 cardinal teeth in 
each valve. The left anterior and right posterior ones are split or bifid. Lat- 
erals obscure or absent. Taras Risso, commonly used in place of the name 
Diplodonta, is a doubtful name which has been recently abandoned. 

Subgenus Diplodonta s. str. 
Diplodonta punctata Say Common Atlantic Diplodon 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to % inch in length, moderately strong, almost orbicular, well-inflated 
and pure-white in color. Smooth near the beaks, elsewhere very finely 
scratched with concentric lines and commonly with distantly spaced, coarse 
growth lines. Fairly common in shallow to deep water. 

Diplodonta orbella Gould Pacific Orb Diplodon 

Alaska to Panama. 

% to I inch in length, almost circular in outline, quite inflated and 
smoothish except for moderately coarse growth lines. Beaks small, pointing 
slightly forward. Ligament posterior to beaks is long, raised and conspicuous. 
2 rather large teeth in each valve below the beaks. Left anterior and right 
posterior teeth split. In many shallow-water localities, this clam builds a 
compact nest of periostracal material and detritus. In its more southerly 
range, specimens are usually more compressed, less orbicular in shape and 
more glossy externally (subspecies subquadrata Carpenter). Alias Taras or- 

Subgenus Phlyctiderma Dall 1899 
Diplodonta semiaspera Philippi Pimpled Diplodon 

North Carohna to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

Rarely over V2 inch in length, similar to D. punctata, but chalky-white 
externally and with numerous concentric rows of microscopic pimples. Mod- 
erately common in sand below low-water mark to 40 fathoms. Alias D. 
granulosa C. B. Adams. 


American Se ash ells 

Genus Thyasira Lamarck 1818 

Shell subglobular and of an earthy texture; umbones directed forward; 
posterior region of valve deeply furrowed; lunule absent; ligament in a 
groove and partly external; hinge without teeth and indented in front of 
the umbo; pallial line without a sinus. 

Thyasira trisinuata Orbigny 

Atlantic Cleft Clam 

Nova Scotia to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to /4 inch in length, oblong, fragile and translucent-white. Hinge 
weak and with only a very long, weak posterior lateral. Posterior slope of 
shell with 2 strong, radial waves or rounded grooves. Moderately common 
in dredgings from 15 to 90 fathoms on sandy bottom, 

Thyasira gouldi Philippi (Labrador to off North Carohna) is similar, but 
only % inch in size, almost round but slightly higher, and with a weak yel- 
lowish periostracum. The hinge lacks teeth. Common offshore to 60 fath- 
oms. Called Gould's Cleft Clam. 

Figure 77. Pacific Cleft Clams, a, Thyasira bis e eta Conrad, i inch (Pacific 
Coast); b and c, Thyasira excavata Dall, % inch (Gulf of California). 

Thyasira bisecta Conrad Pacific Cleft Clam 

Figure 77a 

Alaska to Oregon. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, almost square in side view and moderately 
obese. Characterized by the almost vertical, straight, anterior end which is 
90 degrees to the dorsal margin. Ligament long and narrow and flush with 
the dorsal margin of the shell. There is a deep, prominent radial furrow on 
the exterior running posteriorly from the beaks. Shell chalky-white, com- 


monly with a thin, yellowish gray periostracum. Irregular coarse growth 
hnes present. Uncommon from 4 to 139 fathoms. Closely related to T. dis- 
juncta Gabb, if not that species. 

Genus Li^cina Bruguiere 1797 

Shell orbicular, strong and laterally compressed. Cardinal teeth small, 
obscure in the adults, but the laterals are well-developed. The use of Lucina 
here is based on Anton's designation of pensylvanica Linne as the genotype. 
The genus Linga Gregorio is this genus. 

Subgenus Lucijia s. str. 
Lucina pensylvanica Linne Pennsylvania Lucina 

Plate 38h 
North Carolina to south Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 2 inches in length, ovate, usually quite inflated. Concentric ridges 
very delicate and distinct. Color pure-white with a thin yellowish periostra- 
cum. Lunule heart-shaped, well-marked and raised at the center. The fur- 
row from the beak to the posterior ventral edge of the valve is very pro- 
nounced. Beachworm specimens become smooth and shiny-white. The 
species name was incorrectly spelled by Linne. Moderately common in shal- 
low water. 

Subgenus Here Gabb 1866 
Lucina sonibrereiisis Dall Sombrero Lucina 

Figure 78b 
Southern Florida. 

^4 inch in length, oval, greatly inflated and pure white in color. No 
radial sculpture. Concentric riblets numerous, sharp and irregularly crowded. 
Concentric growth irregularities commonly make the outer surface wavy. 
Commonly dredged off Miami from 20 to 90 fathoms. 

Subgenus Bellucina Dall 1901 
Lucina aiitiaiitus Dall Lovely Miniature Lucina 

Figure 78c 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

% to % inch in length, not quite so high, quite obese, thick-shelled, pure- 
white in color and beautifully sculptured with 8 to 9 wide, rounded, radial 
ribs across which run numerous, small concentric riblets. Near the posterior 
upper margin of the shell there is a radial row of about 8 to 1 1 small, scale- 


Avierican Seas hells 

like nodes. Behind the tiny, curved beaks there is an ovalish, heart-shaped 
depression. Internal margin of valves strongly crenulated with tiny teeth. 
Adults are commonly misshapen by concentric growth stops. Common from 
shallow water to 68 fathoms. Compare with L. multilineata. 

Figure 78. American Lucinas. ATLANTIC: a, Fhacoides fllosiis Stimpson, i to 
3 inches; b, Liicina soffibrerensis Dall, Y^ inch; c, Liicina amiantus Dall, % inch; 
d and e, Lucina leiicocyvia Dall, 34 inch; f, Liicina multilineata Tourney and 
Holmes, % inch. PACIFIC: g, Lucina approxiinata Dall, ^ inch; h, Liicina tenui- 

sculpta Cpr., % inch. 

Subgenus Farvilucina Dall 1901 
Lucina multilineata Tuomey and Holmes 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida. 

% to ^/4 inch in length, almost circular in shape, very obese, moderately 

Many-lined Lucina 

Figure ySf 


thick-shelled, white, and very finely sculptured. Somewhat like L. amiantus, 
but without radial ribs, except for exceedingly fine threads seen best near 
the beaks. Concentric sculpture of numerous, rather irregular, growth 
threads. The shell commonly continues growth after a long rest, thus caus- 
ing an irregular, concentric hump in the shell. Inner margin very finely 
denticulate. P. crenella Dall is the same species. Common from beach to 
1 20 fathoms. 

Lucina tenuisculpta Carpenter Fine-lined Lucina 

Figure ySh 

Bering Sea to Lower California. 

V2 inch in length, slightly less in height, oval in outline, chalky-white 
and with a thin, grayish or yellowish green periostracum. Sculpture of nu- 
merous, small, weak, raised, radial threads. Concentric growth lines fine and 
irregularly placed. Beaks fairly prominent and pressed closely together. Be- 
hind them, the narrow, depressed ligament is visible from the outside. In 
front is the small, heart-shaped, depressed lunule. Inner margin of valves 
finely toothed. Common just offshore. 

Lucina approximata Dall Approximate Lucina 

Figure ySg 

Monterey, California, to Panama. 

M inch or less in size. Very similar to tenuisculpta, but smaller, almost 
round in outline, more inflated and with fewer and quite strong, radial rib- 
lets. Periostracum very thin, commonly worn off. Shell texture less chalky. 
Common in sandy mud just offshore to 48 fathoms. 

Subgenus Fleurolucina Dall 1901 
Lucina leucocyma Dall Four-ribbed Lucina 

Figure ySd, e 

North CaroHna to southeast Florida and the Bahamas. 

Vi inch in length, roughly oval, fairly thick-shelled, inflated and white 
in color. With 4 conspicuous, large, rounded, radial ribs, and with numerous, 
small, crowded, squarish, concentric riblets. The inner margins of the valves 
are finely denticulate. A common, bizarrely sculptured species found from 
low water to several fathoms. 

Subgenus Fseudomiltha P. Fischer 1885 
Lucina floridana Conrad Florida Lucina 

Plates 38i, 3oaa 

West coast of Florida to Texas. 

388 American Seashells 

1/4 inches in length, almost circular, compressed, smoothish, except for 
a few weak, irregular growth lines. Pure-white with a dull- whitish, flaky 
periostracum. The beaks point forward, and in front of them there is a deep, 
small pit. Hinge plate fairly wide and strong, but the teeth are weakly de- 
fined. Moderately common in shallow water to a few fathoms. 

Genus Phacoides Gray 1847 

Shell orbicular, quite compressed. Sculpture mostly concentric. Cardi- 
nal teeth obsolete in adults, but the laterals are well-developed. Phacoides 
Blainville is the same but is not considered valid. Dentilucina Fischer is the 

Subgenus Phacoides s. str. 

Phacoides pectinatus Gmelin Thick Lucina 

Plate 38g 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

I to iVo inches in length, ovate, compressed, white or flushed with 
bright-orange. Concentric ridges moderately sharp, usually unequally spaced. 
Ligament partially visible from the outside. Lunule strongly raised into a 
rather thin, rough blade. Anterior and posterior lateral tooth strong. Cardi- 
nals very weak. Moderately common in shallow water. Alias Lucina ja- 
maicensis Lamarck. Do not confuse with P. filosus. 

Subgenus Lucinisca Dall 1901 
Phacoides nassula Conrad Woven Lucina 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the Bahamas. 

V^ inch in length, almost circular, inflated, strong and pure white. Sculp- 
ture of strong, closely spaced, concentric and radial ribs. These form a 
reticulate, rough surface. Where the ribs cross each other there is a tiny, 
raised scale. The ventral margin of the valve is strongly beaded by the distal 
ends of the axial riblets. Common in shallow water to 100 fathoms. 

Phacoides rmttalli Conrad Nuttall's Lucina 

Plate 3ig 

Santa Barbara, California, to Manzanillo, Mexico. 

I inch in length, circular, moderately inflated and with a fine, sharp, 
cancellate sculpturing. The shell is divided off^ at the anterior and upper 
portion into a slightly more compressed region which is less sculptured con- 
centrically. Lunule very deep, short and larger in the left valve. Moderately 
common offshore in sand. 


The subspecies centrifuga Dall, from Lower California, has stronger and 
distantly spaced, concentric, raised lines. 

Subgenus Lucinoma Dall 1901 
Fhacotdes filosus Stimpson Northeast Lucina 

Plate 38); figure 78a 

Newfoundland to north Florida and the Gulf States. 

1 to 3 inches in length (south of North Carolina rarely over i ^ inches) , 
almost circular, compressed, white, with a thin, yellowish periostracum. 
Beaks small, close together and centrally located. Sculpture of sharp, raised, 
thin, concentric ridges each about % inch apart. The young commonly lack 
these ridges. No anterior lateral tooth present. Common offshore. Do not 
confuse with pectinatiis which has a strong anterior lateral tooth, is tinted 
inside with orange and whose concentric ridges are unevenly spaced. 

Phacoides annulatus Reeve Western Ringed Lucina 

Figure 28f 

Alaska to southern California. 

2 to 2% inches in length, oval to circular and slightly inflated. With 
strongly raised, concentric threads about Viq inch apart. Shell chalky-gray 
to white, overlaid by a thin, greenish-brown periostracum. Fairly commonly 
dredged from 8 to 75 fathoms. The Tertiary fossil species acutilineatus Con- 
rad may be the same. 

Genus Anodontia Link 1807 

Shell large, obese, fairly thin and subcircular in outline. Hinge without 
distinct teeth. Anterior muscle scar long and parallels the pallial line. 

Anodontia alba Link Buttercup Lucina 

Plate 38f 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf States and West Indies. 

1% to 2 inches in length, oval to circular, inflated and fairly strong. 
Hinge with very weak teeth, the posterior lateral being the most distinct. 
Exterior dull-white with weak, irregular concentric growth Hues. Interior 
with a strong blush of yellowish orange. A common species used in the 
shellcraft business. This is Lucina chrysostoma Philippi. 

Anodontia pbilippiana Reeve Chalky Buttercup 

Plate 386 

North Carolina to east Florida, Cuba and Bermuda. 

390 American Seashells 

2 to 4 inches in length, very similar to A. alba, but with a more chalky 
shell, never with orange color, interior usually pustulose, and the long, an- 
terior muscle scar juts away from the pallial line at an angle of about 30 
degrees instead of paralleling it as in alba. An uncommon species, commonly 
confused with alba. It lives down to 50 fathoms but at times is washed ashore. 
A, schrammi Crosse is this species. 

Genus Codakia Scopoli 1777 

Shell large, orbicular, moderately compressed. Hinge of right valve with 
a prominent anterior lateral which is typically close to the cardinals (an an- 
terior, a posterior and a middle cardinal). Hinge of left valve with a large 
double anterior lateral, only 2 cardinals, and with a small, double posterior 

Subgenus Codakia s. str. 
Codakia orbicularis Linne Tiger Lucina 

Plate 38d 

Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

2 % to 3 % inches in length, slightly less in height, well-compressed, more 
or less orbicular in outline, thick and strong. Beaks and /4 inch of subsequent 
growth smoothish. Remainder of the shell roughly sculptured by numerous 
coarse radial threads which are crossed by finer concentric threads. This 
commonly gives the radial ribs a beaded appearance. Exterior white. Inte- 
rior white to pale-lemon, commonly with a rose tinge on the ends of the 
hinge or along the margins of the valves. Lunule jusf in front of the beaks 
is deep, heart-shaped, small and nearly all on the right valve. A common trop- 
ical species. Do not confuse with C. orbiculata. 

Codakia costata Orbigny Costate Lucina 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length, variable in shape, but usually orbicular, quite obese, 
white to yellowish in color. With fine radial ribs, usually in pairs which are 
crossed by very fine concentric threads. Beaks also* with this sculpturing. 
Lunule small, indistinct, lanceolate, slightly more on the right valve. Com- 
pare its poorly defined lunule with those of orbicidaris and orbiculata. Mod- 
erately common offshore on sandy bottoms. 

Subgenus Epilucina Dall 1901 
Codakia californica Conrad Californian Lucina 

Plate 31C 

Crescent City, California, to Lower California. 


I to I K Inches In length, oval to circular, moderately inflated. Exterior 
dull-white with numerous, crowded, rather distinct, but small, concentric 
threads. Lunule of right valve like a small, depressed, lanceolate shield which 
fits snugly into a similarly shaped recess in the left valve. A common Httoral 
species in southern California and down to 78 fathoms. Do not confuse with 
large specimens of Diplodonta. 

Subgenus Ctena Morch i860 
Codakia orbicidata Montagu Dwarf Tiger Lucina 

Plate 30I 

North Carolina to the south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I inch or less in length, very similar to orbicularis^ but with a large, 
elongate lunule in front of the beaks (instead of small and heart-shaped), and 
with stronger, less numerous, commonly divaricate ribs which are noticeable 
right up to the ends of the beaks. This species is much fatter and never has 
pink coloring inside. Common in sand from low water to 100 fathoms. 

The form filiata Dall has finer sculpturing much like orbicidaris, is often 
yellowish in color, but can be readily distinguished from the latter by its 
elongate lunule. Common in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Genus Divaricella von Martens 1880 
Divaricella quadrisidcata Orbigny Cross-hatched Lucina 

Plate 30m 

Massachusetts to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to I inch in length, almost circular, moderately inflated, and glossy- 
white in color. Sculpture of fine, criss-cross or divaricate, impressed lines. 
Inner margin minutely impressed. A very common species washed ashore on 
sandy beaches. It is used extensively in the shellcraft business. D. dentata 
Wood from the West Indies is very similar, but its inner margin is smooth. 


a. Shell equivalve, with a distinct lunule; radial rows of spines .... 


aa. Shell very Inequivalve; no lunule: 

b. Umbones turning from right to left; attached by left valve Chama 
bb. Umbones turning from left to right; attached by the right valve 


American Seashells 

Genus Chmna Linne 1758 
Chama vmcerophylla Gmelin Leafy Jewel Box 

Plate 37b-, figure 79b 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

This is the most common and most brightly hued Atlantic species. In 
quiet waters it may develop spine-like foliations to such an extent that it 
resembles the Spiny Oyster, Spondylus. Exterior variously colored: lemon- 
yellow, reddish brown, deep- to dull-purple, orange, white, or a combination 
of these colors. Inner edges of the valves have tiny, axial ridges or crenula- 
tions. The scale-like fronds have minute radial lines. Compare with sinuosa. 

Figure 79, Atlantic Chamas. Diagrammatic drawings of the deep valves, showing 
direction of growth and the juncture of the pallial line and muscle scars, a, Chmiia 
sinuosa Broderip; b, Chama inacerophylla Gmelin; c, Fseiidochama radians 


Chama congregata Conrad Little Corrugated Jewel Box 

Plate 37d 
North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

Rarely over i inch in size. This species closely resembles the common 
J77acerophylla, but in place of numerous foliations there are low axial corru- 
gations or wavy cords. The unattached valve may have a few short, flat 
spines. There are fine crenulations on the inner margins of the valves. The 
color is usually dull with darker specklings. In rocky areas they live in crev- 
ices and under stones. Commonly found attached to pen and ark shells. 

Chama sinuosa Broderip White Smooth-edged Jewel Box 

Figure 79a 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 3 inches in size. The color is always whitish, although the interior 
may be stained with dull-green. There are no crenulations on the inner edges 


of the valves. The paUial Hne runs directly to the anterior muscle scar and 
not past the end as in the other species. This is a reef species. An ecological 
variety of heavy shell has been named fir7na Pilsbry and McGinty 1938. 

Chama pellucida Broderip Clear Jevv^el Box 

Plate 37a 

Oregon to Chile. 

I /4 to 3 inches in size, with frond-like, smoothish foliations. Color 
opaque to translucent-white. Interior chalk-white, the margins minutely 
toothed or crenulate. Commonly found attached to pilings, breakwaters and 
floating wood. Also dredged down to 25 fathoms. 

Genus Pseiidochama Odhner 191 7 

These are mirror images of the chamas. According to Odhner, the anat- 
omy and prodissoconchs differ in the two genera. 

Fseudocha77ia radia?js Lamarck Atlantic Left-handed Jewel Box 

Plate 37c; figure 79c 

Southern Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 3 inches in size. This is the only species of Fsendochama in eastern 
America. It is not very colorful, and ranges from a dull-white to a dull 
purplish red. The interior is commonly stained with mahogany-brown. 
Crenulations are present on the inner edges of the valves. In shape, it is a 
mirror image of simwsa. P. ferriiginea Reeve is considered a synonym. 

Pseudo chama exogyra Conrad Pacific Left-handed Jewel Box 

Oregon to Panama. 

Similar to pellucida, but attached by the right valve which, when viewed 
from the inside, is arched counterclockwise. The opaque whitish area inside 
is generally not bordered by tiny crenulations. A common intertidal species. 

Pseudochavia echinata Broderip in the Gulf of California is a popular 
shell which is characterized by a watermelon-red hinge and purple-stained 

Pseudochama grajiti Strong (Grant's Chama), dredged off central Cali- 
fornia and Catalina Island, is about i inch in size, with prickly spines on the 
underside of the attached, cup-formed valve. One end of the valve is tinted 
with rose inside and out. Not common. 

394 American Seashells 

Genus Echinochama P. Fischer 1887 
Echinochmna cornuta Conrad Florida Spiny Jewel Box 

Plate 37g 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida to Texas. 

I to I % inches in length, quadrate in outHne and rather obese and heavy. 
Lunule distinct and broadly heart-shaped. With 7 to 9 rows of moderately 
long, stoutish spines, between which the shell is grossly pitted. Exterior 
creamy-white; interior white or flushed with bright pinkish mauve. Attached 
to a small pebble or broken shell by the right valve. Common from 3 to 
40 fathoms, and commonly washed ashore. 

Echinochama arcinella Linne (True Spiny Jewel Box, pi. 37h) from the 
West Indies to Brazil has 16 to 35 (commonly 20) radial rows of slender 
spines. The shell is not as obese nor as heavy as cornuta. The subspecies 
calif orjiica Dall (pi. 37e) is very similar, with slightly longer spines and with 
a more compressed shell. It ranges from the Gulf of CaHfornia to Panama 
in offshore water. 

Superfamily LEPTONACEA 

A group of small, fragile, inflated, translucent clams which are parasitic 
or commensal on other marine creatures or are active crawlers like the gastro- 
pods. Most species brood their young inside the mantle cavity. The family 
is also named Erycinidae and Kelliidae. 

Genus Kellia Turton 1822 

Shell unsculptured, inflated and oval-oblong. Lateral teeth present. 
2 cardinal teeth in the right valve. 

Kellia laperousi Deshayes La Perouse's Lepton 

Alaska to Panama. 

% to I inch in length, oval-oblong, rather obese and with small beaks 
near the center. Shell fairly strong, chalk-white, but commonly covered 
with a smooth, glossy, greenish to yellowish-brown periostracum which, 
however, is commonly worn away in the beak area. Very common. Found 
attached to wharf pilings among mussels and chama shells. 

Genus Lasaea Brown 1827 
Shell very small, beaks nearer one end. Teeth the same as in Kellia. 


Lasaea cistula Keen Little Box Lepton 

Southern half of California to Peru. 

Me of an inch in length (one of the smallest of our American clams), 
oval-oblong to quadrate, with one end slightly more rounded. Beaks slightly- 
nearer the posterior end. Shell very obese to moderately inflated. Color 
lis^ht-tan with dark carmine around the dorsal margin area, and commonly 
blushed on the sides with light-carmine. Coarse, concentric growth lines, 
especially in the adults. Periostracum thin and yellowish tan. Found nestled 
together in great numbers attached to seaweed holdfasts and among mussels. 

Lasaea subviridis Dall (British Columbia and south) is much more com- 
pressed, smoother, with smaller beaks, but otherwise similar to cistula. Com- 

Genus Pseiidopyth'ina P. Fischer 1884 

Shell small and quadrangular. Lateral teeth absent; i cardinal tooth in 
each valve. 

Fseudopythina rugifera Carpenter Wrinkled Lepton 

Figure 80a 

Alaska to Lower California. 

% to % inch in length, oval-oblong, moderately obese, fairly fragile, 
beaks close together and located about the middle of the shell. Shell white, 
but in live specimens covered with a thin, light-brown, semi-glossy periostra- 
cum which is feebly and concentrically wrinkled. The ventral edge of the 
valves is slightly indented in the middle in some specimens. May be found 
attached to crustaceans and the sea mouse, Aphrodita, or be free. 

Vseiidopythwa compressa Dall (Alaska to Mexico, the Compressed Lep- 
ton) is similar in size and outline, but is considerably compressed (thinner), 
smoothly polished in the beak area and with much less periostracum. Com- 

Genus My sella Angas 1877 

Two cardinal teeth in the right valve, none in the left. Rochefortia 
Velain is this genus but a later name by several months. 

My sella planulata Stimpson Atlantic Flat Lepton 

Nova Scotia to Texas and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, oval-oblong in side view, well-compressed, and fairly 


American Seas hells 

fragile. Beaks small, % the distance back from the anterior end. Dorsal mar- 
gin of valves pushed in, both in front and back of the beaks. There is no 
thickening of the hinge line directly below the beaks. Color white, with 
a thin, nut-brown, smoothish periostracum. Moderately common attached 
to buoys, eel-grass and wharf pilings. 

Figure 8o. Pacific Lepton Clams, a, Fsendopythhia rugifera Cpr., % inch, at- 
tached to the underside of a crawfish; b, Mysella tmnida Cpr., % inch; c, animal 
of the clam, Bortiia longipes Stimpson, ^ inch (Carolinas). 

Mysella golischt Dall 

Southern third of California. 

Golisch's Lepton 

/4 inch in length, oval-oblong in side view, moderately compressed and 
rather fragile. Beaks small, % the distance back from the anterior end. The 
dorsal margin of the valve is pushed in slightly just anterior to the beak. 
Shell white, semi-transparent, with its glossy exterior having irregular, con- 
centric wrinkles. In live specimens, there is a thin yellowish brown periostra- 
cum. These clams are found attached to the gills or legs of the large sand 
crab, Blepharopoda occidentalis. Common, M. pedroaiia Dall, known from 


a single specimen, is much more oblique in shape, resembling the equally rare 
Erycina jernmidina Dall from off Florida. 

My sella tu77tida Carpenter Fat Pacific Lepton 

Figure Sob 

Alaska to Lower California. 

Vq to %6 of an inch in length, moderately compressed, somewhat tri- 
angular in shape. The tiny beaks are almost at the very posterior end. Shell 
dull-white, but commonly covered with a light-brown, smoothish periostra- 
cum which is faintly marked with concentric, microscopic wrinkles. The 
hinge teeth are large in comparison to those in other species. Common from 
low water to 99 fathoms. Has been found in duck stomachs. 

Superfamily CARDIACEA 



Genus Trachycardium Morch 1853 

Trachycardium muricatum Linne Yellow Cockle 

Plate 39P 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

2 inches in height, subcircular, with 30 to 40 moderately scaled, radiating 
ribs. Externally light-cream with irregular patches of brownish red or shades 
of yellow. Interior commonly white, rarely yellow-tinted especially in Flor- 
ida. A very common, shallow-water species. Compare with eginontianum 
and magnum which are both more elongate. 

Trachycardium egmontianum Shuttle worth Prickly Cockle 

Plate 39-0 

North Carolina to south Florida and the West Indies. 

2 inches in height, with 27 to 31 strong, prickly, radial ribs. Externally 
whitish to tawny-gray with odd patches of weak yellow, brown or dull- 
purple. Interior glossy, commonly brightly hued with salmon, reddish and 
purple. Do not confuse with muricatum which is more oval, has more ribs 
which are not sharply scaled at the center of the shell and is commonly only 
yellowish inside. A common shallow-water species, especially on the Gulf 
side of Florida. 

Trachycardium isocardia Linne from the West Indies has larger and 
slightly different scales, 32 to 37 ribs and has not been recorded from Florida. 

Trachycardium magnum Linne Magnum Cockle 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

398 American Seashells 

2 to 3/4 inches in height, elongate, with 32 to 35 mostly smooth ribs. 
The ribs at the posterior end have small, tooth-like scales. Middle ribs com- 
pletely smooth and squarish. Externally light-cream with irregular patches 
of reddish brown. Interior china-white with the deepest part flushed with 
orange-buff. As a rule, the posterior margin is pale-yellow, merging into 
pale-purple at the extreme edge. A West Indian species which has been 
found on the most southerly keys. 

Tr achy car dium quadra genariurn Conrad Giant Pacific Cockle 

Plate 31a 

Santa Barbara to Lower California. 

3 to 6 inches in size, commonly slightly higher than long, inflated, and 
with 41 to 44 strong, closely set, squarish, radial ribs which bear small, up- 
right, strong, triangular spines, especially at the anterior, posterior and ventral 
portions of the shell. Ribs on beaks smoothish. Exterior whitish tan, but 
commonly covered with a thin, opaque-brown periostracum. Interior dull- 
white. Moderately common from shore to 75 fathoms. Known locally as 
the Spiny Cockle. 

Genus Papyridea Swainson 1840 
Papyridea soleniformis Bruguiere Spiny Paper Cockle 

Plate 39n 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 1% inches in length, fairly fragile, moderately compressed, and 
gaping posteriorly where the margin of the valve is strongly denticulated 
by the ends of the dozen radial, finely spinose ribs. Exterior tawny with 
rose flecks or mottlings. Interior glossy, mottled with violet and white, 
rarely a solid pastel-orange. Moderately common from low tide to several 
fathoms. The name hiatus Meuschen used for this species in ]olmsonia is 
not valid (ruled non-binomial). 

A similar species, P. semisulcata Sowerby (Frilled Paper Cockle, pi. 32c) 
found from low water to 40 fathoms from southern Florida to the West 
Indies, is less than y-> inch in length, white, twice as fat, and with longer 
denticulations at the end of the 12 to 15 radial ribs. Uncommon, except off 
Miami where it is commonly dredged. 

Subjamily FRAGINAE 
Genus Trig07iwcardia Dall 1900 

Trigojiiocardia media Linnc Atlantic Strawberry Cockle 

Plate 39m 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 


I to 2 inches in size, squarish in outline, thick, inflated, with 33 to 36 
strong radial ribs which are covered with close-set, chevron-shaped plates. 
External color whitish with mottlings of reddish brown. Interior usually 
white, or may be flushed with orange, rose-brown or purple. The posterior 
slope is pushed in somewhat and is slightly concave. A relatively common 
species found in shallow to moderately deep water. 

The Western Strawberry Cockle, T. biangiilata Sowerby, is the Cali- 
fornian counterpart of the above species. It is iVi inches in length, with 
about 30 strong ribs; exterior yellowish white, interior reddish purple. 
Moderately common. 

Genus Nemocardium Meek 1876 

Nemocardhnn centifilomin Carpenter Hundred-lined Cockle 

Alaska to Lower California. 

% to % inch in length, almost circular; posterior third of shell with 
cancellate sculpturing and separated from the finely ribbed anterior two 
thirds of the shell by a single raised rib. Edge minutely serrate. Exterior 
with gray, greenish gray or brownish gray, thin, fuzzy periostracum. In- 
terior dull- white. Fairly common. 

Genus Microcardiwn Thiele 1934 

Microcardiwn peramabile Dall Eastern Micro-cockle 

Rhode Island to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to % inch in length, thin, inflated, subquadrate, white, but may be 
mottled tan on the anterior slope. Sculpture prominent on the posterior 
third of the valve. It consists of about 90 closely packed, radial ribs (spinose 
posteriorly) which are crossed by minute concentric threads. The anterior 
two thirds is separated from the rest of the shell by a single, crested, spinose, 
radial rib. Very commonly dredged off eastern Florida. 

Microcardium tinctu?n Dall, found with the above species, is % inch 
in length, stained with rose-red and has more than 150 minute, radial ribs. 

Genus Laevicardimn Swainson 1840 

Laevicardium laevigatum Linne Common Egg Cockle 

Plate 39k 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

400 American Seas he lis 

I to 2 inches in size, higher than long, poHshed smooth, inflated, fairly 
thin and obscurely ribbed. Exterior generally whitish, but may be rose-tinted, 
mottled with brown or flushed with purple, yellow or burnt-orange. Interior 
similarly colored. With about 60 very fine, subdued radial ribs. A common 
shallow-water species. The name serratiim Linne has been erroneously ap- 
plied to our Atlantic species by some workers. 

Laevicardium vtortoni Conrad Morton's Egg Cockle 

Plate 39I 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 

% to I inch in size, ovate, glossy, similar to laevigatum, but commonly 
with brown, zigzag markings and with fine, concentric ridges which are 
minutely pimpled. Common in southern New England from shallow water 
to 2 fathoms. A food of wild ducks. 

Laevicardium pictmn Ravenel Ravenel's Egg Cockle 

South Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to I inch in height, obliquely triangular in shape, polished and only 
moderately inflated. Exterior white or cream with delicate shades or rose 
or brown and with a weak, iridescent sheen. A color form has strong, 
brown, zigzag streaks. Beaks very low and near the anterior end. Very 
faint radial and concentric lines present. Dredged from 75 to 85 fathoms. 
An uncommon and attractive species. 

Laevicardium sybariticum Dall 1886 (Dall's Egg Cockle, rare, same 
range), is more inflated, squarish in shape and with deep-pink breaks. 

Laevicardium substriatum Conrad Common Pacific Egg Cockle 

Ventura County, California, to the Gulf of California. 

Less than i inch in size, obliquely ovate, smooth and slightly compressed. 
Color tan with closely set, narrow, radial bands of reddish brown. These 
lines are commonly interrupted. Interior cream with cobwebby mottlings 
of purplish brown. Very common in such localities as Mission Bay and New- 

Laevicardium elatum Sowerby Giant Pacific Egg Cockle 

San Pedro, California, to Panama. 

3 to 7 inches in height, oval, inflated, slightly oblique, with numerous, 
shallow, radial grooves, but the posterior and anterior regions are smooth. 


Exterior orange-yellow; interior china-white. This is the largest species of 
recent cockles and is moderately common. 

Genus Dinocardium Dall 1900 
Dinocardiu77t robustum Solander Giant Atlantic Cockle 

Plate 32a 

Virginia to north Florida, Texas and Mexico. 

3 to 4 inches in size, ovate, inflated, with 32 to 36 rounded, radial, 
smoothish ribs. Externally straw-yellow with its posterior slope mahogany- 
red shading toward purple near the edge. Interior rose, with brownish 
posteriorly and with a white anterior margin. This is the large, common 
cockle washed ashore along the Carolina and Georgia strands. It is not found 
in southwest Florida. 

When the Florida Canal project was begun in 1935, President F. D. 
Roosevelt was presented with a large silver platter on which was set a 
specimen of Di7iocardium, encased in gold and containing a portion of the 
first earth excavated as a result of the blast set off by the President. The 
canal was never completed. 

Dinocardium robustwit vanhyningi Clench and L. C. Smith 

Vanhyning's Cockle 

Plate 32b 

Tampa Bay to Cape Sable, Florida. 

3% to 5 inches in size, higher than long, with 32 to 36, smoothish, 
rounded, radial ribs. Externally straw-yellow with irregular patches and 
bands of mahogany-red to purplish brown. It is more elongate, glossier and 
more colorful than robustum, and is the common, large cockle on the west 
coast of Florida. They are popular souvenirs, being used for ash trays, 
melted-butter dishes, baking dishes and for holding pincushions. 

Genus Serripes Gould 1841 

There is only one species of this peculiar genus of cockles in North 
American waters. The hinge is narrow, the cardinal teeth weak, and the 
ligament is large. The radial ribs are very weak. 

Serripes groenlandiczis Bruguiere Greenland Cockle 

Plate 32d 

Arctic Seas to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Alaska to Puget Sound, Wash- 

2 to 4 inches in length, moderately thin bur strong, inflated, almost 

Plate 33 

a. Tryon's Scallop, Aequipecten glyptiis Verrill, 2% inches (Massachusetts 

to the Gulf of Mexico), p. 366. 

b. Lion's Paw, Lyropecten nodosiis L., 5 inches (North Carolina to the West 

Indies), p. 366. 

c. Atlantic Deepsea Scallop, Flacopecten magellanicus Gmelin, 8 inches (Lab- 

rador to off North Carolina), p. 366. 

d. Zigzag Scallop, Pecten ziczac L., 3 inches (North Carolina to the West 

Indies), p. 362. 

e. San Diego Scallop, Pecten diegensis Dall, 3 inches (California), p. 361. 

f. Laurentian Scallop, Pecten laiirenti Gmelin, 3 inches (West Indies), p. 362. 

g. Ravenel's Scallop, Pecten raveneli Dall, i % inches (North Carolina to Texas 

and the West Indies), p. 362. 

h. Circular Pacific Scallop, Aeqidpecte?j circidaris Sby., 2% inches (Pacific 
side of Central America), not in text. 

i. Atlantic Bay Scallop, Aequipecten irradians irradians Lam., 3 inches (At- 
lantic Coast), p. 367. 

j. Calico Scallop, Aequipecten gibbus L., 1% inches (North Carolina to West 
Indies), p. 368. 

Plate 34 

a. Sentis Scallop, Chlamys sentis Reeve, 1 inch (North Carolina to the 

West Indies), p. 363. 

b. Ornate Scallop, Chlamys ornata Lam., 1 inch (Southeastern Florida 

and West Indies), p. 363. 

c. Mildred's Scallop, Chlamys mildredae F. M. Bayer, 1 inch. Holotype 

(Florida and Bermuda), p. 363. 

d. and e. Rough Scallop, Aequipecten miiscosus Wood, e. is a large, 

worn specimen. 1 inch (Southeastern United States and the West 
Indies), p. 367. 

f. Little Knobby Scallop, Chlamys imbricata Gmelin, 1 inch (South- 

eastern Florida and the West Indies), p. 364. 

g. Antillean Scallop, Lyropecten antillariim Recluz, Y2 inch (South- 

eastern Florida and the West Indies), p. 366. 

h. Nucleus Scallop, Aequipecten nucleus Born, 1 inch (Southeastern 
Florida and the West Indies), p. 368. 

i. Kelp-weed Scallop, Leptopecten latiauratus Conrad, 1 inch (Califor- 
nia), p. 365. 

j. Pacific Spear Scallop, Chlamys hastata hastata Sby., 2 inches (Cali- 
fornia), p. 364, 

k. Pacific Pink Scallop, Chlamys hastata hericia Gould, 2 inches (Alaska 
to San Diego, California), p. 364. 

1. Hind's Scallop, Chlamys hindsi Dall, 2 inches (Alaska to San Diego, 
California), p. 365. 






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Plate 35 

a. Lister's Tree Oyster, Isognomon radiatus Anton, l]/^ inches (South- 

eastern Florida and the West Indies), p. 358. 

b. Flat Tree Oyster, Isognomon alatiis Gmelin, 2^^ inches (Florida and 

West Indies), p. 358. 

c. Atlantic Pearl Oyster, Pinctada radiata Leach, 2 inches (Florida and 

West Indies), p. 359. 

d. Atlantic Wing Oyster, Pteria colymbns Roding, 2 inches (North 

Carolina to West Indies), p. 359. 

e. Kitten's Paw, Plicatula gibbosa Lam., 1 inch (North Carolina to Gulf 

States and south), p. 361. 
£. Rough Lima, Lima scabra Born, 2 inches (Southeastern Florida and the 

West Indies), p. 370. 
g. Spiny Lima, Lima lima L., l}/^ inches (Southeastern Florida and the 

West Indies), p. 370. 
h. Rough Lima, Lima scabra Born, smooth form tenera Sby., 2 inches 

(Southeastern Florida and W^est Indies), p. 371. 
i. Yellow Mussel, Brack idontes citrinus Roding, 1 inch (Florida and 

West Indies), p. 352. 
j. Scorched Mussel, Brachidontes exnstus L., ^ inch (North Carolina to 

the West Indies), p. 352. 
k. Common Jingle Shell, Anomia simplex Orbigny, 1 inch (Atlantic 

Coast), p. 372. 
1. Tulip Mussel, Modiolus americanus Leach, 3 inches (North Carolina 

to the West Indies), p. 351. 
m. Blue Mussel, Mytilus edulis L., 2^^ inches (Arctic to South Carolina), 

p. 354. 
n. Hooked Mussel, Brachidontes recurvus Raf., 2 inches (Cape Cod to 

West Indies), p. 353. 
o. Living Lima Clam, Lima scabra Born, showing the delicate tentacles 

along the mantle edge which aid this clam in swimming (South- 
eastern Florida and West Indies), p. 370. 


Plate 36 

a. Pacific Thorny Oyster, Spondylus pictorum Schreiber, 5 inches (Gulf 

of California to Panama), p. 370. 

b. Atlantic Thorny Oyster, Spondylus amencanus Hermann 3 to 4 

inches. Comes in many colors. Specimen rom the Leo burr) 
collection. (Florida and the West Indies), p. 3b9. 

Plate 37 

a. Clear Jewel Box, Chama pellucida Biod., 2 inches (Oregon to Chili), 

p. 393. 

b. Leafy Jewel Box, Chama macerophylla Gmelin, tYi inches (North 

Carolina to the West Indies), p. 392. 

c. Atlantic Left-handed Jewel Box, Pseudochama radians Lam., 3 inches 

(Southern Florida and the West Indies), p. 393. 

d. Little Corrugated Jewel Box, Chaina congregata Conrad, 1 inch 

(North Carolina to the West Indies), p. 392. 

e. California Spiny Jewel Box, Echinochaiua arcinella californica Dall, 

Holotype. 2 inches (off Lower California to Panama), p. 394. 

f. Cherry Jewel Box, Chama florida Lam., 1 inch (West Indies), 

not in text. 

g. Florida Spiny Jewel Box, Echinochama cornuta Conrad, I inch (North 

Carolina to Texas), p. 394. 
h. True Spiny Jewel Box, Echinochama arcinella L., XYi inches (West 
Indies to Brazil), p. 394. 

Plate 38 

a. Honeycombed Oyster, Pycnodonta hyotis L., ^Yj inches (Florida and 

West Indies), p. 374. 

b. Atlantic False Jingle Shell, Pododesnnis rudis Broderip, 2 inclies 

(North Carolina, south), p. 372. 

c. Coon Oyster, Ostrea frous L., 2 inches a, b and c are from a sunken 

wreck off Miami. Gift of Ethel Townsend (Florida, south), p. 373. 

d. Tiger Lucina, Codakia orbicularis L., 3 inches (Gulf coast and West 

Indies), p. 390. 

e. Chalky Buttercup, Anodontia pJiilippiaiia Reeve, 3 inches (North 

Carolina to Cuba), p. 389. 

f. Buttercup Lucina, Anodontia alba Link, 2 inches (North Carolina to 

Texas and West Indies), p. 389. 

g. Thick Lucina, Phacoides pectinatus Gmelin, 2 inches (North Carolina 

to Texas and West Indies), p. 388. 
h. Pennsylvania Lucina, Lucina pennsylvanica L., I3/2 inches (North 

Carolina to West Indies), p. 385. 
i. Florida Lucina, Lucina floridana Conrad, IJ/2 inches (Western Florida 

to Texas), p. 387. 
j. Northeast Lucina, Phacoides filosus Stimpson, 2 inches (off entire east 

coast), p. 389. 
k. Amethyst Gem Clam, Gemma gemma Totten, Y inch (east coast; for 

details see figure 84), p. 418. 
1. Empress Venus, Antigona strigillina Dall, 1^/7 inches (Southeastern 

Florida, south), p. 404. 
m. Queen Venus, Antigona rugatina Heilprin, 1 inch (North Carolina to 

West Indies), p. 405. 
n. Heart-shaped Venus, Pilar cordala Schwengel, lYi inches (Gtdf of 

Mexico, offshore), p. 414. 
o. Disk Dosinia, Dosinia discus Reeve, 3 inches (Virginia to Gulf of 

Mexico and Bahamas), p. 417. 

Plate 39 

a. King Venus, Chione paphia L., lYj inches (Florida Keys and West 

Indies), p. 409. 

b. SuNRAY Venus, Macrocallista nimbosn Solander, 5 inches (North 

Carolina to the Gulf States), p. 416. 

c. Imperial Venus, Chione latiUrata Conrad, 1 inch (North Carolina to 

the Gulf States), p. 409. 

d. Lighting Venus, Pilar luhuinata Menke, 1 inch (North Carolina to the 

West Indies), p. 414. 

e. Calico Clam, Macrocallista macalata L., 2 inches (North Carolina to 

the West Indies), p. 416. 

f. Royal Comb Venus, Pilar dione L., V/i inches (Texas to the Caribbean), 

p. 415. 

g. Lady-in- Waiting Venus, Chione intapurpnrea Conrad, l)/^ inches 

(North Carolina to the Gulf and West Indies), p. 407. 
h. Cross-barred Venus, Chione cancellata L., 1 inch (North Carolina to 

the West Indies), p. 407. 
i. Glory-of-the-Seas Venus, Callista eucymata Dall, lYi inches (North 

Carolina to the West Indies), p. 415. 

']. Pointed Venus, Anomalocardia cuneimeris Conrad, ^ inch (Florida to 
Texas), p. 409. 

k. Common Egg Cockle, Laevicardiuni laevigahim Linne, 2 inches (North 
Carolina to the West Indies), p. 399. 

1. Morton's Egg Cockle, Laevicardium mortoni Conrad, 1 inch (Massa- 
chusetts to Texas), p. 400. 

m. Atlantic Strawberry Cockle, Trigoniocardia media L., V/j inches 
(North Carolina to the West Indies), p. 398. 

n. SiNY Paper Cockle, Papyridea soleniformis Brug., 1 inch (North 
Carolina to the West Indies), p. 398. 

o. Prickly Cockle, Trachycardiiun egmontiayuim Shuttle^vorth, 2 inches 
(North Carolina to Cuba), p. 397. 

p. Yellow Cockle, Trachycardium jniiricatutn L., 2 inches (North Caro- 
lina to the Gulf States and West Indies), p. 397. 

Plate 40 

a. Gaudy Asaphis, Asaphis deflorata L., 2 inches (Southeastern Florida and 

West Indies), p. 439. 

b. Purplish Semele, Semele purpurascens Gmelin, 1 inch (North Caro- 

lina to West Indies), p. 435. 

c. Large Strigilla, Strigilla carnaria L., ^ inch (North Carolina to West 

Indies), p. 428. 

d. Atlantic Sanguin, Sanguinolaria cruenta Solander, 1^ inches 

(Florida, the Gulf and West Indies), p. 439. 

e. Sunrise Tellin, Tellina radiata L., 3 inches (South Carolina to the West 

Indies), p. 421. 

f. and g. White Atlantic Semele, Semele projicua Pulteney, 1 inch. £ is 

the rayed form, radiata Say (North Carolina to the West Indies), 

p. 434. 
h. Rose Petal Tellin, Tellina lineata Turton, lYi inches (Florida and 

the West Indies), p. 427. 
i. Great Tellin, Tellina magna Spengler, 4 inches (North Carolina to 

the West Indies), p. 427. 
j. Faust Tellin, Arcopagia fausta Pulteney, 3 inches (North Carolina to 

the West Indies), p. 428. 
k. Smooth Tellin, Tellina laevigata L., 3 inches (Florida and tlie West 

Indies), p. 422. 
1. Speckled Tellin, Tellina interrupta Wood, 3 inches (North Carolina 

to the West Indies), p. 422. 
m. Candy Stick Tellin^, Tellina similis Sby., 1 inch (Florida and the West 

Indies), p. 426. 
n. Alternate Tellin, Tellina alternata Say, 2^/2 inches (North Carolina 

to the Gulf States), p. 427. 

CARD] ID AE 403 

round and slightly gaping at the posterior end. Exterior brownish gray 
and may be with brown, concentric rings of growth. Interior dull-white. 
Beaks inflated and high. Ligament large and strong. No lunule or escutcheon. 
Weak radial ribs seen at both ends only. Concentric growth ridges promi- 
nent near the margins. Muscle scars and pallial line deeply impressed. Foot 
of animal large and suffused with heavy, red mottlings. Very commonly 
dredged in cold, northern waters. 

Genus Clinocardium Keen 1936 
Clinocardhim ciliatuvt Fabricius Iceland Cockle 

Plate 320 

Greenland to Massachusetts. Alaska to Puget Sound, Washington. 

1/4 to 3 inches in size, a little longer than high, with 32 to 38 ridged 
radial ribs which are crossed by coarse concentric lines of growth. Exter- 
nally drab grayish yellow with weak, narrow, concentric bands of darker 
color. Interior ivory. Periostracum gray and conspicuous. Especially abun- 
dant from Maine northward in offshore waters. 

Clinocardium nuttalli Conrad Nuttall's Cockle 

Plate 31b 

Bering Sea to San Diego, California. 

2 to 6 inches in length; smaller ones being almost round, adults tending 
to be higher than long; moderately compressed; commonly with 33 to 37 
coarse radial ribs which are creased by half-moon-shaped riblets. Older 
specimens worn smoothish. Exterior drab-gray, with a brownish yellow, 
thin periostracum. Common offshore. Once called C. corbis Martyn. Known 
locally as the Basket Cockle. 

Clinocardiimi fucanum Dall Fucan Cockle 

Sitka, Alaska, to oif Monterey, California. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, longer than high, moderately inflated, and 
with 45 to 50 low, poorly developed, radial ribs which are crossed by mi- 
croscopic concentric lines. No wavy, radial furrow on the upper posterior 
edge of the shell. Color whitish with a grayish-brown periostracum. Com- 
mon in the Puget Sound area. 

Young C. nuttalli are distinguished from this species by their 2 first ribs 
behind the ligament which are large, rounded and make a wavy edge to the 
shell. In small specimens of C. ciliatmn, the top edges of the ribs are sharp; 
in jucanuvi they are rounded. 

404 American Seashells 

Genus Cerastoderma Poli 1795 
Cerastoderma pinnulatwn Conrad Northern Dwarf Cockle 

Plate 30c 

Labrador to off North CaroHna. 

^ to /4 inch in length, thin, with 22 to 28 wide, flat ribs which have 
delicate, arched scales on the anterior slope of the shell. Scales missing on 
the central portion of the valve. Externally cream; interior glossy and white, 
rarely tinted with orange-brown. Commonly dredged from 7 to 100 fathoms. 

Super jamily VENERACEA 

The classification of the family of Venus clams has been one of continual 
debate and rearranging for some years. Our presentation here is no better 
than has been suggested before, but at least it is in a form which is conserva- 
tive and most likely to be accepted by the majority. Rather than accept a 
separate family Chionidae or consider it a subfamily remotely related to the 
Venerinae, we have allied it as an artificial group in the subfamily Venerinae. 
I suspect that an anatomical study of the soft parts will support this course. 

Siibfamily VENERINAE 

Sculpture usually both radial and concentric; anterior lateral present, 
especially in the left valve, but often extraordinarily vestigial. 

Genus Antigona Schumacher 1817 
Subgenus Dosina Gray 1835 

Antigona listen Gray Princess Venus 

Plate 32m 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 4 inches in length, oblong-oval, obese. Resembling Mercejiaria 
campechiensis, but characterized by numerous, fine, radial riblets which cause 
the sharp, concentric ribs to be serrated or beaded. Each side of the lunule 
is bounded by a long, deep, narrow furrow. Posterior muscle scar usually 
stained brown. Moderately common in shallow water in sand. 

Subgenus Circojnphahis Morch 1853 
Antig07ia strigillina Dall Empress Venus 

Plate 3 81; figure 8 id 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 



1% inches in length, externahy very much hke a small Mercenaria 
campechiensis, but not as elongate and with more distinct, concentric riblets. 
Internally, it is distinguished easily by the extremely small, if not absent, 
pallial sinus, by the very thick margin of the shell, and in the left valve by 
the presence of a button-like anterior lateral "tooth." Exterior whitish. 
Dredged occasionally from 40 to 70 fathoms. Considered a collector's item. 

Figure 8 1 . Some venerid clams, a and b, Co7npsomyax subdiaphmia Cpr., 2 inches 

(Pacific Coast); c, Dosmia discus Reeve, 2 inches (Atlantic Coast); d, Aiitigo7ia 

strigillina Dall, i^ inches (Florida and West Indies); e, left valve of Pitar 

monhuana Linsley, 1% inches (Atlantic Coast). 

Ant'igona rugatina Heilprin Queen Venus 

Plates 38m; 3211 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

I to i^ inches in length, rather circular, inflated, and characterized by 
strong, raised, lamellate, concentric ribs between which are 5 or 6 smaller, 
raised concentric ridges. Lunule heart-shaped, well-impressed, bordered by 
a fine, deep line, and crossed by numerous raised threads. Escutcheon well- 
formed, smoothish. Color cream to whitish with light-mauve mottlings. 
Very uncommon. 

Antigona rigida Dillwyn from the West Indies is very similar, but 
not nearly so obese, and its concentric ridges are stronger and smoother. 

^^Chiojiid" Group 

Ovate-trigonal, inequilateral, sculpture usually cancellate; lunule im- 
pressed. Inner margins usually crenulate. Teeth strong, without the tiny, 
pimple-like anterior lateral. Pallial sinus short. This section or group is 

406 Ainerican Seashells 

considered by some to be of family or subfamily rank. See Frizzell and Myra 

Genus Mercenaria Schumacher 1817 

The Hard-shell Clams or Quahogs belong to this genus. The shell is 
large and thick; lunule large, heart-shaped and bounded by an incised line. 
Inner margin crenulate. 3 cardinals in each valve. Left middle cardinal 
split. Formerly placed in the genus Venus many years ago, but almost 
universally placed in a genus by itself by modern workers. 

Mercenaria mercenaria Linne Northern Quahog 

Plate 32h 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. 
Introduced to Humboldt Bay, California. 

3 to 5 inches in length, ovate-trigonal, about % as high, heavy and quite 
thick. Moderately inflated. Sculpture of numerous, concentric lines of 
growth or small riblets. Near the beaks these lines are prominent and dis- 
tantly spaced. The exterior center of the valves has a characteristic smoothish 
or glossy area. Exterior dirty-gray to whitish; interior white, commonly 
with purple stainings. The entire lunule is % as wide as long. The form 
notata Say from the same region is externally marked with brown, zie^ag 
mottlings. This species is very common and is used commercially for 
chowders and as clams-on-the-half-shell or "cherrystones." Also known as 
the Hard-shelled Clam. Do not confuse with M. caTnpechiensis. 

Mercenaria mercenaria texana Dall is a subspecies from the northern 
Gulf of Mexico region. It is characterized by a glossy central area on the 
outside of the shell, but has large, irregular, coalescing, flat-topped, con- 
centric ribs. 

Mercenaria campechiensis Gmelin Southern Quahog 

Plate 32g 

Chesapeake Bay to Florida, Texas and Cuba. 

3 to 6 inches in length, very similar to mercenaria, but much more obese, 
a heavier shell, lacks the smooth central area on the outside of the valves, 
and the entire lunule is usually as wide as long. Always white internally. 
Rarely it has a purplish stain on the escutcheon and brown mottlings on the 
side. There have been a number of forms described. In the vicinity of St. 
Petersburg, Florida, there is a malformed race in which there is a sharp, 
elevated ridge passing from the umbo obliquely backward toward the pallial 
sinus on the inside of each valve. The Southern Quahog is common but 
has not been exploited commercially to any great extent. 


Genus Chione Miihlfeld 1811 

Shells trigonal or ovate; thick; 3 cardinal teeth in each valve; no anterior 
laterals; pallial sinus small and triangular; inner margins crenulated; lunule 
bounded by an indented line; escutcheon smooth and bounded by a small 

Subgenus Chione s. str. 
Chiojie cancellata Linne Cross-barred Venus 

Plate 39h 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

I to I % inches in length, varying from ovate to subtriangular in shape, 
thick; with strong, raised, curved, leaf-like, concentric ribs and numerous 
coarse radial ribs. Escutcheon long, smooth and V-shaped, commonly with 
6 to 7 brown, zebra-stripes. Lunule heart-shaped, with minute vertical 
threads. Color externally is white to gray; internally glossy-white with a 
suffusion of purplish blue. A very common, shallow-water species in Florida. 
Beachworn specimens have a cancellate sculpturing. The subspecies mazycki 
Dall, off the Carolinas, Georgia and northeast Florida has a beautiful rosy 

Chione intapurpurea Conrad Lady-in-waiting Venus 

Plate 39g 

North Carolina, the Gulf States to the West Indies. 

1 to I ^ inches both ways, thick, glossy-white to cream; interior white, 
commonly with a violet, radial band or splotch at the posterior third. Ex- 
terior with crowded, smooth, low, rounded, concentric ribs. The lower 
edge of these ribs bears many small bars which are Imed up one below the 
other to give the shell the impression that it has axial ribs. The concentric 
ribs become sharp and higher at the shell's extreme ends. Lunule with 
raised lamellations; escutcheon with very fine, transverse lines. Uncommon. 
Incorrectly spelled interpurpurea. 

Chione califomiensis Broderip Common Californian Venus 

Plate 31) 

San Pedro to northern South America. 

2 to 2 % inches high, a little longer, subtrigonal, moderately compressed, 
with sharp, raised, concentric ribs whose edges turn upwards, and with low, 
rather wide, rounded, radial riblets. Lunule heart-shaped and striated; es- 
cutcheon V-shaped in cross-section, long and smooth. The dorsal posterior 
end of the right valve is not as smooth and overlaps the left valve. Exterior 

408 Avurican Seas he Us 

creamy-white with faint mauve stripes on the escutcheon. Interior white, 
commonly with a purple splotch at the posterior end. This is a common 
shore species, formerly called C. succincta Val. 

Chione calif orniensis undatella Sowerby Frilled Californian Venus 

Plate 3ii 

San Pedro, California, to northern South America. 

Differing from calif orniensis in being more inflated, usually with more 
numerous and more closely spaced, thinner concentric ribs, and retaining 
mauve-brown color splotches in the adults. Very common. Aiany workers 
consider this a full species, and apparently additional field study is necessary. 

Chione fluctifraga Sowerby Smooth Pacific Venus 

Plate 31k 

San Pedro, California, to the Gulf of California. 

lYo inches in height, slightly longer, moderately compressed, subtrigonal; 
radial grooves or ribs strong at the posterior third and at the anterior quarter 
of the shell; central area with stronger, low, rather wide, concentric ribs which 
may have coarse, half-moon-shaped beads. Lunule not well-defined; escutch- 
eon not well seen and not sunken nor smooth as in calif orniensis. Exterior 
creamy-white, semi-glossy, rarely stained with blue-gray. Interior white 
with purple splotches near the muscle scars or on the teeth. Not uncommon 
along the sandy shores in southern localities. 

Section Timoclea Brown 1827 
Chione griis Holmes Gray Pygmy Venus 

Plate 32! 

North Carolina to Key West to Louisiana. 

/4 to % inch in length, oblong, with 30 to 40 fine, radial ribs which are 
crossed by very fine, concentric threads. The posterior dozen ribs are cut 
along their length by a very fine groove. Dorsal margin of right valve fim- 
briated and overlapping the left valve. Lunule narrow, heart-shaped, colored 
brown. Escutcheon very narrow and sunken. Exterior colored a dull-gray, 
but some Florida specimens tend to be whitish, pinkish or even orange. In- 
terior glossy-white with purplish brown area at the posterior end. Pnrple 
color on hinge at both ends. Commonly dredged in shallow water. 

Chione pygnmea Lamarck White Pygmy Venus 

Southeast Florida and the West Iiidies. 


% to % inch in length, similar to grns, but with prominent scales, 4 to 5 
brown, zebra stripes on the escutcheon, with a white lunule, and the teeth 
purple only on the posterior half of the hinge. Beaks commonly pink. In- 
terior all white. Fairly common in shallow water. 

Subgenus Lirophora Conrad 1863 
Chione paphia Linne King Venus 

Plate 39a 

Lower Florida Keys and the West Indies. 

1% inches in length, similar to latilirata, but not so heavy, with 10 to 12 
smaller, concentric ribs which are thin at their ends. From a side view, the 
dorsal margin of the lunule is very concave. Not very common in the United 

Chione latilirata Conrad Imperial Venus 

Plate 39c 

North Carolina to Florida and to Texas. 

I inch in length, very thick and solid, with 5 to 7 large, bulbous, con- 
centric ribs, usually rounded, but may also be sharply shelved on top. The 
ribs are not thin and flattened at their ends. Lunule heart-shaped, and, from 
a side view, its dorsal margin is almost straight. Surface of shell glossy, cream 
with rose and brown mottlings. Rather uncommon offshore in about 20 

Genus Aiiovralocardia Schumacher 18 17 
Anomalocardia cuneimeris Conrad Pointed Venus 

Plate 39) 

South half of Florida to Texas. 

% to % inch in length, about % to ^ as high, pointed into a sharp, 
wedge-like rostrum at the posterior end. Lunule oval to slightly heart-shaped 
and faintly impressed. Wide, shallow escutcheon bordered by a weak ridge. 
Beaks tiny and inrolled. Sculpture of small, but distinct, rounded, concentric 
ribs which are more prominent near the beaks. Color variable: glossy-cream, 
white or tan with brown or purple rays of fine specklings. Interior white, 
purple or brown. Brackish water specimens are dwarfed. A common sandy 
shore species. 

A. brasiliana Gmelin (West Indian Pointed Venus) which is twice as 
large, less elongate, and with the concentric ribs extending over into the 
escutcheon area, has been erroneously reported from the United States. 
Common in the West Indies and south to Brazil. 

410 Aviericmi Seas hells 

Genus Protothaca Dall 1902 

Frotothaca tenerrima Carpenter Thin-shelled Littlcneck 

Vancouver, B.C., to Lower California. 

About 4 inches in length and 2 % inches high, very compressed, relatively 
thin, with a chalky texture, with a few raised concentric lines and numer- 
ous very small radial threads. Lunule fairly defined. Exterior light gray- 
brown. Interior chalky-white. A fairly common species, commonly washed 
ashore on Californian beaches. 

Frotothaca staininea Conrad Common Pacific Littleneck 

Plate 31m, n 

Aleutian Islands to Lower California. 

1 /4 to 2 inches in length, subovate, beaks nearer the anterior end; sculp- 
ture of concentric and radial ribs which form beads as they cross each other 
at the anterior end of the shell. Radial ribs strongrer on the middle of the 
valves. Beaks almost smooth. Exterior rusty-brown with a purplish cast. A 
very abundant, wide-spread species with a number of varieties. Sometimes 
with a mottled color pattern. 

Variety or form: laciniata Carpenter reaches 3 inches in length, is 
coarsely cancellatc and beaded, its color rusty-brown to grayish. 

Variety or form: ruderata Deshayes (typically a northern form) is 
chalky-white to gray, with concentric ribs large and coarse, commonly 
lamellate (see pi. 31-0). 

Compare with Tapes philippinarwn, the Japanese Littleneck. 

Genus Humilaria Grant and Gale 1931 
1 1 nil lil aria kcnnerleyi Reeve Kennerley's Venus 

Alaska to Carmel Bay, California. 

2 M: to 4 inches in length, ovate-oblong, with the beaks near the anterior 
end. With sharp, concentric ribs whose edges are bent upwards. Spaces 
between ribs. Color and texture like gray Portland cement. Interior white. 
Margin of shell finely crenulate, a feature that will distinguish it from worn 
specimens of Saxidomus. Dredged on mud bottoms from 3 to 20 fathoms. 
A collector's item, although reasonably common. 

Genus Tapes Aiiihlfeld 181 1 
Subgenus Rudhapes Chiamenti 1900 
Tapes philippinarwn Adams and Reeve Japanese Littleneck 

Puijct Sound southward. 



1% to 2 inches in length, extremely close to Protothaca sta?mnea and 
grata Sowerby (the latter's range is from the Gulf of California to Panama), 
but differing from both in being much more elongate and more compressed. 
Its lunule and small escutcheon are more distinct and quite smooth as com- 
pared to those of stavnnea. The hinges are extremely similar. P. grata differs 
in having tiny, distinct crenulations on the inside of the anterior dorsal 
margin. T. seviideciissata Reeve appears to be the same as this introduced 
species. Its colors are variable and commonly variegated. Alias T. bifurcata 
Quayle 1938. 

Genus Compsomyax R. Stewart 1930 
Co7npso7nyax subdiaphana Carpenter 
Alaska to Lower California. 

Milky Pacific Venus 

Plate 3 if; figure 8ia, b 

1/4 to 2/4 inches in length, elongate-ovate, moderately inflated; beaks 
anterior and pointing forward. Sculpture of fine, irregular, concentric lines 
of growth, otherwise rather smoothish. Lunule poorly defined. 3 cardinal 
teeth in each valve, the most posterior one in the right valve deeply split. 
Color usually chalky-white, but younger specimens are yellowish white 
and semi-glossy. Interior white. Dredged in soft mud from 5 to 25 fathoms. 
Abundant in some Californian localities. Formerly placed in the genus 
CI 677 jentia. 

Figure 82. Psephidia of the Pacific Coast, a-b, P. lordi Baird; c, P. nvctUs Dall. 

Both % inch. 

Genus Psephidia Dall 1902 
Psephidia lordi Baird Lord's Dwarf Venus 

Figure 82a 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

% inch in length, ovate, compressed or slightly fattened; beaks small; 
sculpture of microscopic, concentric growth lines. 3 cardinals in hinge of 
each valve. No laterals. On the dorsal margin there is a microscopic groove 
parallel to the edge. Color whitish to greenish white, commonly with darker, 
concentric color bands. Tiny young shells may be found inside the adult 
clams in the summer and spring months. Common. 

412 American Seashells 

Genus Irus Oken 1815 
Irus lamellifera Conrad Californlan Irus Venus 

Plate 3ir 

Monterey to San Diego, California. 

I to I % inches in length, usually oblong, although some specimens may 
be almost round. Characterized by about a dozen, strongly raised, concentric 
lamellae or thin ridges. Shell whitish and with a chalky texture. Moderately 
common. Found burrowing in gray shale from low water to several fathoms. 

Genus Tivela Link 1807 

Tivela floridana Rehder Florida Tivela 

Palm Beach County, Florida. 

% inch in length, subquadrate, beaks in the center, highly polished and 
with microscopic growth lines near the margins. Exterior glossy, tan or 
purplish. Interior mottled with purplish brown. This is the only Tivela 
recorded from eastern United States. Uncommon offshore. 

Subgenus Pachydesma Conrad 1854 
Tivela stultorum Mawe Pismo Clam 

Plate 3ih; figure iSd 

San Mateo County, California, to Lower California. 

3 to 6 inches in length, ovate, heavy, moderately inflated, glossy-smooth, 
except for weak lines of growth. Ligament large and strong. Color brownish 
cream with wide, mauve, radial bands. Bands may be absent. Posterior end 
marked off by a single, sharp thread. Lunule lanceolate and with vertical 
scratches. Periostracum thin and varnish-like. A common and edible species. 
This is the only West Coast Tivela, but it has received a number of un- 
necessary names, T. crassatelloides Stearns being one of many. 

Genus Transennella Dall 1883 

Left anterior lateral fitting into a socket in the right valve. Internal 
margins arc obliquely grooved with numerous, microscopic lines. These 
are parallel to the growth lines at the ventral margin of the valves. 

Transennella stimpsoni Dall Stimpson's Transennella 

Figure 83a, b 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the Bahamas. 



^ to % inch in length, glossy, rounded trigonal in shape, smooth except 
for fine growth lines. Inner margins of valves creased with microscopic 
oblique threads. Exterior cream with 2 or 3 wide, radial bands of weak 
brown. Interior commonly flushed with purple. Pallial sinus long. Fairly 
common in shallow water. 

Figure 83. Atlantic Transennella Clams, a and b, Trfl725e72wd/a jfimp^cwi, % inch; 

c, T. conradina Dall, % inch. 

Transennella conradina Dall 

South half of Florida and the Bahamas. 

Conrad's Transennella 

Figure 83c 

Shell very similar to that of stimpsoni, but differing in being pointed 
posteriorly, hence more elongate, and more variable in color. Zigzag brown 
lines present in some, others are solid cream or solid brownish. Exterior 
with fine, raised, concentric lines. Pallial sinus short. Common in shallow 


Transennella tantilla Gould 

Alaska to Lower California. 

Tantilla Transennella 

% inch in length, ovate, angle at beaks about 90 degrees, smooth except 
for weak, concentric lines of growth. Immediately recognized under the 
hand lens by the tiny grooves running on the inside of the shell margins. 
Exterior cream with the posterior end stained bluish. Interior white with a 
wide, radial band of purple-brown at the posterior end. Dredged in large 
numbers off California and at times found washed ashore. 

"Pitarid'' Group 

Beaks generally nearer the anterior end; cardinal teeth not tending to 
radiate; anterior laterals well-developed. 

414 American SeasheUs 

Genus Pitar Romer 1857 

Anterior left lateral fitting into a well-developed socket in the right 
valve. Middle left cardinal large; posterior right cardinal split. 

Subgenus Pitar s. str. 
Pitar juhiiinata Menke Lightning Venus 

Plate 39d 

North Carolina to Florida and the West Indies. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, plump, umbones large and full; lunule very- 
large and outlined by an impressed line. Anterior end broader than the pos- 
terior end. Sculpture of crowded, rather heavy lines of growth. Exterior 
whitish with spots and/or zigzag markings of yellowish brown. Moderately 
common in shallow water, %-inch young are commonly dredged off Miami. 

Pitar albida Gmelin of the West Indies is very similar, but all white 
in color, more quadrate in shape, has a narrower and more elongate lunule, 
and is usually more compressed. Common. 

Pitar morrhtiana Linsley Morrhua Venus 

Plate 32I; figure 8ie 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to North Carolina. 

I to I /4 inches in length, oval-elongate, moderately plump, with the 
lunule large and elongate. With numerous, heavy lines of growth. Color 
dull grayish to brownish red. P. fuhrmjata is similar, but is found only to the 
south of Cape Hatteras, is not so elongate (compare figures), and is marked 
with brown. Fairly commonly dredged off New England. 

Pitar simpsoni Dall Simpson's Venus 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, plump, with fine, irregular, concentric threads; the 
large, ovate lunule is polished smooth. Color white to purplish white, com- 
monly with zigzag, yellow-brown markings. Escutcheon absent. Nearest 
in shape to inorrhiiana. Uncommon at low tide to 26 fathoms. 

Subgenus Pitarenus Rehder and Abbott 1951 
Pitar cordata Schwengel Schwengel's Venus 

Plate 3811 

Off the Florida Keys and the Gulf of Mexico. 

1V2 inches in length, very similar to morrhuana, but much fatter, with 


more distinct concentric threads on the outside, and with fine crenulations 
along the inside of the ventral margins of the valves. Interior white, com- 
monly with a pinkish blush. Dredged from 30 to 50 fathoms and brought 
in by shrimp fishermen. Uncommon. 

Subgenus Hysteroconcha P. Fischer 1887 
Pitar dione Linne Royal Comb Venus 

Plate 39f 

Texas to Panama and the West Indies. 

I to 1% inches in length, characterized by its violet and purple-white 
colors and 2 radial rows of long spines at the posterior end of the valve. A 
common species washed ashore in Texas. The closely resembling species, 
Fitar lupanaria Lesson, occurs in the Pacific from Lower California to Peru. 

Genus Gouldia C. B. Adams 1845 

Shell less than V2 inch in length; beaks minute; lunule long, bounded 
by an impressed line; no escutcheon. With concentric or reticulate sculpture. 
Anterior lateral teeth present. This genus is put in the separate subfamily 
Circinae by some workers. 

Goiddia cerina C. B. Adams Serene Gould Clam 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, solid, trigonal in shape, beaks in the center, high and 
very small; lunule long, bounded by an impressed line; no escutcheon. 
Sculpture reticulate in which the fine, concentric ribs predominate. The 
radial ribs are stronger anteriorly. Color white, uncommonly with purplish 
or brownish flecks. A common species from shallow water to 95 fathoms. 

Genus Callista Poll 1791 
Subgenus Costacallista Palmer 1927 

Callista ezicymata Dall Glory-of-the-Seas Venus 

Plate 39i 

North Carolina to south half of Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

I to 1 34 inches in length, fairly thin, oval, with about 50 slightly flat- 
tened, concentric ribs which have a short dorsal and long ventral slope, 
and separated by a narrow, sharp groove. Color glossy-white to waxy pale- 
brown, with clouds and zigzag markings of reddish brown. No escutcheon. 
Margins rounded. A beautiful and rare species dredged from 25 to no 

416 American Seashelh 

Genus Macrocallista Meek 1876 
Macrocallista nimbosa Solander Sunray Venus 

Plate 39b 

North Carolina to Florida and the Gulf States. 

4 to 5 inches in length, elongate, compressed, glossy-smooth with a thin 
varnish-like periostracum. Exterior dull salmon to dull mauve with broken, 
radial bands of darker color. Interior dull white with a blush of reddish over 
the central area. Moderately common in shallow, sandy areas and not un- 
commonly washed ashore after storms. 

Macrocallista maculata Linne Calico Clam 

Plates lb; 396 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I /4 to 2 34 inches in length, ovate, glossy-smooth with a thin varnish-like 
periostracum. Exterior cream with checkerboard markings of brownish red. 
Rarely albino or all dark-brown. Moderately common in shallow, sandy areas 
in certain localities. A popular collector's item. Also known as the Checker- 
board or Spotted Clam. 

Genus Callocardia A. Adams 1864 
Subgenus Agriopoma Dall 1902 

Callocardia texasiana Dall Texas Venus 

Plate 32k; figure aSe 

Northwest Florida to Texas. 

1/4 to 3 inches in length, % as high. Externally resembling Fitar mor- 
rhuana, but much more elongate, having the beaks rolled in under themselves, 
and with a more elongate, faint lunule. The posterior cardinal is S-shaped 
in the right valve. Uncommon, if not rare. Found on the beaches, but its 
biology and habits are unknown. 

Genus Amiantis Carpenter 1863 
Amiantis callosa Conrad Pacific White Venus 

Santa Monica, California, to south Mexico. 

3 to 4% inches in length, longer than high, beaks pointing anteriorly, 
shell hard, heavy, glossy and with neat concentric ribs. Lunule small, heart- 
shaped and pressed in slightly under the beaks. Anterior end round. Color 
solid ivory. A very attractive, fairly common species living just below tide 
line on sandy bottoms in the open surf. Commonly washed ashore alive after 


storms between Seal Beach and Huntington Beach. Once known as C. 
nobilis Reeve. 

Genus Saxidomus Conrad 1837 

Shell large, slightly gaping posteriorly, hinge with 4 or 5 cardinal teeth 
in the right valve, 4 in the left. Pallial sinus long and fairly narrow. 

Saxidojims nuttalli Conrad Common Washington Clam 

Plate 31I 

Humboldt Bay, California, to Lower California. 

3 to 4 inches in length, oblong, with the beaks nearer the anterior end; 
heavy, with coarse, crowded, concentric ribs. Color a dull, dirty, reddish 
brown to gray with rust stains. Interior glossy-white, commonly with a 
flush of purple at the posterior margins. No lunule. Ligament large. Valves 
slightly gaping posteriorly. Young specimens less than 2 inches are thin- 
shelled, somewhat glossy and with pretty, mauve, radial streaks on the dorsal 
edge, both in front and behind the beaks. A very common species which is 
edible. Also called the Butter Clam. 

Saxidomus gigantea Deshayes Smooth Washington Clam 

Aleutian Islands to Monterey, California. 

Possibly this is only an ecologic variation or an example of a geographical 
gradient within a species. It is similar to typical 7JUttalIi, but generally lacks 
the rust-stain color and rarely, if ever, develops the prominent concentric 
ridges. This is the commonest and best food clam in Alaska. 


Genus Dosinia Scopoh 1777 

Subgenus Dosinidia Dall 1902 

Dosinia elegajis Conrad Elegant Dosinia 

West Florida to Texas and south. 

2 to 3 inches in length, circular, compressed, glossy, straw-yellow with 
numerous even, concentric ridges (20 to 25 per inch in adults). Moderately 
common. Do not confuse with D. discus. 

Dosinia discus Reeve Disk Dosinia 

Plate 38-0; figure 81 c 

Virginia to Florida, the Gulf States and the Bahamas. 


American Seas be Us 

2 to 3 inches in length, similar to elegans, but having more and finer 
concentric ridges (about 50 per inch in adults), and not so circular. Com- 
monly washed ashore in perfect condition after storms along the Carolina 
coasts and middle western Florida. 

Subjamily EMMINAE 

Very small shells, with marginal grooves and denticles simulating lateral 
teeth. Inner ventral margins crenulate. 

Figure 84. Amethyst Gem Clam, a and b, Gejnma gevnna Totten, % inch; c to 
e, the form purpurea Lea, % inch. 

Genus Geimna Deshayes 1853 

Shell the size and shape of a split-pea; lunule large, faintly impressed; no 
escutcheon; 2 large teeth in the left valve with a large, median socket between 
the two. A very thin ridge which might be termed a tooth occurs posteriorly 
beneath the ligament. 3 teeth in right valve. Pallial sinus small and triangular. 
The shells of the brooded young may be found inside some females. 

Gemma gemma Totten Amethyst Gem Clam 

Plate 38k; figure 84 

Nova Scotia to Florida, Texas and the Bahamas. Puget Sound, Wash- 
ington (introduced). 
% inch in length, subtrigonal, moderately inflated and rather thin-shelled. 
Exterior polished and with numerous, fine, concentric furrows or riblets. 



Color whitish to tan with purpUsh over the beak and posterior areas. PaUial 
sinus commonly, but not always, about the length of the posterior muscle 
scar. It points upward. This is a very common shallow-water species. A 
number of subspecies or forms have been described, but their vahdity needs 
clarification: purpurea Lea (fig. 84c to e), ?nanhattensis Prime and fretensis 

Genus Parastarte Conrad 1862 

Shell the size of a split-pea, very similar to Geimna. In Parastarte, the 
ligament is high and situated beneath the beak, occupying a very high and 
broad area. In Gemma, the ligament is very narrow and elongated, and ex- 
tending posterior to the beaks. PaUial sinus much smaller in Parastarte. 

Figure 85. Brown Gem Clam, Parastarte triquetra Conrad, ^ inch (Florida). 

Brown Gem Clam 

Figure 85 

Parastarte triquetra Conrad 

Both sides of Florida (to Texas?). 

% inch in size, very similar to Gemma geTfmta, but much higher than 
long, with the beaks larger and elevated. Exterior highly polished and 
smoothish. Color usually tan to brown, but may be flushed with pink in 
beachworn specimens. The pallial sinus is almost absent. Moderately com- 
mon on sand bars and obtained by screening the sand. 



Genus Petricola Lamarck 1801 

Subgenus Naranio Gray 1853 

Petricola lapicida Gmelin 

Boring Petricola 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

H inch in length (up to 1% inches in the Lesser Antilles), ovate, in- 
flated, chalk-white, with criss-cross, threaded sculpturing. Beaks swollen and 

420 American Seashells 

close together. Posterior end with wavy ribs consisting of fine mud particles 
laid down over the shell by the animal. There is an enclosed, elongate fur- 
row between the beaks and the hinge. Color yellowish white. Found in 
burrow holes in coral rocks. Not uncommon. 

Subgenus Fetricolaria Stoliczka 1870 
Fetricola pholadiformis Lamarck False Angel Wing 

Plate 32Z; figure 94b 

Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico and south, 

2 inches in length, elongate, rather fragile and chalky-white. With 
numerous radial ribs. The anterior 10 or so are larger and bear prominent 
scales. Ligament external, located just posterior to the beaks. Cardinal teeth 
quite long and pointed. The siphons are translucent-gray, large, tubular and 
separated from each other almost to their bases. A very common clay and 
peat-moss borrower. 

Genus Rupellaria Fleuriau 1802 
Rupellaria typica Jonas Atlantic Rupellaria 

Plate 306 

North Carolina to the south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

About I inch in length, oblong, flattened anteriorly; compressed, usually 
attenuated and gaping posteriorly. Beaks point anteriorly. Exterior gray or 
whitish and with numerous, irregularly spaced, coarse radial ribs. Interior 
uneven and brownish gray. This coral borer is variable in shape and uneven 
in texture. It may also be truncate at the posterior end. Moderately common. 

Rupellaria tellimyalis Carpenter West Coast Rupellaria 

Plate 3 It 

Santa Monica, California, to Mazatlan, Mexico. 

I to I % inches in length. Oblong-elongate, variable in shape and out- 
line due to crowding in the rock burrow. Shell fairly thick, white, except 
for purplish blotches commonly behind the hinge and at the posterior end. 
Radial threads are coarser at the anterior end. Growth lines are irregular 
and coarse. Pallial sinus broadly rounded at its anterior end. Early or nep- 
ionic shell is shaped somewhat like a Donax, smooth, translucent purplish 
brown and rarely found attached at this early stage to rocks and kelp stalks. 
R. calif orniensis Pilsbry and Lowe is identical. 

Rupellaria dejiticulata Sowerby known only from Peru has a similar 
nepionic shell (contrary to other reports), has a narrower, triangular pallial 
sinus, and (contrary to reports) is a more fragile shell. Its anterior end is 


pointed and slightly uplifted. Interior blushed with mottlings of chestnut 
to purplish brown. 

Rupellaria carditoides Conrad Hearty Rupellaria 

Vancouver, B.C., to Lower California. 

1 to 2 inches in length. Very variable in shape, usually oblong; in some, 
squat and almost orbicular. Shell white to grayish white and very chalky in 
texture. Concentric growth lines quite coarse and irregular. Radial sculpture 
of pecuhar, fine, scratched lines crowded together, but worn away in some 
specimens. Fairly common. Found boring into hard rock. Nepionic shell 
usually oblong. R. californica Conrad is the same. 

Genus Cooperella Carpenter 1864 

Hinge plate narrow, with 2 right and 3 left short, divaricating cardinals 
under the beaks. The left central cardinal is always, and the others com- 
monly, split or bifid. No laterals. Muscle scars small and oval. Pallial line 
narrow, the sinus long. 

Cooperella subdiaphana Carpenter Shiny Cooper's Clam 

Southern California to Lower California. 

About % inch in length, oval-oblong, opaque-white with a brilliant gloss 
and slight opalescence. Fragile. Outer surface with slightly wavy concentric 
growth lines. Ligament tiny, short, set just behind the beaks and visible ex- 
ternally. Moderately common offshore to 40 fathoms. 

Superfamily TELLINACEA 


Genus Tellina Linne 1758 

Subgenus Tellina s. str. 

Tellina radiata Linne Sunrise Tellin 

Plate 4oe 

South Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 4 inches in length, elongate, moderately inflated. Characterized by 
its oily smooth, glistening surface and rich display of colors — either creamy- 
white or rayed with pale-red or yellow. Interior flushed with yellow. The 
beaks are usually tipped with bright-red. Uncommon in Florida but abundant 
in the West Indies. 

422 American Seashells 

Tellina laevigata Linne Smooth Tellin 

Plate 40k 

Southern Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length, oval to slightly elongate, moderately compressed, 
strong, with a smooth, glossy surface except for microscopic, radial scratches. 
Exterior color either whitish or usually faintly rayed, or banded at the ven- 
tral margins with soft, creamy-orange. Inside polished white to yellowish. 
Rare in Florida, fairly common in the West Indies. 

Subgenus Tellinella Morch 1853 
Tellina interrupta Wood Speckled Tellin 

Plate 40I 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

2/4 to 3% inches in length, well elongated, moderately inflated, twisted 
at the posterior end where at the dorsal margin on the right valve there are 
2 rough ridges. Concentric threads numerous, evenly spaced. Color whitish 
with numerous small, prominent, zigzag specklings of purplish brown. Inte- 
rior yellowish. Not uncommon in southeast Florida, but abundant in some 
shallow West Indian bays. 

Tellina idae Dall Ida's Tellin 

Figures 87a, b; 28h 

Santa Monica to Newport Bay, California. 

2 to 2 34 inches in length, elongate, compressed. With strong, rather 
evenly spaced, concentric, lamellate threads. Posterior end narrow, slightly 
twisted and with a rounded, radial ridge near the dorsal margin (in right 
valve) or a ridge at the dorsal margin and a furrow below it (left valve). 
Ligament elongate and sunk deeply into the long, deep dorsal-margin furrow. 
Color grayish white. Moderately common. 

Subgenus Angulus Miihlfeld 181 1 

Tellina agilis Stimpson Northern Dwarf Tellin 

Plate 30X; figure 86f 
Gulf of St. Lawrence to North Carolina. 

Vs to Yz inch in length, moderately elongate, compressed, fairly fragile; 
glossy-white externally with an opalescent sheen. Interior white. Ligament 
external and prominent. With a large rounded pallial sinus almost extending 
to the anterior muscle scar. External sculpture of faint, microscopic, con- 
centric, impressed lines. Commonly found washed on shore from Maryland 
north. Formerly known as Tellina tenera Say and Angiiliis tener Say (not 



Schrank 1803 nor Leach 18 18). In 1858, W. Stimpson gave this species a 
new name (Amer. Journ. Sci., vol. 25, p. 125). T. elucens Mighels might be 
this species, although it is very doubtful. 

Tellina texana Dall replaces this species in the Gulf of Mexico. It has 
more distinct, crowded concentric lines, is more inflated and has very small, 
microscopic striae in most specimens. Compare with T. versicolor. 

Figure 86. Interior views of southeast coast Tellins, showing outline shapes and 
pallial sinus scars, a, Tellifia lineata Turton, i y.i inches; b, T. tmnpaejisis Conrad, 
y., inch; c, T. mera Say and projnera Dall, % inch; d, T. sybaritica Dall, % inch; 
e, T. similis Sowerby, i inch; f, T. agilis Stimpson and sayi Dall, ^ inch; g, 
Qjtadrajjs lintea Conrad, % inch; h, Fhylloda sqiiajnijera Deshayes, % inch. 

Tellina versicolor DeKay DeKay's Dwarf Tellin 

New York to the south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 inch in length, very similar to T. agilis, but more elongate, colored 
white, red, pink or rayed, is more inflated, and has a nearly straight instead 
of curved ventral margin. The exterior of versicolor has a brighter irides- 
cence. The pallial sinus is much closer to the anterior muscle scar. 

Tellina mera Say 

Eastern Florida and the Bahamas. 

Mera Tellin 

Figure 86c 

/4 to % inch in length, roughly elliptical, moderately inflated, pure 
opaque-white in color. Fairly thin but strong. Beaks fairly large for a Tellin, 
touching and pointing toward each other and located nearer the posterior 
than the center of the shell. The valves show hardly any posterior bend or 
twist. Exterior smoothish with fine, irregular, concentric lines of growth 
more evident near the margins. Moderately common in shallow water be- 
tween tides. Compare with promera and tampaensis. 

424 America?! Se ash ells 

Tellina promera Dall Promera Tellin 

Figure 86c 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, very similar to 77iera, but larger, more inflated, thicker- 
shelled, more oval and with the umbones a little closer to the center of the 
shell. This may be only a subspecies of mera. Quite common on both sides 
of Florida. 

Tellina tampaensis Conrad Tampa Tellin 

Figure 86b 

South half of Florida to Texas, the Bahamas and Cuba. 

/4 to % inch in length, similar to mera, but more pointed posteriorly, 
whitish with a faint pinkish blush, and with very numerous, microscopic, 
concentric lines of growth. The pallial sinus line in this species runs forward 
nearly to the anterior muscle scar and then drops almost vertically toward 
the ventral margin of the shell before continuing posteriorly. In 77tera and 
promera, the pallial sinus line toward the anterior muscle scar, makes a 
U-shaped turn, and then runs posteriorly but does not join the lower pallial 
line until about the middle of the ventral region of the valve. Common in 
shallow water. 

Tellina texana Dall Say's Tellin 

New Jersey to south half of Florida and Cuba. 

% inch in length, white with a faint opalescent sheen. Extremely close 
to agilis, but distinguished by the heavy, enamel-white finish on the inside 
of the shell and i or i fairly distinct radial grooves running from the poste- 
rior muscle scar to the ventral margin of the valve. The faint pallial sinus 
just touches the anterior muscle scar. Fairly common. T. sayi Dall (Dec. 
1900) is a synonym of T. texana Dall (Nov. 1900). T. poUta Say (not 
Spengler) is also this species. 

Tellina sybaritic a Dall Dall's Dwarf Tellin 

Figure 86d 

North Carolina, the Gulf of Mexico and Cuba. 

y4 to Vs inch in length, very elongate, shiny, with quite strong, nu- 
merous concentric threads or cut lines. Color varying from translucent-white, 
yellowish, pinkish to bright watermelon-red. Our smallest and most colorful 
Tellin, and plentiful from i to 60 fathoms. It somewhat resembles young 
alternata, but the latter are smoother and have a short instead of long poste- 
rior lateral tooth in the left valve, and has no lateral lamina in the left valve. 


Section Oudardia Monterosato 1885 

Tellina modesta Carpenter 

Alaska to the Gulf of California. 


Modest Tellin 

Plate 31U 

% to I inch in length, elongate, moderately pointed at the posterior 
lower corner. Surface white with iridescent sheen and with fine concentric 
threads or grooves. These fade out at the posterior fourth of the shell, but 
reappear more coarsely on the very posterior slope. There is a well-formed, 
radial rib inside just behind the anterior muscle scar. Common in certain 
sandy localities from shore to 25 fathoms. It appears that T. buttoni Dall is 
the same species. 

Figure 87. Pacific Coast Tellins. a and b, Tellina idae Dall, 2 inches (California); 
c and d, Tellina hitea Wood, 3 inches (Alaska). 

Section Peronidia Dall 1900 
Tellina lutea Wood 

Arctic Ocean to Cook's Inlet, Alaska. Japan. 

Great Alaskan Tellin 

Figure 87c, d 

3 to 4 inches in length, elongate, quite compressed, and with a posterior 
twist to the right. Worn shells chalky-white, commonly with a pink flush. 
Periostracum in young is greenish yellow and glossy; in adults dark-brown. 
Ligament prominent. Commonly found from beach to 2 3 fathoms. T. venu- 
losa Schrenck 1861 is an ecologic form with brownish cracks in the shell. 

426 American Seashells 

Subgenus Moerella Fischer 1887 
Tellina saluionea Carpenter Salmon Tellin 

Plate 3iy 

Aleutian Islands to San Pedro, California. 

/4 inch in length, ovalish, with a short, blunt posterior end. Ligament 
behind the beaks prominent. Dorsal margin in front of beaks almost straight. 
Color chalky-white, commonly with a pinkish cast. Periostracum smooth, 
thin, yellowish tan. Characterized by about 4 to 7 prominent, concentric, 
former growth-stop lines which are usually stained dark-brown. Common 
from low tide to 34 fathoms in sand. Do not confuse with meropsis. 

Tellina 7neropsis Dall Meropsis Tellin 

Plate 30U 

San Diego, California, to the Gulf of Cahfornia. 

% inch in length, ovalish, pure white, smoothish, with exceedingly 
fine growth lines. Surface silky, but rarely with an iridescent sheen. Beaks 
slightly toward the posterior end. Ligament not prominent and light-brown. 
Without growth stoppage lines. See T. sahnonea. Common from shore to 
15 fathoms. 

Tellina carpenteri Dall Carpenter's Tellin 

Forrester Island, Alaska, to the Gulf of California. 

Vs inch in length, moderately elongate, with a rounded anterior end 
and rather truncate posterior end. Ligament short. Color cream, whitish 
and commonly blushed with watermelon-pink inside and out. It also has 
a faint iridescent sheen. Found very abundantly in many localities in mud 
and sand from shore to 369 fathoms. 

Subgenus Scissula Dall 1900 
Tellina similis Sowerby Candy Stick Tellin 

Plate 40m; figure 86e 

South half of Florida, the Bahamas and western Caribbean. 

I inch in length, moderately elongate, moderately compressed, thin 
but fairly strong. Color opaque-white with a yellowish blush and with 6 
to 1 2 short radial rays of red. Interior yellowish with red rays or solid pink 
or yellow. A red splotch commonly occurs on the hinge in front of the 
cardinal teeth. Sculpture of concentric growth lines and numerous fine 
concentric threads njohich cross the shell a-t an oblique angle. Common on 
sand fiats. T. decora Say is the same species. 


Tellina iris Say Iris Tellin 

North Carolina to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Bermuda. 

Yo inch in length, very similar to similis, and often as colorful, but very 
thin-shelled, translucent and more elongate. On the interior of the valves, 
the wavy oblique lines are evident, and there are 2 radial thickenings or 
weak, white, internal ribs at the posterior end. Common from intertidal 
flats to 20 fathoms. 

Tellina candeana Orbigny from the Lower Florida Keys and the West 
Indies commonly yellowish white and is more wedge-shaped (blunter at the 
anterior end) and, of course, has the peculiar sculpture of this subgenus. 

Subgenus Scrobiculina Dall 1900 
Tellina magna Spengler Great Tellin 

Plate 40! 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

3 to 4/4 inches in length, half as high, quite compressed and glossy- 
smooth. Posterior dorsal region dull, bordered by a weak, radial ridge. Left 
valve glossy white, rarely faintly yellowish; right valve glossy orange to 
pinkish and microscopically cut with concentric scratches. An uncommon 
and very lovely species much sought after by collectors. Found just below 
low tide in sand. 

Subgenus Eury tellina P. Fischer 1887 
Tellina lineata Turton Rose Petal Tellin 

Plate 4oh 

All of Florida and the West Indies. 

1 34 inches in length, moderately elongate, slightly inflated, solid and 
with a fairly strong twist to the right at the posterior end. Smoothish and 
glossy, but under a lens fine, concentric, crowded grooves may be seen. 
The outer surface has a slight opalescent sheen. Color pure-white or strongly 
flushed with watermelon-red. Pallial sinus just touches the anterior muscle 
scar, while in the similar but more elongate T. alternata it does not. Com- 
mon in shallow water. 

Tellina alternata Say Alternate Tellin 

Plate 4on 

North Carolina, Florida, and the Gulf States. 

2 to 3 inches in length, elongate and compressed, solid, and with a 
moderately pointed and slightly twisted posterior end. Sculpture of numer- 

428 American Seashells 

ous evenly spaced, fine, concentric grooves. Area near umbones smooth. 
Color glossy and variable: whitish, yellowish or flushed with pink. Interior 
glossy-yellow or pinkish. A common shallow-water species which should 
always be compared with lineata. 

The similar Tellina angulosa Gmelin from the Keys and West Indies 
is not so elongate, has finer grooves and a more highly glossed surface which 
is commonly covered with a greenish-yellow, thin periostracum. Common 
in sand. 

T. piinicea Born (which Dall called angulosa Gmelin) from the Keys 
(rare) and West Indies (common) is similar, but is always bright water- 
melon-red internally and purplish red exteriorly. The pallial sinus just 
touches the anterior muscle scar, which it does not in alternata or angulosa. 

Genus Arcopagia Brown 1827 
Subgenus Cyclotellina Cossmann 1886 

Arcopagia fatista Pulteney 1799 Faust Tellin 

Plate 40) 

North Carolina to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 4 inches in length, oval, moderately inflated, fairly heavy, and 
smoothish, except for small, rough, concentric lines of growth. Hinge strong, 
the posterior lateral in the right valve being long and strong. Color outside 
a semi-glossy-white; inside highly glossed and enamel-white with a yellowish 
flush. Do not confuse with T. laevigata which is glossy outside and has 
orange-tinted margins. Moderately common in the West Indies. Donovan 
gave this species the same name in 1 80 1 . 

Genus Strigilla Turton 1822 

Tellin-like shells, usually oval in shape and with inconspicuous growth 
lines crossed by fine, oblique, cut lines. There are only four species in the 
western Atlantic. 

Strigilla carnaria Linne Large Strigilla 

Plate 40c 

North Carolina to Florida and western Caribbean. 

% to I inch in length, oval, slightly oblique, moderately compressed, 
fairly thin but strong. Outer surface finely sculptured by cut lines which 
are obliquely radial in the central and posterior regions of the valve. At the 
anterior third of the valve, there are wavy, oblique threads running in the 
opposite direction. Exterior pinkish white with former, concentric growth 
stages a deeper pink. Interior bright watermelon-red. The upper line of 



the pallial sinus runs directly posterior to the anterior muscle scar. Common 
in shallow water in sand and commonly washed ashore. 

West Indian collectors should not confuse this species with Strigilla 
rombergi Morch (southeast Florida, the Bahamas to Lesser Antilles) which 
is very similar, except that the upper line of the pallial sinus does not reach 
the anterior muscle scar. The radial cut lines are more numerous and more 
curved in rombergi. Common. 

Strigilla viirabilis Philippi White Strigilla 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the A\^est Indies. 

Vz inch in length, oval, inflated, shiny, all white in color and with the 
peculiar Strigillid sculpturing which is very similar to that in 5. pisiforinis 
(the radial cut lines meet the ventral margin of the valves at an angle of 
about 45 degrees). The pallial line runs forward from the posterior muscle 
scar but does not reach the anterior muscle scar as it does in pisiforutis. 
Common. Do not confuse with the larger Divaricella qiiadrisulcata (page 
391) which has fine denticulations on the inner margins of the valves. 
5. flexuosa Say 1822 is preoccupied by Montagu 1803 and Turton 1807, 
and must take the name viirabilis Philippi 1841. 

Strigilla pisijorviis Linne Pea Strigilla 

Florida Keys, the Bahamas and the AVest Indies. 

% inch in length, similar to 5. carnaria, but always much smaller and 
more inflated. The pink color inside is concentrated in the deepest part of 
the valve, and the margins are usually white. The radial, oblique cut lines 
meet the ventral margin of the valve at about 45 degrees angle, while in 
carnaria the Hnes are almost vertical. This is a very abundant species, es- 
pecially in the Bahamas where they are gathered in great numbers and 
brought to Florida for use in the shellcraft business. 

Genus Phylloda Schumacher 18 17 
Subgenus Phyllodina Dall 1900 

Phylloda sqiiamijera Deshayes Crenulate Tellin 

Figure 86h 

North Carolina to the south half of Florida. 

/4 to I inch in length, elongate, concentrically and finely ridged. Char- 
acterized by the strong crenulations on the posterior dorsal margin and by 
the hghtly hooked-down posterior ventral margin. Color whitish with a 
yellow or orangish tint. Moderately common from low water to 60 fathoms. 

430 American Seashells 

Compare with lintea which lacks the dorsal crenulations. Formerly placed 
in the genus Tellina. 

Genus Quadrans Bertin 1878 
Quadrans lintea Conrad Lintea Tellin 

Figure 86g 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

% to I inch in length, moderately oval, slightly inflated, quite strong 
and all white in color. Posterior dorsal slope with 2 radial ridges in the 
right valve, i in the left. Concentric lamellae numerous, sharp and minutely 
raised. Left valve with 2 extremely weak, long laterals, but these are well- 
developed in the right valve. Dorsal line of the palhal sinus meets the pallial 
line not far from the anterior muscle scar. Posterior twist to the right is 
fairly pronounced. Commonly dredged off the Carolinas (9 to 16 fathoms), 
uncommonly found in a few feet of water on the west coast of Florida, 
Formerly placed in Tellina. 

Genus Tellidora H. and A. Adams 1856 
Tellidora cristata Recluz White Crested Tellin 

Plate 30-0 

North Carolina to west Florida and Texas. 

I to 1/4 inches in length, roughly ovate, compressed and all white. 
The left valve is very flat, the right valve slightly inflated. Dorsal margins 
of valves with large, saw-tooth crenulations. A bizarre clam found un- 
commonly in shallow water. 

Genus Macoma Leach 18 19 

The Macomas are modified tellins which may be distinguished by (i) 
no lateral teeth; (2) usually dingy-white in color and of a chalky consistency; 
(3) there is a strong posterior twist; (4) the pallial sinus is larger in one valve 
than the other. 

Macoma calcarea Gmelin Chalky Aiacoma 

Figure 88f 

Greenland to Long Island, New York. Bering Sea to off Monterey, 

1% to 2 inches in length. Oval-elongate, moderately compressed, but 
somewhat inflated at the larger, anterior half. Beaks % the way toward 
the narrowed, slightly twisted posterior end. Shell dull, chalky-white. Con- 




centric sculpture of fine, irregular threads. Periostracum remaining on the 
margins is gray. Pallial sinus in left valve runs from the posterior muscle 
scar anteriorly toward the anterior muscle scar, but does not meet the 
latter, and then descends posteriorly to meet the pallial line about the middle 
of the lower margin of the shell. A common cold-water species, distinguished 
from balthica by its larger size, more elongate shape and pattern of the pallial 
sinus scar (see fig, 88g). 

Figure 88. American Macomas, showing interior scars, a, Macoiua brota Dall, 
3 inches (Alaska to Washington); b, M. incongnm von Martens, i inches (Alaska 
to Washington); c, M. secta Conrad, 3 inches (Pacific Coast); d, M. nasuta Conrad, 
2 inches (Pacific Coast); e, M. inis Hanley, 2 inches (Pacific Coast); f, M. calcarea 
Gmelin, 2 inches (Atlantic and Pacific Coasts); g, M. balthica Linne, i inch 
(Atlantic and Pacific Coasts); h, M. planhisciila Grant and Gale, i inch (Alaska 

to Washington). 

Macoma balthica Linne Balthic Macoma 

Figure 88g 
Arctic Seas to off Georgia. Bering Sea to off Monterey, California. 

% to 1/4 inches in length, oval, moderately compressed. Color dull 
whitish, in some with a flush of pink, and with a thin, grayish periostracum 
which readily flakes off. The shape is somewhat variable. A common inter- 
tidal and deep-water species. Compare muscle scars with those of calcarea. 

Macoma tenta Say Tenta Macoma 

Cape Cod to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

432 Afnerican Seashelh 

/4 to % inch in length, fragile, elongate, white in color with a delicate 
iridescence on the smooth exterior. Posterior and narrower end slightly 
twisted to the left. This small, tellin-like species is very common in shallow 
water in sand. M. soiileyetiana Recluz is the same. 

Macoma limiila Dall is very similar in size and shape, although somewhat 
more elongate, and is distinguished by the finely granular external surface 
of the valves. Commonly dredged from North Carolina to Florida. 

Macoma constrict a Bruguiere Constricted Macoma 

Florida to Texas and the West Indies. 

1 to 2/4 inches in length, moderately elongate. The posterior end is 
twisted to the right and is narrowed to a blunt point. Color all white with 
concentric growth lines stained by the gray periostracum. Common just off- 

Macoma nasuta Conrad Bent-nose Macoma 

Figure 88d 

Alaska to Lower California. 

2 to 3% inches in length, elongate, rather compressed and strongly 
twisted to the right at its posterior end. Beaks slightly nearer the anterior 
end. Can be distinguished from other Pacific Coast species by the paUial 
sinus in the Jejt valve which reaches the anterior muscle scar. One of the 
commonest species on the west coast and lives about 6 inches below the 
surface of the mud in quiet waters from shore to 25 fathoms. 

Macoma secta Conrad White Sand Macoma 

Figure 88c 

Vancouver Island to the Gulf of California. 

2 to 4 inches in length. This is the largest Macoma in America and is 
characterized by the almost flat left valve, rather well-inflated right valve, 
and by the wide and relatively short ligament which is sunk partially into 
the shell. There is a large, oblique, rib-like extension just behind the hinge 
inside each valve. Color cream to white. Common in bays and beaches from 
shore to 25 fathoms. A small form occurs in protected waters in bays in its 
more southerly range. 

Students of the Pacific Coast fauna consider M. indentata Carpenter 
(same range) as a distinct species in which the shell is 1% inches in length, 
a little more elongate, with a more pointed posterior end, and with a slight 
indentation on the posterior ventral margin. It may possibly be a form of 
young secta. M. teniiirostris Dall is even more elongate and may also be a 



Macoma yoldijormis Carpenter Yoldia-shaped Macoma 

Alaska to San Diego, California. 

% to %. inch in length, elongate, moderately rounded at each end and 
with a small, but distinct, twist to the right at the posterior end. Color a 
uniform, glossy, porcellaneous white. Rarely translucent with an opalescent 
sheen. Common from shore to 25 fathoms. 

Macoma carlottensis Whiteaves Queen Charlotte Macoma 

Arctic Ocean to Lower California. 

About I inch in length, extremely fragile, inflated and with a very short, 
inconspicuous ligament. Color translucent-white with a thin, greenish, glossy 
periostracum. This species was named inflatula Dall at a later date. 

Macoma brota Dall Brota Macoma 

Figure 88a 

Arctic Ocean to Puget Sound, Washington. 

3 inches in length, moderately elongate, moderately inflated and rather 
thick-shelled. Beaks % toward the posterior end. Resembles calcarea whose 
pallial sinus in the left valve, however, is more elongate, not as high and 
generally reaches nearer the anterior muscle scar. M. brota is larger and 
more truncate posteriorly than that species. Common. 

Macoma planhisciila Grant and Gale Grant and Gale Macoma 

Plate 30t; figure 88h 

Arctic Ocean to Puget Sound, Washington. 

About I inch in length. Extremely similar to calcarea, but porcellaneous, 
with a glossy, yellowish periostracum and more oval in shape. This species 
was thought by Dall and others to be ''''carlottejisis Whiteaves." 

Genus Gastrana Schumacher 1817 
Subgenus Meter omacovia Habe 1952 

Gastrana irus Hanley Irus Macoma 

Figure 88e 

Bering Sea to Los Angeles, California. Japan. 

Commonly 1% inches in length (rarely 3); oval-elongate, moderately 
inflated, very sHghtly twisted, if at all, at the posterior end. Pallial sinus in 
left valve almost reaches the bottom of the anterior muscle scar. Beaks 
slightly anterior. Common in Washington and Oregon. Formerly known 
as inqiiinata Deshayes. 

434 Anicriatn Seashells 

Aiacoma incongnm von Martens (fig. 88b) (Alaska to Washington) is 
similar, but more oval, with a more pointed slope at the beaks, a straighter 
posterior dorsal edge. Its upper pallial sinus line, after nearly reaching the 
anterior muscle scar, turns downward and then runs anteriorly before con- 
necting with the paUial sinus. Common in Alaska. 

Genus Apoly metis Salisbury 1929 
Apolymetis intastriata Say Atlantic Grooved Macoma 

Plate 32y 

South half of Florida and the Caribbean. 

2 to 3 inches in length, elliptical, fairly thin but strong and all white in 
color. The shell is strongly twisted. At the posterior end, the right valve 
bears a strong, radial rib, while on the left valve there is a fairly strong, radial 
groove. Pallial sinus very large. Living specimens are not commonly col- 
lected, although shells are commonly washed ashore. 

Apolymetis biajigiilata Carpenter Pacific Grooved Macoma 

Santa Barbara, California, to Ensenada, Mexico. 

2 to 3 V2 inches in length, oval, moderately compressed, strong, and dull 
grayish white in color. Interior glossy-white with the central portion blushed 
with pastel-peach. Left valve with a shallow, radial groove near the posterior 
end. Right valve with a corresponding ridge at the end of which the margin 
of the shell is shallowly notched. Alias A. alta Conrad. Common. 

Genus Semele Schumacher 18 17 

Resilium supported in a horizontal, chondrophore-like depression which 
is internal and parallel with the hinge line. 2 cardinal teeth in each valve. 
Right valve with 2 distinct lateral teeth, but practically absent in the left 
valve. The ligament is external. 

Semele proficua Pulteney White Atlantic Semele 

Plate 40g 
North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to 1/4 inches in length, almost round, beaks almost central. Lunule 
small and pushed in. Fine concentric lines and microscopic radial striations. 
Externally whitish to yellowish white. Interior glossy, commonly yellowish, 
rarely speckled a little with purple or pink. Moderately common in shallow 
water. The color form radiata Say, has a few indistinct radial rays of pink 


Semele pwpiirascens Gmelin Purplish Semele 

Plate 40b 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

I to i^ inches in length, oblong, thin-shelled, smooth except for very 
fine concentric growth threads over which run another set of fine, micro- 
scopic concentric lines at an oblique angle. External color variable: com- 
monly gray or cream with purple or orangish mottlings. Interior glossy and 
suffused with purple, brownish or orange. A fairly common, shallow-water 

Semele bellastriata Conrad Cancellate Semele 

Plate 30) 

North Carolina to south half of Florida and the West Indies. 

/4 to % inch in length, similar in shape to piirpurascens, but a much 
smaller species with numerous radial and concentric riblets which cross to 
give a cancellate appearance. Some specimens well-beaded, others have the 
radial ribs more prominent. External color yellowish white with reddish 
flecks or a solid, purplish gray. Interior white, cream or suffused with mauve 
or violet, 5. cancellata Orbigny is this species. Fairly common just offshore. 

Semele nibropicta Dall Rose Petal Semele 

Plate 29\v 

Alaska to Mexico. 

I to 1% inches in length; beaks % toward the posterior end; rather 
thick-shelled, especially in the south. Concentric sculpture of small, irreg- 
ular growth lines. Radial incised lines numerous. Periostracum thin, smooth 
and yellowish brown. Exterior of shell dull grayish or tannish white with 
faint, radial rays of light-mauve. Imterior glossy-white, with a small splotch 
of mauve at both ends of the hinge line. Uncommon from 20 to 50 fathoms. 

Se77iele rupicola Dall Rock-dwelling Semele 

Plate 29t 

Santa Cruz, California, to the Gulf of California. 

I to 1% inches in length. Irregular in shape: ovalish, oval-elongate or 
obliquely oval. Exterior yellowish cream with numerous, concentric crinkles 
and a few ^eak radial threads. Interior glossy, white at the center, bright 
purplish red at the margins and hinge. John Q. Burch finds this species com- 
mon in Chama and Mytilus beds and in rocks and crevices. 

Semele decisa Conrad Bark Semele 

Plate 29Z 
San Pedro, California, to Lower California. 

436 A?rierican Seas hells 

2 to 3 inches in length, equally high. Characterized by its heavy shell, 
by the coarse, wide, irregular, concentric folds on the outside (resembling 
rotting bark or wood). Exterior yellowish gray; interior glossy-white, with 
a purple tinge, especially prominent on the hinge and margins. Commonly 
found in rocky rubble in shallow water. 

Genus Ciimingia Sowerby 1833 

Shell delicate, with concentric lamellae; slightly gaping behind. Resilium 
internal and supported by a spoon-shaped chondrophore. One cardinal and 
2 elongate lateral teeth in each valve. 

Cumingia telUnoides Conrad Tellin-like Cumingia 

Nova Scotia to St. Augustine, Florida. 

% to % inch in length, oblong and fairly thin. Slightly pointed at the 
posterior end. Exterior chalky-white, with tiny, sharp, concentric lines. This 
is a moderately common mud-digger which externally resembles a Tellina. 

The subspecies va?ihy?jhigi Rehder 1939 replaces the typical species in 
southern Florida to Texas. It is not so high, is more elongate and more 
drawn out posteriorly. Common in shallow water. C. coarctata Sowerby 
(Lower Keys and West Indies) has stronger, more widely separated con- 
centric ridges. 

Cumingia calijornica Conrad Californian Cumingia 

Plate 31 V 

Crescent City, California, to Chile. 

I to 1% inches in length, elongate-oval, moderately compressed. In 
front of the beaks there is a small, elongate depression. Just posterior to and 
partially covered by the inroUed beaks is a small, short ligament, posterior to 
which is a wide, flaring furrow. Concentric sculpture of numerous wavy, 
rather sharp, fairly large threads. Color grayish white. Pallial sinus very 
long. Abundant in rock crevices and wharf pilings. Also dredged down to 
25 fathoms. 

Genus Abra Lamarck 18 18 

Shell small (/4 inch), fragile, ovalish, smooth, moderately compressed. 
Translucent-white in color. Resilium internal and supported by a linear 
chondrophore. Right valve with 2 cardinals and generally with 2 lamellar 


A bra aequalis Say Common Atlantic Abra 

Plate 30V 

North Carolina to Texas and the West Indies. 

1/4 inch in size, orbicular, smooth, glossy and rather inflated. Surface 
may show a slight iridescence. Periostracum very thin and clear yellowish. 
Anterior margin of right valve grooved. A very abundant and very simple- 
looking bivalve. Compare with lioica. 

Abra lioica Dall Dall's Little Abra 

Plate 3o\v 

Cape Cod to south Florida and the West Indies. 

M inch in size, similar to aequalis, but the beaks are nearer the anterior 
end, the shell is thinner, and more elongate. Anterior margin of right valve 
not grooved. The prodissoconch at the beaks is large, tan and more trigonal 
in shape than the adult. Common from 6 to 200 fathoms. 

Genus Donax Linne 1758 

The posterior end is the shortest and the fattest. 2 cardinal and an ante- 
rior and a posterior lateral in each valve. Pallial sinus deep. 

Donax variabilis Say Coquina Shell 

Plate 3or 

Virginia to south Florida and Texas. 

V2 to % inch in length. Ventral margin of the valves straight and almost 
parallel with the dorsal margin. The thinner, anterior end is commonly 
smooth, but may be microscopically scratched with radial Unes. From the 
middle of the valve to the blunt posterior end, small radial threads appear 
which become increasingly larger posteriorly. Internal margin of valves 
minutely denticulate. Color variable and commonly very bright, especially 
inside: white, yellow, pink, purple, bluish, mauve and commonly with rays 
of darker shades. 

The subspecies roemeri Philippi (pi. 3oq) is very common along the 
Texas shores. The posterior end is blunter, the whole shell not so elongate, 
and the ventral margin sags down. 

Donax fossor Say Fossor Donax 

Long Island, New York, to Cape iVIay, New Jersey. 

Never exceeds Vo inch in length, very similar to variabilis, but almost 

438 Avierican Seashells 

smooth, even at the blunt, posterior end. Only 2 color phases: yellowish 
white or with weak purplish rays. Subsequent biological studies may show 
that this common beach species is a subspecies or cold-water form of varia- 
bilis. Young specimens of variabilis from several southern states look suspi- 
ciously like this so-called species. 

Donax tu7indus Philippi Fat Gulf Donax 

Northern shores of the Gulf of Mexico. 

% to /4 inch in length, very obese, somewhat trigonal in shape, with its 
beaks swollen and posterior end strongly truncate. Threads on the blunt 
posterior end are heavily beaded, sometimes giving a cancellate appearance. 
Narrow anterior end commonly with distinct, microscopic, distantly spaced, 
incised, concentric lines. Color whitish with bluish, yellowish or pinkish 
undertones. Rarely, if ever, rayed. Uncommon. Found in 2 to 3 feet of 

Donax denticulatus Linne (pi. 3 op) from the southwest Caribbean has 
been erroneously recorded from our shores. It is i inch in length and char- 
acterized by 2 curved, low ridges on the posterior slope of each valve and 
by microscopic pin-points on the sides of the valves, 

Donax striates Linne also a lower West Indian species is as large, but 
characterized by a flat to slightly concave posterior slope which bears numer- 
ous fine radial threads. 

Donax gouldi Dall Gould's Donax 

Plate 3iq 
San Luis Obispo, California, to Mexico. 

Common jorm: % inch in length, fairly obese, truncate at the posterior 
end where the beaks are located. Shell glossy, smooth, except for numerous, 
microscopic, axial threads at the anterior end. Exterior cream to white with 
variable color rays of light-tan. Margins of valves commonly flushed with 
purple. Interior stained with purple or bluish brown. Common on beaches, 
especially in the north. Kno\\^n locally as the Bean Clam. 

Small jorm: Yi inch in length, slightly more obese, without the color 
rays in most cases. Common, especially in the south. 

Donax califorjiicus Conrad California Donax 

Plate 3ip 

Santa Barbara, California, to Panama. 

Up to I inch in length, narrowly pointed at both ends. Shell glossy or 
oily-smooth with a tan to greenish-tan periostracum. Interior white or with 


a purple flush, and with a strong splotch of purple at each end of the dorsal 
margin. Common in shallow waters of bays along the shore. 

Genus Iphigenia Schumacher 1817 
Iphigenia brasiliensis Lamarck Giant False Donax 

Plate 32U 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. 

2 to 2/4 inches in length, rather heavy, elongate, roughly diamond- 
shaped in side view and moderately inflated. Posterior dorsal slope flattish. 
Exterior smoothish, cream with a purple-stained beak area. Commonly en- 
tirely covered with a thin, glossy, brown periostracum. Moderately common 
in shallow water in sand. 

Genus Sangiiinolaria Lamarck 1799 

Sangiiinolaria cruenta Solander Atlantic Sanguin 

Plate 4od 

South Florida, the Gulf States and the West Indies. 

I % to 2 inches in length, moderately compressed, the left valve slightly 
flatter than the right. With a slight posterior gape. Exterior glossy, smooth, 
except for minute concentric scratches. Pallial sinus with a U-shaped hump 
at the top. Color white with the beaks and area below a bright-red which 
fades ventrally into white. Uncommon in the West Indies, rare in Florida. 
5. sanguinolenta Gmelin is a later name for this species. 

Subgenus Nuttallia Dall 1898 
Sanguinolaria mittalli Conrad Nuttall's Mahogany Clam 

Plate 29X 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

2% to 3% inches in length. A handsome species characterized by its 
smooth, oval form, glossy nut-brown color, with its right valve almost flat 
and its left valve inflated. External ligament like a brown leather button. 
Interior whitish, commonly with rosy or purplish blush. Common near estu- 
aries in 6 to 8 inches of mud. 

Genus Asaphis Modeer 1793 
Asaphis deflorata Linne Gaudy Asaphis 

Plate 40a 

Southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

440 American Se ash ells 

2 inches in length, moderately inflated. Sculpture of numerous, coarse, 
irregularly sized, radial threads. Color variable and brighter on the inside: 
whitish, yellow, or stained with red, rose or purple. Beaks inflated and rolled 
in under themselves a little. A moderately common, intertidal species, also 
known from the Indo-Pacific. 

Genus Tagelus Gray 1847 
Tagelns plebehis Solander Stout Tagelus 

Plate 3od 

Cape Cod to south Florida and the Gulf States. 

2 to 3^4 inches in length, oblong, subcylindrical, rather inflated, rounded 
posteriorly, obliquely truncate anteriorly. Beaks indistinct, close together and 
nearer the posterior end of the shell. Hinge with 2 small, projecting cardinal 
teeth, with a large bulbous callus just behind them. Exterior smoothish, with 
tiny, irregular, concentric scratches. Periostracum moderately thick, shiny, 
olive-green to brownish yellow. Moderately common in shallow water in 
mud-sand intertidal areas. T. gibbiis Spengler is a later name for this species. 

Tagelus calijornianus Conrad Californian Tagelus 


onterey, California, to Panama. 

Plate 29U 

2 to 4 inches in length. Pallial sinus does not extend past a line vertical 
to the beaks. External color yellowish white under a dark-brown periostra- 
cum which is radially striated. Interior white. Common on muddy sand flats 
near marshes. Lives 8 to 10 inches below the surface of the sand. 

Tagelus affinis C. B. Adams Affinis Tagelus 

Southern California to Panama. 

1/4 to 2% inches in length. Shell thin. PalHal sinus extends to a line 
shghtly beyond tlie beaks, that is, about 53 to 60 percent of the total length 
of the shell. Dredged from 3 to 40 fathoms in mud-sand, but commonly 
washed ashore. 

Subgenus Mesopleura Conrad 1867 
Tagelus divisus Spengler Purplish Tagelus 

Plate 30g 

Cape Cod to south Florida, the Gulf States and the Caribbean. 

I to I /4 inches in length, elongate, subcylindrical, fragile and smooth. 
The valves are reinforced internally by a very weak, radial rib (commonly 


obscure) running across the center of the valve just anterior to the 2 small, 
projecting cardinal teeth. Color of shell whitish purple, covered externally 
with a very thin, chestnut-brown, glossy periostracum. A common shallow- 
water species. 

Tagehis subteres Conrad Purplish Pacific Tagelus 

Plate 29s 

Santa Barbara, California, to Lower California. 

I to 2 inches in length, subcylindrical, slightly arcuate with the dorsal 
margins sloping down from the beaks. Color pale purple inside and out. 
Periostracum yellowish brown and finely wrinkled. Moderately common in 
shallow water in sandy mud. 

Tagehis politiis Carpenter from Central America does not slope down 
from the beaks so strongly, is a thinner shell and much more darkly colored 
with violet. 

Genus Meter odonax Morch 1853 

Shell less than i inch in length, resembling a strong, oval Tellina. Two 
cardinals and two lateral teeth in each valve, the laterals usually not very 
distinct. Pallial sinus extends % the length of the shell. 

Heterodonax bimaculatus Linne Small False Donax 

Plate 3oh 

South half of Florida and the West Indies. Southern Cahfornia to 

% to I inch in length, oval, with a truncate anterior end and moderately 
inflated. Exterior smoothish, with numerous fine growth lines. 2 cardinals 
in each valve. Anterior to the beaks (which point forward), the hinge is 
thick for a short distance, then followed by a thinner, concave portion. Color 
variable: white with 2 oblong crimson spots inside; violet with radial streaks; 
pink, yellow or mauve; some are speckled with black or brown. This is a 
common species found with Donax on the slopes of sandy beaches. H. pa- 
cificiis Conrad is a synonym. 

Genus Gari Schumacher 18 17 

Shell fairly large, elongate-oval, beaks near the center; hinge thick and 
with 2 small, bifid teeth just under the beak. Alias Psainmobia Lam. 18 18. 

Subgenus Fsamvtocola Blainville 1824 
Gari calif ornica Conrad Californian Sunset Clam 

Plate 2911 

Aleutians to off San Diego, California. Japan. 


Av] eric an Seas bells 

2 to 4 inches in length, elongate-oval, fairly strong; the low beaks are 
nearer the anterior end. Sculpture of strong, irregular, concentric growth 
lines. Periostracum brownish gray, fairly thin and irregularly wrinkled. 
Exterior shell dirty-white or cream, and may have faint, narrow, radial rays 
of purple. Common offshore to 25 fathoms. Commonly washed ashore after 
storms, especially between Sea Beach and Huntington Beach, Cahfornia. 
The subgenus Gobraeus Leach 1852 is a later name for Fsammocola. 

Superjaviily SOLE N ACE A 

Genus Siliqua Miihlfeld i 

1 1 

Shell commonly 6 inches in length, oval, compressed laterally; with a 
rather strais^ht, raised, internal rib ventrally directed. Hinq-e like Ensis. 

Siliqiia costata Sav Atlantic Razor Clam 

Plare ^of 
Gulf of St. Lawrence to New Jersey. 

2 to 2/4 inches in length, ovate-elongate, compressed, fragile, smooth 
and with a shiny, green periostracum. Interior glossy, purplish white, with 
a strong, white, raised rib running down from the hinge to the middle of the 
anterior end. Very common on shallow-water sand-flats along the New 
England coast. 

Siliqiia squama Blainville found offshore from Newfoundland to Cape 
Cod is larger, thicker, white internally, and its internal, supporting rib slant- 
ing posteriorly instead of anteriorly as in costata. Uncommon. 

Siliqua hicida Conrad 

Transparent Razor Clam 

Bolinas Bay, California, to Lower California. 

I to I H inches in length. Very thin, fragile and translucent. A4oder- 
ately elongate. Shell whitish tan, with broad, indistinct, radial rays of darker 
tan or rosy purplish. Periostracum thin, ohve-green and varnish-like. Mod- 
erately common in sand at low tide to 25 fathoms. This species can be 
distinguished from the young of S. patula by its narrower and higher internal 
rib which crosses the shell at right-angles, and in being more arcuate on its 
ventral margin. 

Siliqua patula Dixon 

Alaska to Monterey, California. 

Pacific Razor Clam 

Plate 29y 


5 to 6 inches in length, oval-oblong in shape, laterally compressed and 
moderately thin. Periostracum varnish-like and olive-green. Interior glossy 
and whitish with a purplish flush. Internal rib under teeth descending ob- 
liquely toward the anterior end. Animal without dark coloration. The 
variety nuttalli Conrad is a synonym. Do not confuse with 5. alta. An abun- 
dant, edible species found in mud and sand on ocean beaches. 

Siliqua alta Dall Dall's Razor Clam 

Arctic Ocean to Cook's Inlet, Alaska. Russia. 

4 to 5 inches in length, similar to panda, but chalky-white inside, more 
truncate at both ends, a heavier shell, and with a stronger, narrower and 
vertical (not oblique) rib on the inside. 5. viedia Sowerby from the same 
region may possibly be the young of this species, although it is blushed with 
purple inside. 5. alta is common and edible. 

Genus Ensis Schumacher 1817 

The Jackknife Clams closely resemble Solen, but the left valve has 2 
vertical, cardinal teeth, and each valve has a long, low posterior tooth. 

Eiisis directus Conrad Atlantic Jackknife Clam 

Plate 30k 

Labrador to South Carolina. Florida? 

Up to 10 inches in length, 6 times as long as high, moderately curved 
and with sharp edges. Shell white, covered with a thin, varnish-like, brown- 
ish-green periostracum. Common on sand-flats in New England. Edible. 

Ensis minor Dall from both sides of Florida to Texas rarely exceeds 3 
inches in length, is more fragile, relatively longer, and is more pointed at 
the free end (not the end with the teeth). Internally it has purplish stains. 
Moderately common between tide marks. Some workers consider this a sub- 
species of directus. E. megistus Pilsbry and McGinty are probably 5 -inch- 
long specimens of minor. 

Ejjsis myrae S. S. Berry Calif ornlan Jackknife Clam 

Southern California. 

2 inches in length, with much the same characters as In directus. This is 
the only Ensis in California and It is not very common. It has been errone- 
ously called calif or7iic7is Dall which, however. Is a more southerly species. 
For a new name for the Californian Ensis, consult future works by Pacific 
Coast students (probably S. S. Berr)').^ 

^ Since appeared Aug. 1953 ^^ Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. 11, p. 398. 

444 American Se ash ells 

Genus Solen Linne 1758 
Similar to Ensis, but with only a single tooth at the end of each valve. 

Solen sicarius Gould Blunt Jackknife Clam 

Plate 29V 

British Columbia to Lower California. 

2 to 4 inches in length, 4 times as long as wide. Exterior with a varnish- 
like, olive to greenish periostracum. Moderately common in certain local- 
ities, especially sandy mud flats. Also dredged in 25 fathoms. 

Solen viridis Say Green Jackknife Clam 

Plate 3011 

Rhode Island to northern Florida and the Gulf States. 

About 2 inches in length, about 4 times as long as wide; dorsal edge 
straight, ventral edge curved. Hinge with a single projecting tooth at the 
very end of the valve. Color white; periostracum thin, varnish-like, light 
greenish or brownish. Moderately common in shallow-water sand flats. 

Solen rosaceiis Carpenter Rosy Jackknife Clam 

Santa Barbara, California, to A4azatlan, A^exico. 

I to 3 inches in length, almost 5 times as long as wide. Shell fragile, with 
a thin, glossy, olive periostracum. Beachworm specimens are whitish with 
rosy stains inside and out. It is more cylindrical, the anterior extremity is 
more rounded and narrower than in sicarius. An abundant species along the 
sandy shores of bays. Also to 25 fathoms. 

Genus Solecurtus Blainville 1825 

Quadrate to rectangular in shape; gaping at both ends. With weak, 
"clapboard" sculpturing. Ligament prominent, external and posterior to the 
small beaks. Right valve with 2 strong, horizontally jutting cardinal teeth 
just under the centrally located beaks. Left valve with i cardinal. Fsavt- 
mosolen Risso 1826 is a synonym. 

Solecurtus cutningianus Dunker Corrugated Razor Clam 

North Carolina to south half of Florida to Texas. 

I to 2 inches in length with characters of the genus. Color all white, 
with a dull, yellowish-gray periostracum. Outer surface sculptured with 


coarse, concentric, irregular lines and with sharp, small, oblique, wavy 
threads. Uncommon offshore. 

Solecurtus sanctaemarthae Orbigny St. Martha's Razor Clam 

Plate 3oi 

North CaroHna to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% inch in length, differing from cinningiamis in being twice as long as 
high (instead of iV-j. times) and in having stronger sculpturing. Uncommon 
from shallow water to 2 5 fathoms. 

Super fa77nly MACTRACEA 

Key to Some Genera of Mactridae 

a. Ligament entirely internal Mulinia 

aa. Ligament partially external 

b. Chondrophore set off from ligament by a thin shelly plate: 

c. Posterior rostrate; shell thin and fragile .... La bios a 
cc. Both ends rounded; shell thick Mactra 

bb. Chondrophore not set off by a plate Spisula 

Figure 89. Hinge of the Atlantic Fragile Mactra, Mactra fragilis Gmelin, 2 inches. 

Genus Mactra Linne 1767 
Mactra fragilis Gmelin Fragile Atlantic Mactra 

Plate 32s; figure 89 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

2 to 2 ^ inches in length, oval, moderately thin, but strong, and smooth- 
ish. Posterior slope with 2 radial, small ridges, one of which is very close to 
the dorsal margin of the valve. With a fairly large posterior gape. Color 
cream-white, with a thin, silky, grayish periostracum. A4oderately common 
in shallow water. Rarely reaches 4 inches in length. 

Mactra calijornica Conrad Californian Mactra 

Figure 9od 

Neeah Bay, W^ashington, to Panama. 

446 American Seashells 

Up to I % inches in length, moderately fragile, moderately elongate and 
with the beaks central. Characterized by pecuhar, concentric undulations on 
the beaks. This small species of Mactra is common in lagoons and bays of 
southern California. It lives 3 to 6 inches below the surface of the sand. 

Mactra nasuta Gould Gould's Pacific Mactra 

San Pedro, California, to Mazatlan, Mexico. 

Up to 3/4 inches in length, similar to calif ornica, but more oval at the 
ventral margin, without concentric undulations on the beaks, and with 2 very 
distinct, raised, radial ridges on the posterior dorsal margin. The whitish 
shell is glossy and the periostracum is shiny and yellowish tan. Not very 

Genus Spisula Gray 1837 

Spisiila soUdissima Dillwyn Atlantic Surf Clam 

Plate 32P 
Nova Scotia to South Carolina. 

Up to 7 inches in length (usually about 4 or 5 inches), strong, oval and 
smoothish, except for small, irregular growth lines. The lateral teeth bear 
very tiny, saw-tooth ridges. Color yellowish white with a thin yellowish 
brown periostracum. Common below low-water mark on ocean beaches. 
After violent winter storms, these clams are cast ashore in incredible num- 
bers, some estimates giving an approximate count of 50 million clams along 
a ten-mile stretch. 

The subspecies shnilis Say (Cape Cod to both sides of Florida and to 
Texas) is more elongate, its anterior slope flatter, and its pallial sinus longer 
and not sloping slightly upward. In the left valve, the tiny double tooth, 
just anterior to the spoon-shaped chondrophore, is usually much larger and 
stronger. Moderately common, and commonly existing with the typical spe- 
cies in the northern part of its range. Compare with polynyma which has a 
larger pallial sinus. 

Spisula polynyma Stimpson Stimpson's Surf Clam 

Plate 31W; figure 26k 

Arctic Seas to Rhode Island. Arctic Seas to Puget Sound. Also Japan. 
3 to 5 inches in length, beaks very near the middle of the valve. Anterior 



end smaller than the elliptical posterior end. Shell chalky, dirty-white and 
with a coarse, varnish-like, yellowish brown periostracum. Worn shells have 
coarse, concentric, wide growth lines. The pallial sinus is larger in this spe- 
cies than in solidissima. Moderately common from low-tide line to 60 fath- 
oms. The form alaskana Dall is probably a synonym. The fossil, 5. voyi 
Gabb 1868 from the Miocene or Pliocene is possibly only a subspecies. 

Spisula falcata Gould Hooked Surf Clam 

Puget Sound, Washington, to California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, rather elongate at the narrower anterior end. 
Exterior chalky with a partially worn-off, light-brown, shiny periostracum. 
Anterior upper margin of shell slightly concave. Moderately common in 
sand below low-water line. 

Figure 90. Pacific Surf Clams, a, Spisnla dolabriformis Conrad, 3 inches; b, S. 

hemphilli Dall, 6 inches; e, Spistda catiUiformis Conrad, 4 inches; d, Mactra 

calif omica Conrad, i ^ inches; e, S. pla?mlata Conrad, 2 inches. 

448 American Seas he Us 

Spisula planulata Conrad Flattish Surf Clam 

Figure 906 

Monterey, California, to Lower California. 

I to 2 inches in length, % as high. Beaks almost at the middle. Anterior 
upper margin of the shell sharp-edged and straight. Exterior smooth, yellow- 
ish, shiny with the edges commonly stained with rusty-brown. Not very 
common. Found from low-water line to 36 fathoms. 

Spisula catillijormis Conrad Catilliform Surf Clam 

Figure 90c 

Washington State to Ensenada, California. 

4 to 5 inches in. length, almost as high as long. An oval shell with the 
beaks slightly nearer the anterior end. Moderately obese. Dull-ivory, com- 
monly stained with reddish brown. With numerous, irregularly sized and 
spaced growth lines. Periostracum glossy, thin and usually worn off. Pallial 
sinus deep, running anteriorly as far back as the middle of the shell. Rather 
uncommonly washed ashore. Live specimens rare. 

Spisula dolabriformis Conrad Hatchet Surf Clam 

Figure 90a 

Lobitas, California, to Mexico. 

3 to 4 inches in length, rather elongate, compressed and smooth. Poste- 
rior end shorter, but more expansive than the rather drawn-out anterior end. 
Right valve with the posterior lateral tooth separated into 2 teeth lengthwise 
by a long, deep channel. Color a smooth, ivory white, with a dull, light-tan, 
thin periostracum. Small gape at the posterior end. Do not confuse with 
Mactra nasuta which dips down at the ventral margin, has a shiny periostra- 
cum and a wide posterior gape, nor with Spisula falcata which is similar in 
shape, but chalky and with very convex ventral margin to the hinge just 
below the chondrophore. Moderately common. 

Spisula beinphilli Dall Hemphill's Surf Clam 

Figure 90b 

San Pedro, California, to Central America. 

Up to 6 inches in length, about % as high. Rather obese. Posterior end 
more obese and shorter than the downwardly swept, compressed anterior end. 
Periostracum grayish brown, dull, coarsely and concentrically wrinkled. The 
pallial sinus is moderately deep and inclined upward. Fairly common along 
the southern beaches of California. 


Genus Miilinia Gray 1837 
Miilinia lateralis Say Dwarf Surf Clam 

Plate 32-0 

Maine to north Florida and to Texas. 

% to V2 inch in length, resembling a young Spisula or Mactra, moder- 
ately obese, beaks quite prominent and near the center of the shell and point- 
ing to\A'ard each other. Exterior whitish to cream and smoothish, except for 
a fairly distinct, radial ridge near the posterior end. Concentric lines plainly 
seen in the thin, yellowish periostracum. Distinguished from young Spisula 
solidissima which have a proportionately much larger chondrophore in the 
hinge and which have tiny, saw-tooth denticles on the lower anterior and 
lateral hinge-teeth. A very abundant species in warm, shallow water in sand. 

Genus Labiosa iMoller 1832 

Posterior slightly gaping. Shell fragile. Hinge with a prominent chon- 
drophore. Cardinal teeth small and close to the chondrophore. Ligament 
submerged, except at the anterior end, and separated from the chondrophore 
by a shelly plate. Raeta Gray 1853 is the same. This is also Anatina Schu- 
macher 181 7, not Bosc 18 16. 

Labiosa plicatella Lamarck Channeled Duck Clam 

Plate 32q 

North Carolina to Florida, Texas and the West Indies. 

2 to 3 inches in length, Y:, as high, egg-shell thin, but moderately strong. 
Concentric sculpture of smoothish, distinct ribs which on the inside of the 
valves show as grooves. Radial sculpture of very fine, crinkly threads. Color 
pure white. Formerly known as Raeta canaliciilata Say. R. cainpechejisis 
Gray is also a synonym. Commonly washed ashore, especially along the 
strands of the Carolinas, but rarely seen alive. 

Labiosa lineata Say Smooth Duck Clam 

North Carolina to the north % of Florida and to Texas. 

2 to 3 inches in length, % as high, fairly thin but strong. White to tan 
in color. Moderately smooth, except for irregular growth lines and tiny, but 
distinct, concentric ribs near the beaks. Posterior end with a distinct radial 
rib behind which the shell gapes with flaring edges. Uncommon in most 
areas of its range. 

450 American Seashells 

Genus Schizothaerus Conrad 1853 

Shell large with a roundish posterior gape. Hinge with small cardinal 
teeth; lateral teeth very small and close to the cardinals. Ligament external 
and separated from the cartilage pit by a shelly plate. 

Schizothaerus nuttalli nuttalli Conrad Pacific Gaper 

Plate 31Z 

Washington to Lower California. 

Up to 8 inches in length. An oblongish to oval, strong, smoothish shell 
with a prominent gape at the posterior end. The neat, well-formed beaks 
are located M to % from the anterior end. The pallial sinus is very large 
and deep. Periostracum grayish. Common. Compare with the northern sub- 
species capax Conrad. 

Schizothaerus nuttalli capax Gould Alaskan Gaper 

Kodiak Island, Alaska, to Monterey, California. 

Up to 10 inches in length, differing from the typical nuttalli in being 
much more oval, more obese, and dipping downward into a well-rounded, 
ventral margin. This species is very common on most sandy and mud beaches 
in Puget Sound. 

Genus Rangia Desmoulins 1832 
Rangia cuneata Gray Common Rangia 

Figure 91a, b 
Northwest Florida to Texas. 

I to 2% inches in length, obliquely ovate, very thick and heavy. The 
beaks which are near the oval, anterior end are high, inrolled and pointing 
downward and anteriorly. Exterior whitish, but covered with a strong, 
smoothish, gray-brown periostracum. Interior glossy, white and with a blue- 
gray tinge. Pallial sinus small, but moderately deep and distinct. A common 
fresh-water to brackish-water species found in coastal areas. R. iiasuta Dall 
is probably only a rostrate form of this species. Compare with R. flexuosa. 

Subgenus Rangianella Conrad 1867 
Rangia flexuosa Conrad Brown Rangia 

Figure 91c, d 

Louisiana to Texas and Vera Cruz, Mexico. 

I to 1% inches in length, rescmbUng an elongate cuneata, but with no 



Figure 91. Rangia Marsh Clams of the Atlantic Gulf States, a and b, Rangia 
cnneata Gray, 2 inches; c and d, R. flexiiosa Conrad, i % inches. 

distinct pallial sinus, with much shorter laterals, with a faintly impressed, 
large lunule, and colored light-brown inside. A rare and elusive species from 
marsh areas. R. rostrata Petit is a synonym. 

Genus Mesodesma Deshayes 1830 

Like a large Donax with a prominent chondrophore. 
fine denticles. 

Laterals with 

Mesodesma arctatimt Conrad 

Greenland to Chesapeake Bay. 

Arctic Wedge Clam 
Plate 32r 

About I 'V2 inches in length, somewhat shaped like a Donax, fairly thick 
and compressed. Chondrophore fairly large and spoon-shaped. Left valve 
with a long anterior and posterior lateral tooth, both of which have fine, 
comb-like teeth on each side. Pallial sinus small and U-shaped. Interior tan 
to cream. Exterior with a thin, yellowish, smooth periostracum. Common 
from low water to 50 fathoms. 

452 American Seashells 

Genus Ervilia Turton 1822 

Shell small, concentrically striate, and sometimes brightly hued. Liga- 
ment absent; resihum small and internal. Laterals small. Left cardinal large 
and bifid or split. 

Ervilia concentrica Gould Concentric Ervilia 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

%6 of an inch in length, % as high, elliptical in outline, moderately com- 
pressed, although some are somewhat inflated. Each end is rounded to the 
same degree, and the beaks are central. There is a pinpoint depression just 
behind the glossy, inroUed beaks. Sculpture of fine, numerous concentric 
ridges. Radial threads may be present to form tiny beads. Color white, 
yellow or commonly with a pink blush. Common just offshore to 50 fathoms. 
E. rostratula Rehder from Lake Worth, Florida, is similar, but the posterior 
end is slightly more pointed. 

Genus Hiatella Daudin 1801 

Shell irregular due to nestling and burrowing habits. Texture chalky. 
No definite teeth in the thickened hinge of the adults. Pallial line discon- 
tinuous; siphons naked and slightly separated at the tips. Saxicava Fleuriau 
1802 is the same. 

Hiatella arctica Linne Arctic Saxicave 

Figure 92a 

Arctic Seas to deep water in the West Indies. Arctic Seas to deep water 
off Panama. 


Figure 92. The young shells of Hiatella reared under the same artificial conditions. 
a, Hiatella arctica Linne; b, H. striata Fleuriau. (After M. Lebour 1938.) 

Generally i inch in length, but rarely 2 to 3 inches. A very variable 
species in its shape. The young are rather evenly oblong, but the adults 
become oblong, oval or twisted and misshapen. The shell is elongate with 


the dorsal and ventral margins usually parallel to each other. A posterior 
gape may be present. Beaks close together, about % back from the anterior 
end. Just behind them is a conspicuous, bean-shaped, external ligament. 
Shell chalky, white and with coarse, irregular growth lines. Periostracum 
gray, thin and usually flakes oif in dried specimens. With a weak or fairly 
strong radial rib at the posterior end. The rib may be scaled. Common in 
cold water. This is H. rugosa Linne and pholadis Linne. 

■ Hiatella striata Fleuriau {H. galUcana Lamarck and rugosa of some 
authors) is almost indistinguishable in the adult form from arctic a. The 
young, however, in striata do not have the two radial spinose ribs. This 
species breeds in winter, while arctica breeds in summer. The eggs are pinkish 
cream, while those of arctica are red. It nearly always bores into stone. 

Genus Cyrtodaria Daudin 1799 
Cyrtodaria siliqiia Spengler Northern Propeller Clam 

Labrador to Rhode Island. 

2 to 3 inches in length, about H as high. Gapes at both ends, but more 
so posteriorly where the large siphonal snout projects out about an inch. 
Beaks hardly noticeable, placed slightly toward the anterior end. The 
strong, wide ligament is external at the very anterior end of the dorsal mar- 
gin. Shell chalky, white with a bluish tint. The valves are thick-shelled, with 
a coarse callus inside. The valves are slightly twisted in propeller fashion. 
Hinge a simple bar with a fairly large bulbous swelling under the ligament. 
In life, the periostracum is light-brown, glossy, smooth and covers the en- 
tire exterior. Dried valves soon lose the flaky, blackened periostracum. 
Moderately common offshore down to 90 fathoms. On occasion, found in 
fish stomachs. 

A similar species, Cyrtodaria kurriana Dunker, is found in arctic waters 
along the shores at low tide. It is 3 times as long as high, hardly twisted 
and rarely exceeds 1% inches in length. Uncommon in collections. 

Genus Fanomya Gray 1857 
Panomya arctica Lamarck Arctic Rough Mya 

Arctic Seas to Chesapeake Bay. 

2 to 3 inches in length, about Y2 as high, squarish in outline. Looks 
somewhat hke a misshapen Alya, but lacks teeth and a chondrophore in the 
hinge, and has a coarse, flaky, light-brown periostracum. Characterized by 
oblong or oval, sunk-in muscle and pallial line scars. There are 2 poorly de- 

454 American Seashells 

fined radial ridges near the center of the valves. Common in mud in cold 
waters offshore. 

Vanomya ampla Dall Ample Rough Mya 

Aleutian Islands to Puget Sound, Washington. 

2 to 3 inches in length. A peculiarly distorted, heavy shell which is 
much gaping at both ends. Anterior end crudely pointed; posterior broadly 
truncate. With 3 to 6 depressed scars on the white interior. Exterior con- 
centrically roughened, ash-white in color, with a border of thick, irregular, 
black periostracum. Hinge without definite teeth. Uncommon offshore in 
cold water. 

Genus Panope Menard 1807 

Panope generosa Gould Geoduck 

Alaska to the Gulf of California. 

7 to 9 inches in length. Inflated, sHghtly elongate and rather thick- 
shelled. Gaping at both ends. Coarse, concentric, wavy sculpture present, 
especially noticeable near the small, central, depressed beaks. Periostracum 
thin and yellowish. Exterior of shell dirty-white to cream; interior semi- 
glossy and white. Hinge with a single, large, horizontal thickening. The 
2 long, united siphons of the animal are half the weight of the entire clam. 
Common in mud 2 or 3 feet deep in the northwestern states. Edible but 
tough. Freaks have been named soJida Dall, globosa Dall and taeiiiata Dall. 
For an interesting and well-illustrated account of this species, see Natural 
History Magazine (N.Y.), April, 1948, on "We Go Gooeyducking" by the 

Panope bitriincata Conrad from North Carolina to Florida is 5 to 6 
inches in length and resembles the Pacific geoduck. Dead valves are rarely 
found, and I have never seen a live specimen. Possibly extinct. 

Super jamily MY ACE A 

Family MY ACID AE 

Genus Mya Linne 1758 

These are the soft-shell or "steamer" clams which are so popular in New 
England. The valves are slightly unequal in size and have a large posterior 
gape. Resilium internal, placed posterior to the beaks and attached in the 
left valve to a horizontally projecting chondrophore. 


My a arenaria Linne Soft-shell Clam 

Plate 32X 

Labrador to off North Carolina. Introduced to western United States. 

I to 6 inches in length. PalHal sinus somewhat V-shaped in contrast 
to U-shaped in truncata. Shell eHiptical. Periostracum very thin and light- 
gray to straw. Chondrophore in left valve long, spoon-shaped and shallow. 
M. japonica Jay of the Pacific coast is probably this speices. This common, 
delectable clam, also known as the long-necked clam, steamer and nanny 
nose, is harvested from the readily accessible mud flats of New England in 
great numbers. In 1935, nearly 12 million pounds, valued at $704,000, were 
taken from our eastern shores. A hundred pounds of clams furnishes 35 
pounds of meat, while the equivalent weight of oysters would give only 13 

My a truncata Linne Truncate Soft-shell Clam 

Plate 32V 

Arctic Seas to Nahant, Massachusetts. Europe. Arctic Seas to Port 
Orchard, Washington. Japan. 

I to 3 inches in length, similar to arenaria, but widely gaping at its 
abruptly truncate, posterior end. The pallial sinus is U-shaped. In Green- 
land and Iceland this species is fairly common and is considered a delicacy. 
It is also a food for the walrus, king eider duck, arctic fox and the codfish. 
It is uncommon in American collections. 

Genus Spheuia Turton 1822 

Shell small and fragile; surface with concentric ridges; hinge-teeth ab- 
sent. The elongate, flattened chondrophore in the left valve juts obliquely 
under the hinge margin of the right valve. These clams are nestlers, and are 
consequently irregular in shape in many instances. 

Sphenia fragilis Carpenter Fragile Sphenia 

Oregon to Mazatlan, Mexico. 

Yi inch in length, quite elongate, with a long, narrow, compressed, 
posterior snout. Anterior half obese and rotund. Beaks fat and close to- 
gether. Shell fragile, chalky, white and with fine, concentric threads, Peri- 
ostracum yellowish gray, dull and usually worn off the beak area. Chon- 
drophore in left valve large and with 2 lobes. Socket in right valve large 
and round. The posterior snout is commonly twisted. Low tide to 46 
fathoms in mud. Common. 

456 American Seashells 

Sphenia ovoidea Carpenter (Alaska to Panama) is half as large, smoother, 
and more ovoid in outline without the prominent snout. Uncommon. 

Genus Cryptomya Conrad 1849 

Somewhat like a small, fragile My a, but more fragile, and the right 
valve is larger and more obese than the left. Large chondrophore in the 
left valve is thin, flat-topped with an anterior ridge. Posterior gape and pallial 
sinus almost absent. Siphons very short. 

Crypt077jya calijormca Conrad Californian Glass Mya 

Alaska to central Mexico. 

1 to I /4 inches in length, oval, fragile, moderately obese. Right valve 
fatter. Right beak crowds slightly over the left beak. Posterior gape very 
small. Chondrophore in left valve large, tucks against a small, concave shelf 
under the right beak. Exterior chalky and with small growth lines. Peri- 
ostracum dull-gray, faintly and radially striped at the posterior end. Interior 
slightly nacreous in fresh specimens. Common in sand where it may live as 
deep as 20 inches. The short siphons enter the burrows of other marine 

Genus Flatyodon Conrad 1837 

Shell somewhat resembling a very fat Mya, with a fairly thick shell, 
rugose sculpturing and fairly small chondrophore. 

Platyodon cancel! atiis Conrad Chubby Mya 

Queen Charlotte Island, B.C., to San Diego, California. 

2 to 3 inches in length, rounded rectangular and obese. Gaping widely 
posteriorly. Shell strong, rather thick and with fine, clapboard-like, concen- 
tric growth lines. Rarely with very weak radial grooves. Chondrophore 
in left valve quite thick and arched. Beak of right valve crowds under beak 
of left valve. Shell chalky and white; periostracum thin, yellowish brown 
to rusty, and rugose posteriorly. Moderately common near beds of pholads. 
Lives in sand. 

Genus Varicorbida Grant and Ciale 193 1 

Varicorlnda operculata Philippi 1848 Oval Corbula 

North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. 


% of an inch in length, % as high, moderately thin-shelled and glossy. 
Beaks high, curled under and pointing anteriorly. Right valve subtrigonal 
in shape, very obese and with strong, concentric ridges. Left valve more 
elongate, smaller, less obese and with numerous but weaker ridges. Color 
white, but some may be tinted with rose near the margins. Uncommonly 
dredged from 12 to 250 fathoms. Live specimens very rare. This is C. dis- 
parilis of authors. 

Genus Corbula Bruguiere 1792 

Small, thick shells characterized by one valve (commonly the right) 
being larger than the other. Posterior end commonly rostrate. Resilium 
and ligament internal. The genus Aloidis Aliihlfeld was in current use until 

Corhila contracta Say Contracted Corbula 

Cape Cod to Florida and the West Indies. 

^4 inch in length, oblong, moderately to strongly obese. Both valves 
about the same size, except that the posterior, ventral margin of the right 
valve overlaps that of the left. The numerous, poorly defined, concentric 
ridges on the outside of the valves extend over the posterior, radial ridge on 
to the posterior slope. The left valve has a V-shaped notch in the hinge 
just anterior to the beak. Color dirty-gray. A common shallow-water 

Corbula dietziana C. B. Adams Dietz's Corbula 

North Carohna to southeast Florida and the West Indies. 

% to ^ inch in length, like contracta, but larger, thicker-shelled and 
pinkish inside. The ventral margins are blushed or rayed with carmine-rose. 
Microscopic threads numerous between the few coarse, concentric ridges. 
Compare with the smaller and more comprecsed barrattiana. Commonly 
dredged offshore in the Miami region. 

Corbula nasuta Say Snub-nose Corbula 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies. 

%6 to % inch in length, oblong, obese and strongly rostrate at the pos- 
terior end. The posterior end looks as if it had been severely pinched. Right 
valve considerably larger than the left. Margins of valves with a thick border 


Ajnerican Seashells 

of dark-brown periostracum. Concentric sculpture of distinct ridges. Color 
yellowish to brownish white. Uncommon in shallow water. 

Corbula barrattiajia C. B. Adams 

North Carolina to both sides of Florida and the West Indies 

Barratt's Corbula 

Figure 93a 

^ inch in length, moderately compressed, rostrate at the posterior end, 
with poorly developed or without concentric ridges in the beak area. Right 
valve slightly larger than the left. The posterior end of the rostrum in the 
right valve projects far beyond that of the left valve. Color variable: white, 
pink, mauve, yellow, orange or