KEY TO THE SHALLOW WATER

SNAILS

OF THE MIDDLE FLORIDA KEYS

 

Duane Kauffmann

 

Goshen College

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With much appreciation to Dr. Jonathan Roth, co-founder of the Goshen College Marine Biology program, for getting me interested in the small snails.   Thanks are also extended to Dr. Stan Grove, Rebecca Moeljono, Klaus Huebert, Glen Kauffmann, Jeff Liechty, and Dottie Kauffmann who assisted with advice and photos for earlier drafts, and to many students who offered helpful suggestions for ways to make the key more user friendly.   Users of the key who wish to offer corrections or suggestions may contact Duane Kauffmann at Goshen College, Goshen, IN  46526 (duanerk@goshen.edu or 574 535 7470).


USING THE KEY

 

The species included in this key are those snails in the Class Gastropoda with external shells (including limpet sand bubble shells, but excluding the chitons and tusks).  Animals in the class Gastropoda which have a shell of individual plates, an internal shell, or no shell at all, are profiled in a separate guide (which includes the chitons, sea hares, tusks, nudibranchs, squids, and octopods).  A guide is also available for the Class Bivalvia.

 

To use this key, one must make three choices concerning characteristics of the shell which is to be identified.  The three choices focus on the overall shape, surface features, and aperture.  Choosing among the options for each of these three shell characteristics is not always easy since fitting the shell into one of the categories offered is sometimes subjective.  For example, should a shell with very fine (sometimes microscopic) spiral grooves be placed in the "spirals" or "smooth" category?  Thus, if the first choice made does not result in the correct identification, begin again choosing a second option (e.g., if the shape choice “slender” does not work, try “stocky,” if the surface features choice “ribs” doesn’t work, try “cancellate” or "ribs dominant").

 

To assist the user in making choices, the pages which follow provide prose descriptions (pages 3, 4, and 5) and pictorial guides (pages 6, 7, and 8) to the terminology used for shell features concerning shape, surface features, and aperture.  Examine the unknown shell carefully and select one option for each of these three shell characteristics.  After the three choices have been made, find the shape choice you have made on page 9.  Click on the term indicating your choice   

 

After arriving at the page for your shell shape choice, scroll down to the choice you made for surface features using the alphabetically arranged, indented listings.  After finding the surface features category, find the choice you made for aperture shape.  This process will lead to a listing of one or more identification possibilities from which to choose.  Clicking on the species names will take you to pages where you may examine photographs and read detailed descriptions.  A list of references is also provided.  These sources are:

     Abbot, R. Tucker.  (1974).  American Seashells (2nd ed.).  New York:  Van Nostrand Reinhold.

     Abbot, R. Tucker, and Morris, Percy.  (1995).  Shells of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and the West Indies (4th ed.).   Boston:  Houghton Mifflin.

     Lee, Harry.  (2009).  Marine Shells of Northeast Florida.  Jacksonville, FL:  Jacksonville Shell Club.

     Redfern, Colin.  (2001).  Bahamian  Seashells:  A Thousand Species from Abaco, Bahamas.  Boca Raton, FL:  Bahamianseashells.com.

     Rehder, Harald.  (1981).  The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Seashells.  New York:  Knopf.

 

Note:  The process of identification will usually be successful when one has a good quality, mature specimen with which to work.  Unfortunately one sometimes finds a shell with broken parts and/or sun-bleached color loss or about which one cannot be certain if it is mature.  Working with such shells can often prove quite frustrating and a decision must be made about how much time and energy to put into the identification of such specimens.
Note:  Beginning on page 6, there is an illustrated guide to give additional help in choosing labels concerning shape, surface features, and aperture which are given in prose on pages 3 and 4.

 

 

Shape  (as viewed with shell held with aperture up)

 

   Barrel:          sides of shell parallel

 

   Flattened:     low spire, shell little elevated above body whorl

 

   Fusiform:     shell symmetrical with widest part in middle and tapering to either end

 

   Kite:             spire and shell with triangular shape

 

   Rounded/Oval:  shell with oval to round shape

 

   Slender:        shell widest near base and tapered to a tall, usually pointed, spire

 

   Stocky:         base of shell wide, upper whorls of deceasing size

 

   Triangular:    shell flat on top or base

 

   Tube:            elongate shape

 

 

Surface Features   (predominant character as viewed with unaided eye)

 

   Base:                                 ribs and spirals on shell,  spirals are primarily on base of shell

 

   Beaded:                 beads, knobs, or spines (often only at shoulder; fine spirals may be present)

 

   Cancellate:             ribs and cords of equal size

 

   Ribs:                      ribs only on shell

 

   Ribs Dominant:    both ribs and spiral features on shell, ribs more prominent

 

   Smooth:                no surface features (includes also shells with microscopic surface features)

 

   Spirals:                 cords, grooves, or rings on shell

 

   Spirals Dominant: both ribs and spirals on shell, cords or grooves more prominent


 

Aperture

 

   Elongate:                 aperture is long and narrow (more than 50% height of shell)

 

   Flaring:                    aperture framed by an outer lip which flares open

 

   Half-Moon:              aperture the shape of a half circle

 

   Narrow:                    aperture narrow and less than 50% the height of the shell

 

   Open:                       aperture completely open as in limpets

 

   Oval:                        aperture rounded by longer than wide

 

   Round:                     aperture round

 

   Tear-Drop:               aperture rounded at base and much narrowed at the top

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following characteristics are not used in the identification key, but are included in the text descriptions and can be used to help confirm identification.

 

Size

  

   Minute:           up to 1/6 inch             up to 4 mm

  

   Tiny:                1/6 to 3/8 inch           5 to 10 mm

 

   Small:              3/8 to 3/4 inch           11 to 19 mm

 

   Medium:          3/4 to 1 1/2 inch        20 to 38 mm

 

   Large:              1 1/2 to 4 inches        39 to 100 mm

 

  Very Large:      over 4 inches             101 mm and up

 

 

 

 

 

Columella

   

    Fold:                    a single fold on columella

 

    None:                   no columella (as in limpets)

 

    Smooth:              columella is smooth (with perhaps a twist at lower end)

 

    Teeth:                 columella with 2 or more folds, teeth, or plications

 

 

Canal

 

  None:             base of shell rounded, no visible canal

 

  Short:             canal much reduced

 

  Moderate:      canal very evident and of moderate length

 

   Long:            canal prominent, long

 

 

Height/width ratio (measurements include aperture and outer lip)

 

  Very Wide:                          up to .2

 

   Wide:                                 .21 to .7

 

   Equal:                                .71 to 1.2

 

   Tall:                                    1.21 to 2.0

 

   Very Tall:                           2.01 to 4.0

 

   X Tall:                                 4.01 and above

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shell Key

Guide to Shape Terms Used in Key

 

          Barrel                            Flattened

    (sides of shell parallel)                                                      (spire very little elevated)

                                                       

 

             Fusiform                                                     Kite

  (shell wide in middle, tapering to either end)                                              (triangular spire, triangular body)

                                               

 

               Rounded and Oval                           Slender

 

                            

 

                 Stocky                        Triangular                Tube

           (base wide, low spire)

           

       Shell Key

Guide to Surface Feature Terms Used in Key

       Base                            Beaded

(ribs and spirals, spirals strong on base)       (beads, knobs, and/or spines [may be at shoulder only, may be fine spirals])

                             

 

  Cancellate                 Ribs                        Ribs Dominant         

           (ribs and spirals of equal size)                       (ribs only)                                     (ribs and spirals, ribs stronger)

                              

 

              Smooth                               Spirals

(may have microscopic features)                                                       (spirals only)

                  

 

                                      Spirals Dominant

                                                               (ribs and spirals present, spirals stronger)

                                                            

Shell Key

Guide to Aperture Terms Used in Key

 

 

              Elongate               Flaring                  Half Moon   

                         (more than 50% height of shell)              (flaring outer lip)                                       (half circle)

                             

 

 

 

             Narrow                  Open                           Oval

  (less than 50% height of shell)

                             

 

 

 

                         Round                                        Tear Drop

           (rounded at base, narrowed at top)

                                     

 

 

 

 

Index to Shape Terminology Pages

 

 

 

            Barrel …………………………………. 10

 

 

                  Flattened………………………………  11

 

 

                  Fusiform………………………………  13

 

 

                  Kite …………………………………..  16

 

 

                  Rounded and Oval …………………… 18

 

 

                  Slender ……………………………….  22

 

 

         Stocky ………………………………..  27

 

 

                  Triangular …………………………....  30

 

 

                  Tube ………………………………....  31

 

 


Back

 

BARREL

 

       SMOOTH

 

              ELONGATE

 

                      Acteocina candei

                      Acteocina lepta

                      Haminoea succinea

                     


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FLATTENED

 

            BEADED

 

              OVAL

 

                      Astralium phoebium

 

              ROUND

 

                      Arene cruentata

 

       RIBS

 

               ROUND

 

                      Ammonicera minortalis

 

       RIBS DOMINANT

 

              OVAL

 

                      Modulus modulus

Orbitestella bermudezi

                      Sinezona confusa

 

       SMOOTH

 

              OVAL

 

                      Episcynia multicarinata

                                    Teinostoma biscaynense

Teinostoma lerema

                      Teinostoma lituspalmarum

                      Teinostoma nesaeum

                      Vitrinella filifera

                       

                       

 

              ROUND

 

                      Tegula fasciata

 

SPIRALS

 

              OVAL

      

                      Circulus semisculptus

                      Cyclostremiscus jeannae

                      Modulus carchedonius

Solariorbis multistriatus

 

              ROUND

 

                      Cyclostremiscus suppressus

                      Lodderena ornata


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 FUSIFORM

 

       BASE

 

              NARROW

 

                      Costoanachis catenata

                      Costoanachis semiplicata

                      Costoanachis sparsa

Costoanachis translirata

Suturoglypta iontha

                      Vexillum moniliferum

 

       BEADED

 

              NARROW

 

                      Trachypollia nodulosa

Steironepion moniliferum

 

              OVAL

 

                      Chicoreus dilectus

                      Cymatium cynocephalum

                      Melongena corona

                      Murexsul oxytatus

                      Trachypollia turricula

Triplofusus giganteus

 

       CANCELLATE

 

              OVAL

 

                      Bailya intricata

 

              NARROW

 

                      Thala foveata

 

       RIBS

 

              NARROW

 

                      Vexillum exiguum

                      Vexillum gemmatum

 

       RIBS DOMINANT

 

              NARROW

 

Agathotoma candidissima                  

Crassispira cubana

                      Glyphoturris rugirima

                      Kurtziella atrostyla

                      Mitra nodulosa                                       

                      Pyrgocythara filosa

                      Pyrgocythara hemphilli

                      Pyrgospira tampaensis

Stellatoma stellata

                      Strictispira solida

Tenaturris bartlettii

                      Vexillum dermestinum

                      Vexillum sykesi

 

              OVAL

 

                      Calotrophon ostrearum          

                      Cantharus cancellarius

                      Cantharus multangulus

                      Chicoreus pomum

Dermomurex elizabethae

                      Dermomurex pauperculus

Gemophos tinctus

                      Hemipolygona macgintyi

                      Leucozonia nassa

                      Teralatirus cayohuesonicus

                       

       SMOOTH

 

              ELONGATE

 

Melampus bullaoides    

                      Jaspidella jaspidea

 

              NARROW

 

Astyris lunata

                      Dentimargo aureocinctus

                      Dentimargo eburneolus

Mitrella dichroa

                      Milrella ocellata

Olivella acteocina

                      Olivella floralia

                      Olivella pusilla

 

              OVAL

 

                      Fasciolaria lilium

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                      Creedonia succinea

 

       SPIRALS

 

              OVAL

 

                      Fasciolaria tulipa

 

              NARROW

                     

                      Mitra barbadensis


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KITE

 

       BEADED

 

              ELONGATE

 

                      Busycon perversum

Cassis flammea

                      Morum oniscus

                      Vasum muricatum

 

              FLARING

 

                      Strombus alatus

                      Strombus costatus

                      Strombus gigas

                      Strombus raninus

 

              OVAL

 

                      Cymatium femorale

Mancinella deltoidea

                      Stramonita haemostoma

                      Stramonita rustica

 

       RIBS DOMINANT

 

              OVAL     

 

                      Coralliophilia abbreviata

                      Coralliophilia caribaea

                      Cymatium comptum

Eupleura sulcidentata

                      Favartia cellulosus

                      Vokesimurex  rubidus


 

       SMOOTH

 

              ELONGATE

 

                      Conus spurius

                      Gibberula lavaleeana

                      Melampus bidentatus

                      Melampus coffea

                      Melampus monile

                      Prunum apicinum

                      Prunum succinea

      

       SPIRALS

 

              ELONGATE

 

                      Busycotypus spiratus

                      Columbella mercatoria

                      Columbella rusticoides

                      Conus cardinalis

                      Conus anabathrum

                      Conus jaspideus

 

       SPIRALS DOMINANT

 

              OVAL

 

                      Cymatium martianum    

 


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ROUNDED

 

       BEADED

 

              OPEN

 

                      Crepidula aculeata

 

OVAL

 

       Purpura patula

 

       RIBS

  

              OPEN

 

                      Patelloida pustulata

                      Siphonaria alternata

                      Siphonaria pectinata

 

       RIBS DOMINANT

 

              OPEN

 

                      Diodora cayenensis

                      Diodora dysoni

                      Diodora listeri

                      Diodora minuta

                      Emarginula pumila

                      Lucapina sowerbii

                      Lucapina suffusa

                       

 

       SMOOTH

 

              ELONGATE

 

                      Minute  (see page 4 for size definitions)

                     

                             Atys sharpi

                             Granulina ovuliformis

                             Microtralia ovulum

                             Volvulella persimilis

 

                      Tiny

 

                             Cylichnella bidentata

                             Volvarina albolineata

 

                      Small

 

                             Bulla occidentalis

              Cymbovula acicularis   

                             Haminoea antillarum

                             Haminoea elegans

                             Hyalina pallida

                             Prunum carneum

                             Prunum guttatum

                             Volvarina avena

                             Volvarina avenacea

                       

                      Medium

 

                             Cyphoma gibbosum

                             Cyphoma mcgintyi

                             Erosaria acicularis

                             Luria cinerea

 

 

Large

 

                            Macrocypraea cervus

                             Macrocypraea zebra

              FLARING

 

                      Philine sagra

 

HALF-MOON

 

Natica livida

                      Naticarius canrena

                      Neretina usnea

                      Neretina virginea

                      Polinices lacteus

Polinices uberinus

                      Smaragdia viridis

 

OPEN

 

Crepidula convexa

                      Crepidula fornicata

                      Crepidula maculosa

                      Crepidula plana

                      Hipponix antiquatus

 

 

SPIRALS

 

              ELONGATE

 

                      Niveria quadripunctada

Pusula pediculus

                     

              HALF-MOON

 

                      Nerita fulgurans

                      Nerita peloronta

                      Nerita tessellata

                      Nerita versicolor

 

              OVAL

 

                      Tonna galea

                      Tonna maculosa

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                      Rictaxis punctostriatus


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SLENDER

 

       BEADED

 

              NARROW

 

                      Pilsbryspira albomaculata

                      Pilsbryspira leucocyma

 

              OVAL

 

Boonea seminuda

Cerithiopsis academicorum                

                      Cerithiopsis flava

                      Cerithiopsis greeni

                      Cerithiopsis iontha

Cerithiopsis lata

                      Cerithiopsis pseudomovilla

                      Cerithiopsis vicola

                      Cerithium atratum

                      Cerithium eburneum

                      Cosmotriphora melanura

Foniella robertsoni

                      Ividia havanensis

                      Latitriphora albida

                      Marshallora modesta

                      Nototriphora decorata

Retilaskeya bicolor

                      Triptychus niveus

 

              ROUND

 

                      Iniforis turristhomae

 

TEAR-DROP

 

                      Bittiolum varium

                      Cerithium lutosum

                      Cerithium muscarum

 

CANCELLATE

 

              NARROW

 

                      Nannodiella vespuciana

 

              OVAL

 

                      Finella adamsi

                      Finella dubia

Peristichia agria

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                      Rissoina cancellata

 

       RIBS

 

              NARROW

 

Cerodrillia clappi

                      Cerodrillia thea

 

              OVAL

 

                      Cerithidea costata

                      Cerithidea scalariformis

Epitonium albidum

                      Truncatella caribaeensis

                      Truncatella clathrus

                      Truncatella pulchella

                      Turbonilla hemphilli

                      Turbonilla ornata

                      Turbonilla pupoides

                       

 

 

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                       

                      Rissoina elegantíssima

                      Schwartziella bryerea

                      Schwartziella fischeri

                      Schwartziella vanpeli

                      Turbonilla fonteini

                      Turbonilla krumpermani

 

RIBS DOMINANT

 

              NARROW

 

                      Ithycythara lanceolata

                      Terebra glossema

 

              OVAL

 

                      Batillaria minima

                      Graphis menkhorsti

                      Graphis underwoodae

                      Rissoina princeps

                      Rissoina striosa

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                      Rissoina decussata

                      Rissoina krebsii

                      Rissoina multicostata

                      Turbonilla protracta

 

      

 

SMOOTH

 

              NARROW

 

                      Blauneria heteroclita

 

              OVAL

 

                      Alaba incerta

Henrya henryi

                      Litiopa melanostoma

                      Murchinsonella spectrum

                      Oceanida graduata

                      Pyramidella crenulata

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                      Careliopsis octona

                      Eulima auricincta

                      Melanella eburnea

                      Melanella hypsela

Sayella fusca

                      Sayella laevigata

Vitreolina arcuata

                      Vitreolina bermudezi

                      Zebina browniana


 

       SPIRALS

 

              OVAL

 

Eulimastoma didymum

                      Oscilla somersi

                      Pseudoscilla babylonia

                      Seila adamsii


Back

STOCKY

 

       BEADED

 

              OVAL

 

                      Cenchritis muricata

 

              ROUND

 

                      Echinolittorina tuberculata

                      Tectarius antonii

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                      Cerithium litteratum

 

       CANCELLATE

 

              OVAL

 

                      Alvania auberiana

                      Simulamerelina caribaea

 

       RIBS

 

              ROUND

 

                      Epitonium echinaticosta

 

              OVAL

 

                      Dendropoma corrodens

 

       RIBS DOMINANT

 

              OVAL

                     

Nassarius albus

Cerithium guinaicum

 

       SMOOTH

 

              OVAL

 

                      Amphithalamus vallei

Angiola lineata

Eulithidium adamsi                    

                      Eulithidium affine

                      Eulithidium thalassicola

                      Floridiscrobs dysbatus

                      Janthina globosa

                      Janthina janthina

                      Janthina pallida

Rissoella caribaea

 

              TEAR-DROP

 

                      Assiminea succinea

 

       SPIRALS

 

              HALF-MOON

 

                      Fossarus  ambiguus

 

              NARROW

 

                      Laemodonta cubensis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              OVAL

 

Echinolittorina angustior

                      Echinolittorina ziczac

                      Elachisina floridana

                      Eulithidium bellum

                      Littoraria angulifera

                      Pedipes mirabilis

 

              ROUND

 

                      Fossarus elegans

                      Turbo castanea

 

       SPIRALS DOMINANT

 

              OVAL

 

                      Parviturboides interruptus

                     


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TRIANGULAR

 

        

       BEADED

 

              ELONGATE

 

                      Cassis madagascariensis

 

              OVAL

 

Calliostoma adelae

                      Calliostoma jujubinum

Lithopoma americanum

 

       SMOOTH

 

              ELONGATE

                     

                      Pugnus serrei

                      Persicula catenata

 

       SPIRALS

 

              OVAL

 

                      Xenophora conchyliophora

 

SPIRALS DOMINANT

 

              ELONGATE

 

                     Ficus papyratia


Back

TUBE

 

       RIBS

 

              ROUND

 

Caecum floridanum

                      Caecum pulchellum

                      Caecum textile

 

RIBS DOMINANT

 

              ROUND

 

                      Caecum imbricatum

 

       SMOOTH

 

              OVAL

 

                      Petaloconchus varians

 

              ROUND

        

                      Caecum torquetum

                      Caecum vestitum

                      Cylindrobulla beauii

                      Meioceras nitidum

                       

SPIRALS

 

              OVAL

 

                      Vermicularia fargoi

                      Vermicularia spirata

 

 

       Back

 

Acteocina candei

Cande’s Barrel Bubble

 

Key ID features:    apex, shape, height of outer lip                                            Size:  3 to 6 mm

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0                  File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0

 

 

File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0

Close-up of top of shell and protoconch

 

The color of the Acteocina candei shell is clear/glassy to chalk white.  The shell is smooth and cylindrical; sharply angled at the shoulder.  The low spire is topped by a curled protoconch.  The aperture is elongate, 75% the height of the shell.  The outer lip is thin and rounded at the base.  The columella has a distinct fold.  There are 5 to 7 whorls and the sutures are distinct due to a channel.
The live Acteocina candei is white.  The antennae are flat and leaf-like.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  See Redfern, species #638, p. 153, Acteocina sp. B which may be the same.

 

 

Similar species:  A. lepta (aperture 90% height of shell)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  barrel, smooth, elongate, tiny, fold, none, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 313; Abbot and Morris, p. 270; Lee, p. 153; Rehder, p. 635 (Tornatina candei)

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Acteocina lepta

Woodring’s Barrel Bubble

 

Key ID features:    narrow channel on spire, height of outer lip                      Size:  3 to 7 mm

 

 

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File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0

Close-up of top of shell and protoconch

 

The color of the Acteocina lepta shell is clear/glassy to chalk white.  The shell is smooth and cylindrical; sharply angled at the shoulder.  The flattish spire is topped by a curled protoconch.  The aperture is elongate, 90% the height of the shell.  The outer lip is thin and rounded at the base.  The columella has a distinct fold.  There are 5 to 7 whorls and the sutures are distinct due to a ridge and narrow channel.
The live Acteocina lepta is white.  The head is bluntly rounded.  The antennae are white and are flattened (“leaf-like”) in shape.

 

 

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Acteocina lepta emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  A. candei (aperture 75% height of shell)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  barrel, smooth, elongate, tiny, fold, none, very tall

 

 

References:  Redfern, p. 152 

 

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Agathotoma candidissima

 

 

Key ID features:    punctate spiral threads                                                        Size:  6 to 8 mm

 

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                 Close-up of notch                                    Close-up of punctate spiral threads

 

 

The color of the Agathotoma candidissima shell is white (often appearing frosted).  The shell is fusiform with a high spire and pointed apex.  There are 9 (to 11) ribs which are angled at the periphery.  The surface is densely covered with punctate spiral threads (the punctate character requiring magnification).  The aperture is narrow with a rounded notch at the upper end.  There is a varix behind the outer lip.  The canal is short and open.  There are 7 to 9 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

The live Agathotoma candidissima is clear/whitish with dark white markings.  The antennae are clear/white, short and rounded, little extended beyond the eye.  The siphon is clear with dark white inclusions.

 

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Agathotoma candidissima emerging from shell and crawling

 

Similar species:  K. atrostyla (brown on columella)

 

Long Key: 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, ribs dominant, narrow, tiny, smooth, short, very tall

 

References:  Abbot, p. 283 (Pyrgocythara candidissima); Lee, p. 127; Redfern, p. 130; Williams, #5510

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Alaba incerta

Varicose Alaba

 

Key ID features:   thin shell, varices, ribbed nuclear whorls                           Size:  3 to 9 mm

 

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    Close-up of ribs on 3rd and 4th nuclear whorls                   Close-up of spirals on body whorl

 

 

The character of the Alaba incerta shell is semi-translucent, and glassy to white in color (darker white spots may sometimes be visible).  The shell is thin, tall, and slender, with a bluntly pointed spire.  The convex larger whorls have former varices which are white.  The fine spiral cords are most clearly visible on the body whorl.  The 3rd and 4th nuclear whorls have small ribs.  The aperture is oval and the outer lip very thin and quite fragile.  There are 9 to 10 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 


The live Alaba incerta is yellowish-brown.  The antennae are clear/white with brown markings, of moderate length, and tapered.

 

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Alaba incerta emerging from shell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  channel 5 flat, bay side (“Triton flat”)

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, smooth, oval, tiny, smooth, none, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 110; Abbot and Morris, p. 167; Redfern, p. 22; Rehder, p. 442

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Alvania auberiana

West Indian Alvania

 

Key ID features:   cancellate, wide body whorl                                               Size:  1.5 to 3 mm

 

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The color of the Alvania auberiana shell is glassy to white to yellowish-white.  The shell is stocky and each whorl is considerably larger than the previous one.  There are cords and ribs of nearly equal size giving the shell a cancellate appearance, except on the base where there are cords only.  There is a very small umbilicus.  The aperture is oval with a thickened outer lip.  The rim of the aperture is continuous.  There are 5 to 6 whorls and the sutures are well defined.

 

The operculum is round, thin, and clear.


 

 

The live Alvania auberiana is white. The antennae have a yellowish streak down the center, and are short, moderately slender, and rounded at the tip.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  Simulamerelina caribaea (shell more slender and robust)

 

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Simulamerelina caribaea   Alvania auberiana

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  stocky, cancellate, oval, minute, smooth, none, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 71; Lee, p. 63; Redfern, p. 31; Rehder, p. 412

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Ammonicera minortalis

Minuscule Ammonicera

 

Key ID features:   size, color                                                                              Size:  .3 to .6 mm

 

 

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                              Two views of top of coiled shell                              Close-up of aperture

 

 

The color of the Ammonicera minortalis shell is light to dark brown, the area near the aperture the lightest.  The shell is extremely small, coiled, and flattened.  The axial sculpture varies from mere ridges on some shells to very distinguishable ribs on others.  The aperture is round and the lip is thin.  There are 2 to 3 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is very thin, round, and clear.


 The live Ammonicera minortalis is clear.  The antennae are short and rounded. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  in sand along rocky shore

 

 

Key terminology choices:  flattened, ribs, round, minute, smooth, none, wide

 

 

References:   Redfern, p. 140

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Amphithalamus vallei

del Valle’s Tiny Snail

 

Key ID features:   size, shelf                                                                              Size:  1 to 1.2 mm

 

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Close-up of excavated shelf                                                    Collection of Amphithalamus vallei

 

The color of the Amphithalamus vallei shell is chestnut brown (although the base is often nearly white).  The shell has rounded whorls which appear smooth.  The shell is almost as wide as tall. The aperture is ovate; the lip entirely circles the aperture forming an excavated shelf bordering the columella.  There are 3 to 4 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is an elongate oval, thin, and paucispiral (requires high magnification).

 

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The live Amphithalamus vallei is clear/white but tinted dark by blackish markings.  Underside of foot is white.  The antennae are clear/white, of moderate length, and club-shaped.

 

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Amphithalamus vallei emerging from shell

  

 

 

 

Similar species:  Rissoella caribaea (animal is black, shell fragile and translucent)

 

 

Long Key:   very common in clumps of algae (but often overlooked due to very small size)

 

 

Key terminology choices:  stocky, smooth, oval, minute, smooth, none, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 74; Lee, p. 62; Redfern, p. 30

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Arene cruentata

Star Arene

 

Key ID features:   spines, red spots, flattened                                                  Size:  6 to 13 mm

 

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The color of the Arene cruentata shell is white to cream, with red patches (turning brown on lower whorls) on the tops of the whorls.  The shell is flattened with a very low spire.  A cord at the periphery has triangular spines.  There are short riblets which do not extend onto the spines.  The base has beaded spiral cords, several of which enter a deep umbilicus.  The aperture is round and pearly within.  There are 4 to 5 whorls and the sutures are channeled.

 

The operculum is round, multispirally beaded, concave, and yellowish.

 

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Close-up of aperture and operculum


 

 

The live Arene cruentata is white. The antennae are long, slender, and white.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  found in 12 feet of water in Halimeda off Caloosa Cove

 

 

Key terminology choices:  flattened, beaded, round, small, smooth, none, wide

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 54; Abbot and Morris, p. 139; Lee, p. 55; Redfern, p. 8; Rehder, p. 387

 

 

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Assiminea succinea

Atlantic Assiminea

 

Key ID features:    small size, color, spiral below suture                               Size:  1.5 to 3 mm

 

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Close-up of spire sutures

 

 

The color of the Assiminea succinea shell is light tan to dark brown (beachworn shells fade to light tan or white).  The shell is smooth, small, and with a blunt spire.  The convex whorls of fresh shells are semi-translucent and there is often a microscopic spiral thread below the suture.  The aperture is rounded; the outer lip thin.  There is a small parietal callus which considerably obscures the very small umbilicus.  There are 4 to 5 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is thin, clear (with a hint of brown), and suboval.


The live Assiminea succinea is grayish to whitish/clear (with a tint of reddish).  The front of the animal is rounded; the eyes are at the end of short, rounded stalks.

 

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Assiminea succinea emerging from shell and crawling

 

Long Key:  under shore rocks and debris in many locations

 

Key terminology choices:  stocky, smooth, tear-drop, minute, smooth, none, tall

 

References:  Abbot, p. 78; Lee, p. 64; Redfern, p. 38; Rehder, p. 419 

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Astralium phoebium

Long-spined Star-shell

 

Key ID features:   flattened shape, triangular spines                             Size:  35 to 60 mm

 

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The color of the Astralium phoebium shell is white, though it is often discolored (gray, greenish, or pink) by the growth of various organisms.  The shell is flattened with a very low spire.  There are triangular spines at the periphery of the whorls.  The base is flattened.  Both the whorls and the base have beaded spiral cords. The aperture is rounded and silvery on the interior.  The outer lip is crenulate in conformation with the cords on the base.  There are 6 to 7 whorls but the sutures themselves are not well defined.

 

The operculum is heavy, white, calcareous, and convex.

 

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The live Astralium phoebium is rather drab in appearance.  The animal is yellowish-white with many brownish spots and splotches.  The antennae are long and slender, bristled, and clear with brown markings.

 

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                                      Astralium phoebium emerging from shell and crawling

 

Note:  immature shells are much flattened and the triangular spines are long and distinctive.

 

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Immature shells of width 10 mm, 18 mm, and 27 mm

 

Long Key:   found with considerable frequency in shallow grass beds

 

Key terminology choices:  flattened, beaded, oval, medium, smooth, none, wide

 

References:  Abbot, p. 58 (Astraea phoebia); Abbot and Morris, p. 141 (Astraea phoebia); Lee, p. 56; Redfern, p. 10; Rehder, p. 390 (Astraea phoebia).  [Note:  the name Astraea longispina was also used.]

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Atys sharpi

Slender Paper Bubble

 

Key ID features:    shape, apex, incised lines                                                    Size:  5 to 10 mm

 

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Close-up of apex

 

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          Close-up of incised lines on base            Close-up of incised lines at top of shell

The color of the Atys sharpi shell is translucent/clear to white (sometimes with a bluish tint).  The shell is rather fragile, tall with fairly straight sides, and with a sunken apex.  Incised lines are visible at top and base of shell, often not apparent in the center.  There is a small umbilicus.  The aperture is narrow and elongate (the lip rising above the height of the shell) and the outer lip is thin.   Only the body whorl is visible.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  the various references differ in whether A. caribaeus and A. sharpi are separate species.  Malacolog 4.1.1 cites them as synonyms, Redfern and Lee separate them. 

 

 

 

Similar species:  Haminoea (species of Haminoea have no umbilicus and the apex is not sunken)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  rounded, smooth, elongate, tiny, smooth, none, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 320 (Atys caribaea); Lee, p. 156; Redfern, p. 158

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Bailya intricata

Intricate Baily Shell

 

Key ID features:   varix, knobs                                                                        Size:  11 to 13 mm

 

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                           Close-up of varix                                       Close-up of notch

 

The color of the Bailya intricata shell is grayish.  The shell is tall and fusiform; the whorls shouldered.  There are 12 to 14 ribs on the body whorl and 12 spiral cords, the intersections forming knobs.  The aperture is elongate and slightly notched at the top.  The columella is smooth; the outer lip thickened.  There is a prominent varix just behind the edge of the outer lip.  There are 6 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is an elongate oval, thin, and light in color.

 

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The live Bailya intricata is yellowish-white with a few brownish spots.  The antennae are fairly short; whitish with brown spots.  The siphon is clear/white with numerous brownish lines.

 

 

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Bailya intricata emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  in Old Dan Bank Halimeda

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, cancellate, oval, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 217; Abbot and Morris, p. 222

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Batillaria minima

False Cerith

 

Key ID features:  nodules on ribs, multispiral operculum                            Size:  13 to 19 mm

 

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The color of the Batillaria minima shell is variable, but usually gray or black with white markings.  The shell is slender with a high spire and pointed apex.  The numerous ribs are crossed by three primary cords forming nodules.  The aperture is obliquely ovate.  There is a short canal turned a bit to the left.  It is smooth inside outer lip.  There are 7 to 9 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is round, orange-brown (translucent at margins), and multispiral.

 

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The live Batillaria minima is predominantly black, although there is a bit of white. The antennae are long and slender, tapering to a point.  The antennae have black and white rings.

 

 

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Similar species:  Cerithium lutosum. (operculum paucispiral, usually duller in color, beads less prominent)

 

 

Long Key:  on sand in intertidal zone, e.g., Long Key, island off Duck Key

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, ribs dominant, oval, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 103; Abbot and Morris, p. 163; Redfern, p. 24; Rehder, p. 436

 

 

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Bittiolum varium

Variable Bittium

 

Key ID features:   varix, nodules                                                                      Size:  2.5 to 4 mm

 

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               Close-up of nodulated cords                                Close-up of brown columella

 

The color of the Bittiolum varium shell is tan to gray, usually with a few tan and/or darker brown markings.  The varix is generally white.  The shell is tall and slender with a pointed spire.  There is a prominent varix on the body whorl.  There are low ribs crossed by spiral cords, the cords just above the suture are usually nodulated.  The aperture is oval, the canal a mere notch.  The columella may be brown.  There are 8 to 10 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is thin, round, and brownish.

 

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Operculum alone and within aperture


 

 

The live Bittiolum varium is whitish to yellow with light brown markings. The antennae are moderately long, slender, and with white and brown rings.

 

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Bittiolum varium in shell, emerging, and crawling

 

Long Key:  common in shallow water grass beds

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, tear-drop, tiny, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 107 (Diastoma varium); Abbot and Morris, p. 166 (Bittium varium); Lee, p. 59; Redfern, p. 21; Rehder, p. 440 (Bittium varium)

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Blauneria heteroclita

Left-handed Marsh Snail

 

Key ID features:   sinistral, small                                                                        Size:  2 to 4 mm

 

 

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                   Close-up of apex                                                            Close-up of columella

 

 

 

The color of the Blauneria heteroclita shell is semi-translucent clear to white.  The shell is small, smooth, slender, and somewhat fragile.  The apex is flattened with the protoconch hidden in the next whorl.  The aperture is sinistral, elongate, and wider and rounded at the base.  The columella has one large ridge.  There are 6 to 8 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

 


 

 

 

The live Blauneria heteroclita is clear/white. The head is bifurcated and the antennae are short and stubby.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  under shore debris in the mangroves in the bight

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, smooth, narrow, minute, fold, none, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 334; Lee, p. 159; Redfern, p. 186

 Back

Boonea seminuda

Half-smooth Odostome

 

Key ID features:     beads, cords on base                                                         Size:  1.8 to 3 mm

 

 

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Close-up of beads

 

 

The color of the Boonea seminuda shell is clear/glassy to white.  The shell is small but strong, with flat-sided whorls.  The whorls have 4 rows of beaded cords, the base 5 (to 6) cords which are lightly beaded to smooth.  The aperture is oval, the outer lip thin and rounded.  There is a fold on the columella (often deep within).  There are 6 to 8 whorls and the sutures are deep and distinct.
  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  Lee, p. 139 discusses under genus Chrysallida.

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, minute, fold, none, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 292 (Odostomia seminuda); Abbot and Morris, p. 265; Lee, p. 139; Redfern, p. 143; Rehder, p. 629

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Bulla occidentalis

Common West Indian Bubble

 

Key ID features:   aperture, apical pit, color                                                 Size:  12 to 25 mm

 

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The color of the Bulla occidentalis shell is white with brown markings over the majority of the shell.  The shell is moderately strong, smooth (except for shells showing spiral cords on the base), and an elongate oval in shape.   The apical pit is large and deep.  The aperture is elongate, extending above the top and below the bottom of the shell.  The aperture is narrow at the top and widens and flares at the base.  The outer lip is thin.  The columella shows a white callus which is thicker and rolled back at the base.  Only the body whorl is visible.

 

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Close-up of apical pit

 

 

The live Bulla occidentalis is rather drab.  The front of the animal is bilobed and is whitish with a dark yellowish cast.  There are numerous darker spots.  The antennae are leaf-like.  

 

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Bulla occidentalis emerging from shell and in motion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  Long Key bight in shallow water, especially muddy areas

 

 

Key terminology choices:  rounded, smooth, elongate, small, smooth, none, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 319 (Bulla striata); Abbot and Morris, p. 267 (Bulla striata); Lee, p. 155; Redfern, p. 158; Rehder, p. 641 (Bulla umbilicata) 

 

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Busycon perversum

Lightning Whelk

 

Key ID features:    sinistral, long canal, knobs                                                Size:  10 to 40 cm

 

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                         Mature Busycon perversum                                                Immature Busycon perversum

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Close-up of apex

 

The color of the Busycon perversum shell is white with brown streaks and bands when the shell is immature; color is often lost in older shells leaving them yellowish- or grayish-white.  The shell is heavy with a low spire and triangular knobs at the shoulder.  There are spiral cords on the upper whorls and below the knobs on the body whorl.  The aperture is elongate (although fairly wide at the top) and sinistral.  The outer lip is thin but quite strong.  The canal is open, long, and slender.  There are 6 to 7 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is brown, heavy, and tear-drop to oval in shape.

 

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The live Busycon perversum is black.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  the name Busycon sinistrum may also be found

 

 

Long Key:  in sand, on flat off of Duck Key

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, beaded, elongate, very large, smooth, long, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 222 (Busycon contrarium); Abbot and Morris, p. 228 (Busycon contrarium); Lee, p. 109; Rehder, p. 563 (Busycon contrarium)

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Busycotyrus spiratus

Pear Whelk

 

Key ID features:    shape, channeled suture                                                      Size:  8 to 13 cm

 

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Close-up of apex

 

The color of the Busycotpyrus spiratus shell is white to cream, with brown markings.  The shell is strong, but not heavy, with a large body whorl and a low spire.  There are low spiral cords on the upper whorls and on the upper part of the body whorl.  The cords become stronger midway down the body whorl.  The aperture is wide above, elongate, with a long open canal.  The outer lip is thin but strong.  There are 4 to 6 whorls and the sutures are channeled and distinct.

 

The operculum is moderately heavy, an elongate tear-drop in shape, and brown in color.

 

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Long Key:   in shallow sandy areas (dead shells frequently inhabited by Clibinarius hermit crabs)

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, spirals, elongate, very large, smooth, long, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 223 (Busycon spiratum); Abbot and Morris, p. 229 (Busycon spiratum); Lee, p. 109; Rehder, p. 564 (Busycon spiratum)

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Caecum floridanum

Florida Caecum

 

Key ID features:     large rings near aperture, shape                                        Size:  3 to 4 mm

 

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Close-up of mucro

 

The color of the Caecum floridanum shell is white. The shell is a curved tube.  There are very strong rings (up to 40) which become larger and more separated near the aperture.  The mucro is pointed and slightly off center.  The aperture is round, the lip reinforced by a ring.  Only the body whorl is present for the mature snail.

 

The operculum is thin, round, multispiral, and yellowish.

 

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Operculum (stained)


The live Caecum floridanum is white (with a bit of color by the eye). The antennae are somewhat tapered and white.

 

 

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Caecum floridanum emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. imbricatum (longitudinal ridges); C. pulchellum (rings all same size); C. textile (rings more crowded and same size)

 

 

Long Key:  live in Long Key bight

 

 

Key terminology choices:  tube, ribs, round, minute, none, none, x tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 92; Lee, p. 71; Redfern, p. 41 

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Caecum imbricatum

Imbricate Caecum

 

Key ID features:    longitudinal ridges, shape                                                 Size:  2.5 to 4 mm

 

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Close-up of mucro

 

The color of the Caecum imbricatum shell is white to yellowish. The shell is a curved tube.  There are numerous low flattened circular rings which are crossed by longitudinal ridges (which can range from faint to prominent).  The mucro is of moderate height, triangular, and right of center.  The aperture is round.  Only the body whorl is present for the mature snail.

 

The operculum is thin, round, multispiral, and yellowish.


The live Caecum imbricatum is white. The antennae are somewhat tapered and white.  

 

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                                                 File written by Adobe Photoshop® 4.0

 

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Caecum imbricatum emerging from shell

 

Similar species: C. floridanum (rings larger and increase in size near aperture); C. puchellum (no longitudinal ridges); C. textile (no longitudinal ridges) 

 

 

Long Key:    

 

 

Key terminology choices:  tube, ribs dominant, round, minute, none, none, x tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 92; Lee, p. 72; Redfern, p. 41

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Caecum pulchellum

Beautiful Little Caecum

 

Key ID features:   rings, shape                                                                         Size:  2 to 2.5 mm

 

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Close-up of mucro

 

The color of the Caecum pulchellum shell is white to yellowish to tan. The shell is a curved tube.  There are numerous circular rings (20 to 30), the interspaces much the same size as the rings.  The mucro is low, triangular, and nearly central.  The aperture is round.  Only the body whorl is present for the mature snail.

 

The operculum is thin, round, multispiral, and yellowish.

 

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The live Caecum pulchellum is translucent clear to whitish (with a bit of color near the eye). The antennae are clear and little narrowed throughout.  

 

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Caecum pulchellum emerging from shell and crawling

 

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Two Caecum pulchellum

 

Similar species: C. floridanum (rings larger and increase in size near aperture); C. imbricatum (longitudinal ridges); C. textile (rings all same size and more numerous) 

 

Long Key:   Channel 5 Bay side flat and Old Dan Bank in algae and coral rubble

 

Key terminology choices:  tube, ribs, round, minute, none, none, x tall

 

References:  Abbot, p. 91; Abbot and Morris, p. 153; Lee, p. 72; Rehder, p. 420

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Caecum textile

Textile Caecum

 

Key ID features:    numerous low rings, shape                                            Size:  1.5 to 2.5 mm

 

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Close-up of mucro

 

The color of the Caecum textile shell is white to tan. The shell is a curved tube.  There are numerous low rings (35 to 45).  The mucro is low, bluntly rounded, and slightly off center.  The aperture is round.  Only the body whorl is present for the mature snail.

 

The operculum is thin, round, multispiral, and yellowish.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species: C. floridanum (rings larger and increase in size near aperture); C. imbricatum (longitudinal ridges); C. pulchellum (rings all same size and less numerous) 

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  tube, ribs, round, minute, none, none, x tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 91; Redfern, p. 40

 

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Caecum torquetum

Collared Caecum

 

Key ID features:    varix near aperture, color                                                 Size:  2 to 2.5 mm

 

 

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                               Close-up of mucro                       Close-up of varix near aperture

 

 

 

The color of the Caecum torquetum shell is clear/white.  The shell is a slightly curved tube.  Some shells may have very faint rings, but most are smooth.  There is an inflated smooth varix near the aperture.  The mucro is fairly small, slightly raised, positioned to the right, and somewhat rounded.   The aperture is round, the lip thin.  Only the body whorl is present for the mature snail.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. vestitum (generally has faint rings, rings rather than varix near aperture)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  tube, smooth, round, minute, none, none, x tall

 

 

References:    Lee, p. 74 (mention only); Redfern, p. 41

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Caecum vestitum

Vera Cruz Caecum

 

Key ID features:   rings near aperture, small mucro, color                           Size:  2 to 2.5 mm

 

 

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                                   Close-up of mucro                   Close-up of rings near aperture

 

 

The color of the Caecum vestitum shell is orangish-brown.  The shell is a slightly curved tube.  There are very faint rings which become more evident near the aperture.  The mucro is flattish and tilts outward a bit at the top.   The aperture is round, the lip thin.  Only the body whorl is present for the mature snail.

 

The operculum is round and orange-brown.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  Malacolog 4.1 gives C. circumvolutum as the species name.  Lee has an extensive discussion of the issues surrounding C. vestitum

 

 

Similar species:  C. torquetum (generally smooth, varix more developed)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  tube, smooth, round, minute, none, none, x tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 93; Lee, p. 74; Redfern, p. 4

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Calliostoma adelae

Adele’s Top Shell

 

Key ID features:   top shape, color, cords on base                                         Size:  17 to 21 mm

 

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The color of the Calliostoma adelae shell is pale brown to golden tan, mottled with white.  The shell is top-shaped with flat-sided whorls and a pointed apex.  There are numerous beaded cords, and a ridge at the suture gives the shell a keeled appearance.  There are 6 to 8 beaded cords on the flat base.  There is a deep umbilicus. The aperture is squarish.  There are 8 to 10 whorls and the sutures are marked by the nearby ridges.

 

The operculum is thin, round, multispiral, and yellow-brown.

 

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The live Calliostoma adelae is quite attractive.  The animal is tan to burnt orange in color and has whitish spots.  The antennae are tapered and are tan with brown edges.   The siphon is dark tan/orange with white spots.

 

 

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Calliostoma adelae emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

Similar species:  C. jujubinum (10 to 15 cords on base)

 

 

Long Key:  in shallow grass beds, e.g., flats off Conch Key and in Channel 5, Old Dan Bank

 

 

Key terminology choices:  triangular, beaded, oval, small, smooth, none, equal

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 44; Abbot and Morris, p. 136

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Calliostoma jujubinum

Jujube Top Shell

 

Key ID features:  cords on base, top shape                                                    Size:  13 to 30 mm

 

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Close-up of spiral cords between sutures

 

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Cords on base

 

The color of the Calliostoma jujubinum shell is brown to reddish, sometimes with gray or white markings.  The shell is top-shaped with flat-sided whorls (slightly larger near sutures) and a sharp apex.  There are beaded cords between the sutures.  The base has 10 to 15 beaded cords, those nearest the deep umbilicus often the largest.  The aperture is an elongated oval.  There are 8 to 10 whorls and the sutures are rather indistinct.

 

The operculum is thin, multispiral, rounded, and light brown.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. adelae (6 to 8 cords on base)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  triangular, beaded, oval, small, smooth, none, equal

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 44; Abbot and Morris, p. 136; Lee, p. 57; Redfern, p. 15; Rehder, p. 378 

 

 

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Calotrophon ostrearum

Mauve-mouth Drill

 

Key ID features:  color within aperture, long canal, angular outer lip      Size:  19 to 30 mm

 

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            Close-up of outer lip                        Close-up of aperture color of two shells

 

The color of the Calotrophon ostrearum shell is yellow to gray.  The shell is strong with a pointed spire.  There are 6 to 9 ribs crossed by spiral cords, with prominent knobs at the shoulders.  The aperture is nearly 50% the height of the shell and is mauve to rusty in color.  The outer lip is angular at the shoulder, reflects the ends of the spiral cords, and has numerous small ridges within.  The canal is of moderate length and open.  There are 6 to 7 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

The operculum is tear-drop shape and dark yellow-brown.

 

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The live Calotrophon ostrearum is yellowish-white with spots of darker white.  The eyestalks are fairly short and slender and yellowish-white; the antennae are little extended beyond the eye.

 

 

 

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Calotrophon ostrearum emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

Similar species:  Urosalpinx perrugata (canal shorter, outer lip of aperture rounded), Hesperisternia multangulus (canal very short, shell not as heavy)

 

 

Long Key:   in grass beds with soft bottom

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, ribs dominant, oval, medium, smooth, moderate, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 188; Abbot and Morris, p. 210; Lee, p. 104; Rehder, p. 511

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Cantharus cancellarius

Cancellate Cantharus

 

Key ID features:  thin outer lip, aperture teeth very weak or absent          Size:  19 to 30 mm

 

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Close-up of upper portion of aperture

 

The color of the Cantharus cancellarius shell is reddish-brown mottled with white and gray. The shell is solid and fusiform with a slightly concave, but fairly straight-sided, spire.  The 11 (to 14) rounded ribs are crossed by numerous spiral cords forming elongated nodules.  The aperture is an elongated oval and the canal very short and open.   There is a fold near the lower end of the aperture.  There are 7 to 10 whorls and the sutures are difficult to identify.

 

The operculum is strong, tear-drop in shape, and brown with a yellow border.

 

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The live Cantharus cancellarius is white with many black spots and rounded splotches. The antennae have black spots on the lower portion; the tips are short and yellowish.   

 

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Cantharus cancellarius emerging from shell

 

 

 

 

Note:  Malacolog does not give Cantharus cancellarius as a synonym for Solenosteira cancellaria

 

 

Similar species:  Gemophos tinctus (varix behind outer lip, nodule and double-tooth at top of aperture)

 

 

Long Key:  often in clumps of algae in shallow water

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, ribs dominant, oval, medium, fold, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 219; Abbot and Morris, p. 225; Rehder, p. 557 (C. cancellata)

 

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Hesperisternia multangulus

Ribbed Cantharus (False Drill)

 

Key ID features:   short canal, color, shell shape                                           Size:  25 to 30 mm

 

 

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The color of the Hesperisternia multangulus shell is very light to medium brown (beach worm shells often show more dark brown color).  The shell is light but strong, tall, with a large body whorl and a pointed spire.  There is a sharp change in whorl size, especially regarding the body whorl.  The 8 (to 10) strong ribs are crossed by spiral cords, the strongest cords being at, or below, the periphery.  The aperture is oval with a thin, crenulate, outer lip.  There is a fold at the base of the columella and a short, open canal.  There are 6 to 8 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 

 

The operculum is yellowish-brown.


The live Cantharus multangulus is cream-colored, but this base color is obscured by many small brown spots.  There are also some spots of white. The antennae are not much extended beyond the eye.  

 

 

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Hesperisternia multangulus emerging from shell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  Calotrophon ostrearum (canal longer, shell stronger and more angular)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, ribs dominant, oval, medium, fold, moderate, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 219 (Cantharus multangulus); Abbot and Morris, p. 226 (Cantharus multangulus); Lee, p. 108 (H. multangula); Redfern, p. 92 (Cantharus multangulus); Rehder, p. 557 (Pisania multangula)

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Careliopsis octona

Guppy’s Miniature Turbonilla

 

Key ID features:    shape, apex                                                                            Size:  1 to 2 mm

 

 

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Close-up of protoconch

 

 

The color of the Careliopsis octona shell is translucent glassy to white.  The shell is smooth, small, and fragile.  The shell profile is tall and very slender.  The rounded protoconch is set at a right angle to the next whorl.  The aperture is teardrop in shape with a thin outer lip.  There are 7 to 9 whorls and the sutures are distinct.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  Henrya henryi (small, axial lines); Murchisonella spectrum (grooves below shoulder, smooth above); Genus Stylopsis (fine spiral grooves)

 

 

Long Key:  in Halimeda from Old Dan Bank

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, smooth, tear-drop, minute, smooth, none, x tall

 

 

References:   Redfern, p. 151

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Cassis flammea

Flame Helmet

 

Key ID features:  no brown between outer lip teeth, shape, color                   Size:  8 to 13 cm

 

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Side views showing brown bars on outer lip

 

The color of the Cassis flammea shell is light brown with dark brown zigzag markings.  There are dark brown bars on the exterior side of the outer lip and on the back side of the ridge at the edge of the parietal shield.  The shell is large and heavy; the body whorl is dominant.   Knobs at the periphery are the largest.  The spire is low.  The aperture is long and narrow and the canal is strongly recurved.  There are small white ridges (brown between) on the columella and strong teeth (white between) on the inside of the thickened outer lip.  The parietal shield is large.  There are 6 to 7 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

The operculum is narrow and elongate.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  only a few dead shells have been found

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, beaded, elongate, very large, teeth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 162; Abbot and Morris, p. 199; Lee, p. 81; Redfern, p. 58; Rehder, p. 495

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Cassis madagascariensis spinella

Clench’s Helmet

 

Key ID features:  size, low spire, columella ridges                                          Size:  10 to 35 cm

 

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The color of the Cassis madagascariensis spinella shell is yellow, cream, or grayish.  The shell is large and triangular in shape with a very low spire.  The largest row of knobs is at the shoulder; there are numerous spiral ridges on the remainder of the body whorl (one or two spirals may be knobby).  The aperture is long and fairly narrow.  The canal is short and turned sharply back.  The outer lip is thickened and has prominent teeth, often with brown between them.  The columella has numerous white ridges that have dark brown between them.  The interior of the aperture is salmon colored.  There are 6 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is brown and elongate.

 

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Note:  Clench’s Helmet is the form (i.e., Cassis madagascariensis spinella) of the Queen Helmet (i.e., Cassis madagascariensis) most often found in Florida waters

 

 

Long Key:  island off Duck Key

 

 

Key terminology choices:  triangular, beaded, elongate, very large, teeth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 161; Abbot and Morris, p. 200; p. 81; Rehder, p. 495

 

 

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Cenchritis muricata

Beaded Periwinkle

 

Key ID features:   beads, color                                                                        Size:  13 to 28 mm

 

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Close-up of base and umbilicus

 

The color of the Cenchritis muricata shell is white to ash gray to bluish-gray.  The shell is top-shaped with convex whorls and a sharp apex.  There are many rows of white beads on the body whorl and 3 to 5 rows of small beads on the upper whorls.  There are fine spiral threads between the beads.  The aperture is round with a solid outer lip.  The columella is cream colored and the interior is reddish-brown.  The beads on the base are somewhat flattened and there is a small umbilicus which is sometimes closed off.  There are 7 to 8 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is a fat tear-drop in shape, brown, and paucispiral.

 

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The live Cenchritis muricata is cream white with greenish-brown lines. The antennae are long, tapered, and greenish.  The siphon is dark in color with a light tip.

 

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Cenchritis muricata emerging from shell and crawling

 

 Note:  immature shells angulate and are more brown in color

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Immature Cenchritis muricata

 

Long Key:   on shore rocks well above high tide line (e.g., rocks near bridge at Caloosa Cove)

 

Key terminology choices:  stocky, beaded, oval, medium, smooth, none, tall

 

References:  Abbot, p. 70 (Tectarius muricatus); Abbot and Morris, p. 150 (Tectarius muricatus);  Redfern, p. 29; Rehder, p. 409 (Tectarius muricatus)

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Cerithidea costata

Costate Horn Shell

 

Key ID features:    shape, ribs, single cord on base                                       Size:  10 to 20 mm

 

 

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              Close-up of outer lip and canal                               Close-up of base

 

The color of the Cerithidea costata shell is tan to light brown or yellowish-brown. The ribs are white or cream in color.  The shell is tall and slender with a pointed apex.  The convex whorls have many low axial ribs; the ribs on the body whorl ending at the periphery.  The base of the shell has a single spiral cord (though there is sometimes a weak second cord) and very weak axial growth lines.  The aperture is round, the outer lip is thin and flaring.  The canal is very short and spout-like.  There are 10 to 14 whorls and the sutures are distinct.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. scalariformis (larger, numerous spiral cords on base)

 

 

Long Key:   dead shells found in mud flat locations

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, ribs, oval, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 102; Abbot and Morris, p. 163; Redfern, p. 26; Rehder, p. 434

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Cerithidea scalariformis

Ladder Horn Shell

 

Key ID features:   size, ribs, spiral cords on base                                          Size:  19 to 30 mm

 

 

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              Close-up of aperture and flared outer lip           Close-up of spiral cords on base

 

 

The color of the Cerithidea scalariformis shell is tan to brown or violet, sometimes in color bands.  The shell is tall and slender with a pointed apex.  The convex whorls have many low axial ribs; the ribs on the body whorl ending at the periphery.  The base of the shell has 5 to 8 low spiral cords.  The aperture is round, the outer lip is thin and flaring.  There are 10 to 13 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. costata (smaller, spiral features on base limited to one cord)

 

 

Long Key:  dead shells found in mud flat locations

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, ribs, oval, small, smooth, none, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 103; Abbot and Morris, p. 163; Lee, p. 60; Rehder, p. 435

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Retilaskeya bicolor

Two-toned Cerithiopsis

 

Key ID features:    protoconch, two rows of beads                                            Size:  6 to 9 mm

 

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   Close-up of protoconch         Close-up of lower whorls               Close-up of upper whorls

                                                                                                                    (showing emergence of third row of beads)

 

The color of the Retilaskeya bicolor shell is light brown with a darker subsutural band.  The shell is tall, slender, and straight-sided, with a brown protoconch of a smooth partial whorl followed by two whorls with low axial ribs. There are 2 rows of rounded glassy beads per whorl (only the largest shells begin to form a third row of beads).  The beads are linked by axial ribs and spiral cords.  The aperture is oval and the outer lip thin and crenulate.  The columella has a twist and may be stained brown.  There are 10 to 14 whorls and the sutures are rather difficult to identify.


The live Retilaskeya bicolor is orange with a few white spots near the eye. The antennae are clear, long, and slightly tapered.  

 

 

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Retilaskeya bicolor in shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  Old Dan Bank

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, tiny, fold, short, very tall

 

 

References: Redfern, p. 73  [Note:  Abbot, p. 109; Abbot and Morris, p. 168;  and Rehder, p. 444, describe a very similar shell Cerithiopsis emersonii, see also Lee, p. 88]

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Cerithiopsis flava

Spiked Cerithiopsis

 

Key ID features:   protoconch, spike                                                                   Size:  5 to 6 mm

 

 

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 Close-up of protoconch           Close-up of upper whorls                   Close-up of lower whorls

 

 

The color of the Cerithiopsis flava shell is orangish-brown to a darker brown.  The shell is tall and slender with a protoconch of 4+ smooth whorls (the lower portion may be stained with brown) which are topped by a small darkly colored spike.  (The shell will be difficult to identify if the protoconch is broken off).  There are 3 rows of rounded glassy beads per whorl.  The beads are generally linked by axial ribs and spiral cords.  The aperture is oval and the outer lip thin and crenulate.  There are 11 to 12 whorls and the sutures are rather difficult to identify.


The live Cerithiopsis flava is white.  The antennae are of moderate length, not much tapered, and rounded.

 

 

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Cerithiopsis flava emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, minute, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:    Lee, p. 85; Redfern, p. 70

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Cerithiopsis greenii

Green’s Cerithiopsis

 

Key ID features:     protoconch, upper row of beads                                         Size:  3 to 5 mm

 

 

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                             Close-up of protoconch                       Close-up of beads

 

 

The color of the Cerithiopsis greenii shell is brown to orange-brown. The shell is slender with a golden-brown protoconch of 3 smooth whorls.  There are 3 rows of rounded glassy beads per whorl, the top row somewhat reduced in size on the upper adult whorls.  The beads are generally linked by axial ribs and spiral cords.  The aperture is oval and the outer lip thin.  There are 10 to 13 whorls and the sutures are rather difficult to identify.


The live Cerithiopsis greeni is white with some considerable areas of black on the foot. 

 

 

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Cerithiopsis greeni emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. iontha (protoconch of 2+ glassy whorls); C. pseudomovilla (protoconch of 2.5 whorls, beads on upper whorls unevenly spaced); C. Sp. A (protoconch of 4 whorls)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, minute, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 108; Abbot and Morris, p. 168; Lee, p. 85; Redfern, p. 71; Rehder, p. 443

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Cerithiopsis iontha

Iontha Cerithiopsis

 

Key ID features:     protoconch, elongated beads on body whorl                     Size:  2 to 4 mm

 

 

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                   Close-up of protoconch                          Close-up of beads on lower whorls

 

The color of the Cerithiopsis iontha shell is reddish brown to dark brown. The shell is slender with a glassy translucent protoconch of 2+ smooth whorls (the lower of these whorls may be stained light brown).  There are 3 rows of rounded glassy beads per whorl; those on the body whorl are somewhat flattened and axially elongated.  The beads are generally linked by axial ribs and spiral cords.  The aperture is oval and the outer lip thin.  There are 8 to 11 whorls and the sutures are difficult to identify.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. pseudomovilla (protoconch brown); C. greenii (protoconch 3 whorls and brown); C. Sp. A (protoconch 4 whorls and brown)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, minute, fold, short, very tall

 

 

References:   Redfern, p. 72

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Cerithiopsis pseudomovilla

Mock-movilla Cerithiopsis

 

Key ID features:    protoconch, bead arrangement                                           Size:  3 to 5 mm

 

 

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                        Close-up of protoconch               Close-up of beads on lower whorls

 

 

The color of the Cerithiopsis pseudomovilla shell is dark brown, often with an even darker subsutural band.  The shell is tall and slender with a golden-brown protoconch of 2+ smooth whorls.  There are 3 rows of rounded glassy beads per whorl, the top 2 rows closer together on the upper adult whorls; the beads becoming more elongate on the body whorl.  The beads are generally linked by axial ribs and spiral cords (the cords being more prominent).  The aperture is oval and the outer lip thin and crenulate.  There are 9 to 11 whorls and the sutures are rather difficult to identify.
The live Cerithiopsis pseudomovilla is whitish with irregular greenish/black markings. The antennae are slender, rounded at tip, and clear/grayish (with some black markings).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. greenii (protoconch of 3 whorls, beads evenly spaced, upper row reduced on upper whorls); C. iontha (protoconch of 2+ glassy whorls); C. Sp. A. (protoconch of 4 whorls, upper row of beads reduced)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, minute, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:    Redfern, p. 72

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Cerithiopsis vicola

Vicola Cerithiopsis

 

Key ID features:    protoconch, brown band                                                      Size:  3 to 4 mm

 

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 Close-up of protoconch           Close-up of upper whorls                Close-up of lower whorls

 

The color of the Cerithiopsis vicola shell is glassy to white to cream, with a brown band covering the suture and subsutural area.  There is a brown subperipheral cord (and the base may also be stained with brown).  The shell is ovate with a protoconch of 2+ smooth, clear whorls.  There are 3 rows of rounded glassy beads per whorl (although one row may be reduced in size on the early whorls).  The beads are connected by ribs and cords to create squarish spaces.  The beads on the body whorl are less rounded and more elongate.  The aperture is oval and the outer lip thin.  There are 8 to 10 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct (but their location is made evident by the brown band).


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  Cerithiopsis lata (protoconch of 4+ whorls)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, minute, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Redfern, p. 72

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Cerithium atratum

Florida Cerith

 

Key ID features:  upright aperture, beads                                                    Size:  20  to 30 mm

 

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The color of the Cerithium atratum shell is white to cream to gray, often with reddish and/or brown markings.  The shell is tall and slender with a pointed apex.  There are several rows of 18 to 20 beads per whorl, with the beads at the periphery sometimes larger.  There are several former varices.  The aperture is broadly ovate and upright in relation to shell.  There are both a notch and a ridge at the upper end.  Canal is short and turned to left.   There are 10 to 12 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. eburneum (aperture less upright, beads often larger); C. muscarum (ridge at base of shell); C. floridanum (a synonym)

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, medium, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 104; Abbot and Morris, p. 164; Lee, p. 59; Redfern, p. 20; Rehder, p. 437

 

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Cerithium eburneum

Ivory Cerith

 

Key ID features:   beads, varices                                                                     Size:  19 to 30 mm

 

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The color of the Cerithium eburneum shell is white to cream with red or red-brown markings.  The shell.is tall and the whorls show 4 to 6 rows of 18 to 22 beads (those at periphery often larger).  There are several former varices.  The aperture is broadly ovate with a notch and ridge at the upper end.  The canal is short. There are 6 to 9 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is thin, translucent, oval, brownish, and paucispiral.

 

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The live Cerithium eburneum is whitish to yellow with brown to black markings.  The antennae are long and slender with dark white and black coloration.

 

 

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Cerithium eburneum emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. atratum (aperture more upright, beads smaller); C. muscarum (ridge at base of shell)

 

 

Note:  Specimens with fewer but more prominent nodules at the periphery are sometimes identified as the form C. eburneum algicola.  Others have made such specimens a separate species C. algicola.

 

 

Long Key:  very common in grass beds

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, medium, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 104; Abbot and Morris, p. 164; Redfern, p. 20; Rehder, p. 438

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Cerithium guinaicum

Schwengel’s Cerith

 

Key ID features: fine spiral threads, ribs                                                       Size:  25 to 37 mm

 

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Close-up of aperture, notch, and ridge

 

The color of the Cerithium guinaicum shell is white to cream with smudges of brown and black.  The shell is tall with 9 to 10 ribs and 15 to 20 fine spirals per whorl.  Apex often eroded.  Ribs truncated to top 1/3 of body whorl.  The aperture is broadly ovate with an interior black smudge and a notch and ridge at upper end.  There are 8 to 10 whorls; sutures are “wavy” and distinct.

 

The operculum is fairly strong, brown, and paucispiral.

 

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The live Cerithium guinaicum is yellowish white with extensive dark white and greenish-black markings.  The antennae are moderately long and clear with dark white and greenish-black spots and splotches.

 

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Cerithium guinaicum in shell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. litteratum (nodules{rather than ribs})

 

 

Long Key:  Calossa flat in sponge/soft coral area

 

 

Key terminology choices:  stocky, ribs dominant, oval, medium, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 104; Abbot and Morris, p. 166

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Cerithium litteratum

Stocky Cerith

 

Key ID features:  color pattern, shape, knobs                                                Size:  19 to 35 mm

 

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The color of the Cerithium litteratum shell is cream white with many rows of dark (usually brown or black) markings.  The shell is tall, and somewhat stocky, with a sharp apex.  There are 9 to 12 prominent nodules below the suture, along with numerous knobby spiral cords.  The aperture is broadly ovate with a notch and ridge at the upper end.  The outer lip is moderately thickened in mature shells. There are 7 to 9 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

The operculum is oval, orange-brown fading to translucent yellow, and paucispiral.

 

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The live Cerithium litteratum is yellowish-white with brown and black splotches and lines.  The antennae are long and slender; clear with dark white and brown/black markings. 

 

 

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Cerithium litteratum emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. guinaicum (ribs{rather than nodules}, many fine spirals)

 

 

Long Key:   very common in shallow water in grass beds

 

 

Key terminology choices:  stocky, beaded, tear-drop, medium, smooth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 104; Abbot and Morris, p. 165; Redfern, p. 20; Rehder, p. 437

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Cerithium lutosum

Dwarf Cerith

 

Key ID features: beads, operculum                                                                   Size:  6 to 12 mm

 

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               Close-up showing

                   ridge, notch, and teeth

 

The color of the Cerithium lutosum shell is quite variable, ranging from white to dull gray to brown to black, the lighter colored shells (usually smaller) often having darker markings.  The shell is moderately slender with a pointed apex.  There are 3 to 4 rows of beads on each whorl, accompanied by fine spiral threads.  There are generally former varices on the body whorl. The aperture is broadly ovate and the canal is very short.  The outer lip may be stained with brown spots.  In mature shells there will be teeth inside the outer lip, often grouped in pairs.  There are 7 to 8 whorls and the sutures are indistinct.

 

The operculum is thin, translucent, paucispiral, and brown.

 

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The live Cerithium lutosum is greenish-black with some clear/white areas.  Some darker lines. The antennae are moderately long and not much tapered; clear with greenish-black markings.

 

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Cerithium lutosum emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

Similar species:  B. minima (operculum multispiral, sculpturing more rib-like than beaded)

 

Long Key:  common along muddy and sandy shorelines

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, tear-drop, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

References:  Abbot, p. 105; Abbot and Morris, p. 165; Lee, p. 60; Redfern, p. 20; Rehder, p. 439

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Cerithium muscarum

Fly-specked Cerith

 

Key ID features:  cord on base                                                                         Size: 19 to 25 mm

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Two color forms of Cerithium muscarum

 

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          Close-up of aperture, notch, and ridge          Close-up of ridge at base of shell

 

The color of the Cerithium muscarum shell is white with brown flecks or more predominantly brown.  The shell is tall and slender with a sharp apex.  There are 3 rows (4 on body whorl) of 8 to 11 nodules per whorl (forming undulating ribs).  The base of the shell has a distinct ridge.  The aperture is broadly ovate.  There are a notch and a ridge at the upper end.  The short siphonal canal is twisted slightly left. There are 9 to 10 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is thin, oval, yellow-brown (darker at center), and paucispiral.

 

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The live Cerithium muscarum is yellowish with black markings. The antennae are quite long, not much tapered, and with numerous darker white and black markings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. eburneum (no ridge at base)

 

 

Long Key:  very common in grass beds and on shallow flats

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, tear-drop, medium, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 104; Abbot and Morris, p. 165; Redfern, p. 21; Rehder, p. 438

 

 

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Cerodrillia clappi

Clapp’s Drillia

 

Key ID features:    rib size, color                                                                     Size:  13 to 19 mm

 

 

 

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The color of the Cerodrillia clappi shell is golden brown (lower ˝ of whorl) and white (base and upper ˝ of whorls), with white/cream ribs.  The shell is slender with a high spire. The ribs, 8 (to 10) per whorl, are short and oblique.  There are several low spiral cords on the base.  The aperture is fairly small and an elongate oval.  The interior color reflects the surface pattern.  The outer lip is thin (although sometimes there is a rib behind the edge giving a thickened appearance) with a notch at the upper end.  The canal is short and open.  There are 8 to 10 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. thea (color darker, ribs slightly shorter)

 

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C. clappi; C. thea

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, ribs, narrow, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 271 (C. perryae); Abbot and Morris, p. 256

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Cerodrillia thea

Thea Drillia

 

Key ID features:    ribs, color                                                                           Size:  13 to 19 mm

 

 

 

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The color of the Cerodrillia thea shell is dark chocolate brown with white/cream ribs.  The shell is slender with a high spire. The ribs, 8 (to 10) per whorl, are short and slightly oblique.  There are several low spiral cords on the base.  The aperture is fairly small and oval.  The interior is brown.  The outer lip is thin (although sometimes there is a rib behind the edge giving a thickened appearance) with a notch at the upper end.  The canal is short and open.  There are 8 to 10 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 

The operculum is thin, brown, and a tear-drop shape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The live Cerodrillia thea is off-white with extensive purplish-brown coloration.   The antennae are moderately extended beyond the eye; clear with opaque white and dark markings.  The siphon is clear with dark markings and white spots.

 

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Cerodrillia thea emerging from shell and crawling

 

Similar species:  C. clappi (color lighter, ribs slightly longer)

 

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C. clappi; C. thea

 

Long Key:  in Halimeda in flat off Calossa Cove

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, ribs, narrow, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

References:  Abbot, p. 271; Abbot and Morris, p. 257; Lee, p. 124; Redfern, p. 123; Rehder, p. 618

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Chicoreus dilectus

Lace Murex

 

Key ID features:    ornate spines, ribs and varices                                        Size:  25 to 75 mm

 

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Side view of Chicoreus dilectus         Close-up of aperture    View from above Chicoreus dilectus

 

The color of the Chicoreus dilectus shell is medium to dark brown.  The shell is very ornate with 3 strong varices with frilled spines (thus showing a triangular shape from above) and one knobby rib between varices.  There are low revolving cords.  The aperture is nearly round and white internally.  The canal is quite long, nearly closed, and recurved.  There are 7 to 9 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

The operculum is thick, nearly round, and brown.

 

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The live Chicoreus dilectus is dark in color with some yellow/orange dots and specks.  The front of the foot is dark green to black while the sides of the animal are yellowish with fine dark green lines. The antennae are dark in color with lighter colors underneath.  

 

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Chicoreus dilectus emerging from shell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  in shallow water in grass beds on flats, e.g., Channel 5 Bay side, bight sand bar

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, beaded, oval, large, smooth, long, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 174 (Murex florifer dilectus); Abbot and Morris, p. 209 (Chicoreus florifer dilectus); Lee, p. 104 (Chicoreus  florifer dilectus); Redfern, p. 86; Rehder, p. 509 (Chicoreus  florifer dilectus) 

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Chicoreus pomum

Apple Murex

 

Key ID features:     3 varices with knobs, brown spots in aperture                 Size:  5 to 10 cm

 

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              Side view of Chicoreus pomum                 Close-up of aperture and columella

 

The color of the Chicoreus pomum shell is various shades of brown (sometimes with a bit of pink or white).  The shell is heavy with a moderately elevated spire.  The body whorl has 3 large axial ribs between which are smaller varices.  The spiral cords form knobs when crossing the ribs and varices.  The aperture is oval, white (often with cream or pink) with brown splotches, and there is a callus on the columella with an upturned ridge.  The outer lip has many teeth.  The canal is long, nearly closed, and bent back.  There are 5 to 7 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is oval and dark brown.

 

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The live Chicoreus pomum is yellowish-brown with a few dark brown spots. The antennae are dark brown.  

 

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Chicoreus pomum emerging from shell

 

 

Note:  Lee notes that some have raised Phyllonotus to rank of genus, as may be found in Abbot and Morris and in Malacolog.  Lee maintains Chicoreus.

 

 

Long Key:   Old Dan Bank, Channel 5 flat (Bay side)

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, ribs dominant, oval, large, smooth, long, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 173 (Murex pomum); Abbot and Morris, p. 210 (Phyllonotus pomum); Lee, p. 104; Redfern, p. 86; Rehder, p. 508 (Murex pomum)

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Solariorbis multistriatus

Threaded Vitrinella

 

Key ID features:     partially smooth sculpture, small cords                            Size:  2 to 4 mm

 

 

 

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The color of the Solariorbis multistriatus shell is glassy to white.  The shell is small; flattened with a very low spire.  The upper side of the shell has a series of low spiral cords; the lower side is smooth.  The umbilicus is round and deep.  The aperture is oval, the outer lip thin.  There are 3 to 4 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. semisculptus (cords larger); Genus Vitrinella (shells more fragile, smooth)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  flattened, spirals, oval, minute, smooth, none, wide

 

 

References:   Abbot, p. 84 (Circulus multistriatus); Redfern, p. 43 (C. sp.)

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Circulus semisculptus

Half-smooth Vitrinella

 

Key ID features:    partially smooth sculpture, size, shape                         Size:  1.5 to 2.5 mm

 

 

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The color of the Circulus semisculptus shell is glassy to white.  The shell is small; flattened with a very low spire.  The upper side of the shell has a series (3 to 5) of prominent ridges; the lower side is smooth.  The umbilicus is round and deep.  The aperture is oval, the outer lip thin.  There are 3 to 4 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  Solariorbis multistriatus (cords smaller); Genus Vitrinella (shells more fragile, smooth)

 

 

Long Key:    Old Dan Bank

 

 

Key terminology choices:  flattened, spirals, oval, minute, smooth, none, wide

 

 

References:   Lee, p. 69 (Vitrinella semisculpta); Redfern, p. 43

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Columbella mercatoria

Common Dove Shell

 

Key ID features:   aperture and columella teeth, shape                                Size:  12 to 19 mm

 

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Close-up of narrow aperture showing teeth

 

The color of the Columbella mercatoria shell is variable, but generally white with substantial areas of yellow, orange, or brown.  The shell is solid with spiral cords and a pointed spire.  The body whorl is somewhat triangular.   The aperture is very narrow, slightly channeled at the upper end, and the outer lip is thickened with its center portion enlarged.  There are small teeth at the base of the columella and along the length of the outer lip.   There are 5 to 7 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

The operculum is roughly triangular, quite small, thin, and yellowish-brown.

 

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The live Columbella mercatoria is cream-colored with a few brown spots. There is a light brown periostracum.  The antennae are fairly short, slender, with numerous white spots.  The siphon has white spots and a bit of brown at the base.

 

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Columbella mercatoria emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

Similar species:  C. rusticoides (brown between teeth of outer lip)

 

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C. mercatoria on left, C. rusticoides on right

 

Long Key:  very common in grass beds

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, spirals, elongate, small, teeth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 195; Abbot and Morris, p. 217; Lee, p. 545;  Redfern, p. 94; Rehder, p. 535

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Columbella rusticoides

Rusty Dove Shell

 

Key ID features:   brown between outer lip teeth                                          Size:  12 to 19 mm

 

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Close-up of aperture and teeth

 

The color of the Columbella rusticoides shell is variable, but generally white with substantial areas of yellow, orange, or brown.  The shell is solid with spiral cords and a pointed spire.  The body whorl is somewhat triangular.   The aperture is narrow and the outer lip is thickened.  There are small teeth at the base of the columella and along the length of the outer lip.   The grooves between the teeth of the outer lip are brown.  There are 5 to 7 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

The operculum is somewhat triangular, thin, and brownish.

 

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The live Columbella rusticoides is white with brown markings. The antennae are slender, clear with brownish markings, and the tips are clear/white.  The siphon is white with brown markings.

 

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Columbella rusticoides emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

Similar species:  C. mercatoria (no brown between teeth of outer lip)

 

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C. mercatoria on left, C. rusticoides on right

 

Long Key:  common in grass beds

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, spirals, elongate, small, teeth, short, tall

 

References:  Abbot, p. 195; Abbot and Morris, p. 217

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Conus cardinalis

Cardinal Cone

 

Key ID features:   cone shape, reddish color with light stripe                      Size:  20 to 27 mm

 

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Close-up showing pink in aperture

 

The color of the Conus cardinalis shell is pink to light red with a lighter-colored central band.  The shell is cone-shaped with a low spire.  The spire whorls are slightly angled above the suture. There are low nodules at the shoulder and a few very low spirals on the body whorl (increasing in frequency near the bottom of the shell). The sides of the body whorl are slightly convex (although nearly straight near the base).  The aperture is uniformly narrow and nearly as tall as the body whorl.  The aperture is pink within.  There are 7 to 9 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

The operculum is long, narrow, and brown.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long Key:  dead shells from flat in Channel 5, Bay side

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, spirals, elongate, medium, smooth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 256; Redfern, p. 119

 

 

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Conus anabathrum

Florida Cone

 

Key ID features:    cone shape, color                                                               Size:  37 to 45 mm

 

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The color of the Conus anabathrum shell is white, cream, or yellow with darker markings, mostly narrow dashes.  The shell is cone-shaped with a moderately elevated, slightly concave, spire.  The sides of the body whorl are straight and there are a few spirals on the base.  The spire whorls are angled above the suture.  The aperture is uniformly narrow and nearly as tall as the body whorl.   There is a small channel at the upper end of the aperture.  There are 7 to 11 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is long, narrow, and brown.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. spurius (larger, flattened spire whorls, different color pattern), C. jaspideus (smaller, more colorful, more spiral cords)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, spirals, elongate, large, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 255 (Conus floridanus); Abbot and Morris, p. 248 (Conus floridanus); Lee, p. 128; Rehder, p. 607 (Conus floridanus)

 

 

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Conus jaspideus

Jasper Cone

 

Key ID features:    cone shape, spirals, color                                                 Size:  13 to 25 mm

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Close-up of spiral grooves on body whorl

 

 

The color of the Conus jaspideus shell is white to cream but with considerable coverage by brown to reddish-brown to dark brown markings.  The shell is cone-shaped with a moderate spire and a sharp apex.  The spire whorls are sharply shouldered above the suture.  The sides of the body whorl are straight to slightly convex.  There are numerous spiral grooves, the strongest at the base.  The aperture is uniformly narrow, slightly channeled at the upper end, and of a height similar to the body whorl.  There are 8 to 10 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is narrow, elongate, and yellow-brown.


 

 

The live Conus jaspideus is yellowish-white marked with black. The antennae are short, black at the base, and clear at the tip.  The siphon is black with some white spots.

 

 

 

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Conus jaspideus emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. spurius (larger, flattened spire whorls, different color pattern), C. anabathrum (larger, less colorful, fewer spiral cords)

 

 

Long Key:   in areas with soft bottom

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, spirals, elongate, small, smooth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 256; Abbot and Morris, p. 249; Lee, p, 129; Redfern, p. 120; Rehder, p. 609

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Conus spurius

Alphabet Cone

 

Key ID features:    cone shape, rows of markings                                          Size:  50 to 75 mm

 

 

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The color of the Conus spurius shell is white or cream with rows of orange-brown to yellow-brown markings.  Spire whorls have axial bars of color.  The shell is triangular in shape with a small, concave, pointed apex.  The large body whorl is slightly convex just below the shoulder, but otherwise has straight sides.  There are a few spiral cords at the base.  The aperture is uniformly narrow and as tall as the body whorl.  The aperture is notched at the upper end and the interior is white.  There are 9 to 11 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 

The operculum is solid, elongate, narrow, and brown.

 

 

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The live Conus spurius is tan with a darker band around the base of the foot. The antennae are short and tan.  The siphon is white with a tan tip.

 

 

 

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Conus spurius emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

Note:  Cone shells have unique harpoon-like radular teeth.

 

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              Single radula tooth (stained red and magnified)          Group of three radula teeth

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. anabathrum (lacks alphabet-like color pattern, spire whorls more erect), C. jaspideus (considerably smaller, more colorful, more spiral cords, spire whorls more erect)

 

 

Long Key:  flat in channel 5, Bay side

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, smooth, elongate, large, smooth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 254; Abbot and Morris, p. 250; Lee, p. 130; Redfern, p. 122; Rehder, p. 606  [Note:  most references refer to this Florida shell as form C. s. atlanticus.]

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Coralliophila abbreviata

Short Coral-Shell

 

Key ID features:   solid shell, columella rolled back                                     Size:  18 to 45 mm

 

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The color of the Coralliophila abbreviata shell is off-white to gray. The shell is solid; the body whorl is angled at the shoulder.  There is a fairly low spire.  The 7 (to 9) ribs are crossed by crowded spiral cords of varying sizes.  The aperture is white (often with a hint of pink or salmon), rounded above, and narrowed below leading to a short canal.  The outer lip is crenulate and there are ridges within.  The lower portion of the columella is rolled back to frame the umbilicus. There are 6 to 9 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct (sutures for spire and protoconch whorls often obscure due to wear and/or obscuring lime).

 

The operculum is thin, yellowish-brown, and suboval.

 

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The live Coralliophila abbreviata is quite colorful.  The animal is bright yellow with white spots.  The antennae and siphon are also yellow with white spots.

 

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Coralliophila abbreviata emerging from shell

 

 

Similar species:  C. caribaea (columella straight, wine-red operculum)

 

 

Long Key:  hard bottom at flat off Anne’s Beach (Calossa Cove)

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, ribs dominant, oval, medium, smooth, short, equal

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 193; Abbot and Morris, p. 213; Redfern, p. 90; Rehder, p. 533

 

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Coralliophila caribaea

Caribbaen Coral-Shell

 

Key ID features:   solid shell, spiral cords, white/purple aperture              Size:  12 to 35 mm

 

 

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The color of the Coralliophila caribaea shell is off-white to gray.  The shell is solid; the body whorl is large and angled at the shoulder.  There is a conical spire of moderate height.  The 7 (to 9) ribs are crossed by crowded spiral cords of varying sizes (two strong cords occur at center of whorls).  The aperture is white (often with a hint of purple), rounded above, and narrowed below leading to a short canal.  The umbilicus is quite narrow. There are 7 to 9 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct (sutures for spire and protoconch whorls often obscure due to wear and/or obscuring lime).

 

 

The operculum is wine-red to purplish with a somewhat triangular shape.

 

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Similar species:  C. abbreviata (columella rolled back, yellow-brown operculum)

 

 

Long Key:   hard bottom at flat off Anne’s Beach (Calossa Cove)

 

 

Key terminology choices:  kite, ribs dominant, oval, medium, smooth, short, tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 193; Abbot and Morris, p. 214; Lee, p. 107; Redfern, p. 90; Rehder, p. 534

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Cosmotriphora melanura

White Atlantic Triphora

 

Key ID features:    sinistral, white shell, brown apex                                        Size:  5 to 8 mm

 

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                         Close-up of apex                    Close-up of beads on lower whorls

 

The color of the Cosmotriphora melanura shell is white, the ribbed protoconch is brown.  The shell is tall, slender and flat-sided, with a high spire.  The early whorls have two rows of rounded beads, the later whorls have 3.  The aperture is sinistral and oval, the outer lip thin.  The canal is short and recurved.  There are 12 to 15 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:   Iniforis turristhomae (2 rows of beads, lower row reddish-brown); Latitriphora albida (brownish color axial and narrow); Marshallora modesta (brown in color); Notitriphora decorata (reddish-brown color is irregular)

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  slender, beaded, oval, tiny, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 111 (Triphora melanura); Abbot and Morris, p. 169 (Triphora melanura); Lee, p. 88; Redfern, p. 65

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Costoanachis catenata

Chain Dove-shell

 

Key ID features:  chain pattern on shell, ribs                                                    Size:  6 to 8 mm

 

 

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Close-up of teeth on inside of outer lip and chain pattern on body whorl

 

 

The color of the Costoanachis catenata shell is white to yellow with brown markings (often in rings forming a chain around the periphery of the whorls).  The shell is slender with a moderately high spire; apex is blunt.  There are 16 to 19 ribs per whorl; the base has spiral cords.  The aperture is fairly narrow and is 40% the height of the shell.  The outer lip is thickened.  In mature shells there are teeth inside the outer lip.  There are 5 to 7 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 


The live Costoanachis catenata is black with areas of greenish-white.  The antennae are clear at the base and tip with black rings elsewhere.  The siphon is black with a small amount of lighter color.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species: C. semiplicata (more fusiform, fewer ribs, larger); C. sparsa (larger, wider, more dark brown); C. translirata (more ribs, larger, more dark brown); Suturoglypta iontha (suture deeper)

 

 

 

Long Key: 

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, base, narrow, tiny, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 195 (Anachis catenata); Abbot and Morris, p. 218 (Anachis catenata); Redfern, p. 100 (mention only as Costoanachis catenata); Rehder, p. 538 (mention only)

 

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Costoanachis semiplicata

Semiplicate Dove-shell

 

Key ID features:  size, fusiform, 12 ribs                                                         Size:  10 to 16 mm

 

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Close-up of aperture and ridges inside outer lip

 

The color of the Costoanachis semiplicata shell is whitish to yellowish with a brown pattern.  The shell is tall and fairly slender with flat-sided whorls.  There are 12 ribs on the body whorl, ribs that end at, or just below, periphery.  There are a few spirals on the base.  The aperture is elongate and fairly narrow; 40% the height of the shell.  The outer lip is thin, but there are ridges within.  There are 8 to 9 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

The operculum is thin, elongate oval, and yellowish-brown.


 

 

The live Costoanachis semiplicata is greenish brown with darker spots and lines.  The antennae are of moderate length and are clear/white with brown rings.  The siphon has numerous spots of brown with a brown band below tip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. catenata (chain pattern, smaller); C. sparsa (smaller, more ribs, often darker brown);  C. translirata (more ribs, less fusiform, smaller); Suturoglypta iontha (more ribs; suture deeper)

 

 

Long Key:  in bight grass beds

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, base, narrow, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 196 (Anachis semiplicata); Lee, p. 115; Rehder, p. 538 (Anachis semiplicata)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Costoanachis sparsa

Sparse Dove-shell

 

Key ID features:  ribs, shape, color                                                                   Size:  6 to 10 mm

 

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Close-up of teeth inside outer lip

 

The color of the Costoanachis sparsa shell is a mix of yellow-brown to dark brown with white to yellow spots, flames, and splotches.  The shell is moderately slender and has 15 to 19 low ribs.  The ribs are quite small to non-apparent on body whorl near outer lip.  Cords are most visible on the base of the shell.  The aperture is fairly narrow.  Mature shells have a series of teeth inside the outer lip.  There are 6 to 8 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 

The operculum is yellowish-brown, thin, and oval.


The live Costoanachis sparsa is clear to yellowish-white with many small deep white and dark brown or black spots. The antennae are fairly short and are clear/white with dark brown or black spots.  The siphon has the same dark markings as the rest of the animal, clear with spots.

 

 

 

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Costoanachis sparsa emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

Similar species: C. catenata (chain pattern, smaller);  C. semiplicata (larger, fewer ribs, lighter brown); C. translirata (more ribs, less fusiform, smaller); Suturoglypta iontha (ribs stronger, sutures more pronounced)

 

 

Long Key:  common in grass beds

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, base, narrow, tiny, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 195 (Anachis sparsa); Redfern, p. 98; Rehder, p.  537 (Anachis sparsa)

 

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Costoanachis translirata

Well-ribbed Dove-shell

 

Key ID features:  numerous ribs, robust body whorl                                    Size:  10 to 19 mm

 

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Close-up of aperture and teeth inside outer lip

 

 

The color of the Costoanachis translirata shell is dull yellow to brown with spots and streaks of white.  The shell is fusiform with a robust body whorl and moderate spire.  There are 11 to 20 ribs; the ribs on the body whorl extend only to the periphery or slightly below.  Spiral cords are prominent on the base.  The aperture is elongate; 30% the height of the shell.  Mature shells have up to 8 teeth on the inside of the outer lip.  There are 6 to 7 whorls and the sutures are distinct.

 

 

The operculum is small and yellowish-brown.


The live Costoanachis translirata is dark green to black with some white. The antennae are short and slender with black markings.  The siphon is primarily black with some white dots.

 

 

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Costoanachis translirata emerging from shell and crawling

 

 

 

 

Similar species:  C. catenata (chain pattern, smaller, shell white); C. semiplicata (more fusiform, fewer ribs, larger); C. sparsa (shell more narrow, fewer ribs); Suturoglypta iontha (ribs stronger, sutures deeper, more fusiform)

 

 

Long Key:  common in grass beds and clumps of algae

 

 

Key terminology choices:  fusiform, base, narrow, small, smooth, short, very tall

 

 

References:  Abbot, p. 195 (Anachis lafresnayi); Abbot and Morris, p. 218 (Anachis lafresnayi); Lee, p. 115; Rehder, p. 536 (Anachis lafresnayi)

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Crassispira cubana

Cuban Turrid

 

Key ID features:   white ribs, notch, channel threads                                   Size:  17 to 21 mm

 

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Close-ups of thin outer lip and spout-like notch at top of aperture