brown olive gulf coast

This, my friends, is NOT a very different color of a LETTERED OLIVE as I assumed on my September 7 post.  It is FULGURATOR OLIVE (Oliva fulgurator form formosa) which is a species that only recently started to appear on our islands… particularly at Blind Pass Captiva.

oliva fulgurator captiva

We had quite a discussion in the comments section about what kind of OLIVE shell this could be after I showed 2 photos of the shell found at Blind Pass after Hurricane Isaac stirred the Gulf Of Mexico. Since I couldn’t get in touch with Amy who found the original shell, I asked around on the iLoveShelling FaceBook page to see if anybody else had found one of these “brown OLIVES”. Kari Newman who lives in Fort Myers said she found one July 29, 2011 at Blind Pass Captiva too and would love to show it to me.

kari oliva fulgurator

Wow, that’s it! And hers is so beautiful too!

fulgur olive kari

It looks like it belongs in a box of delicious gourmet chocolates with those gorgeous creamy stripes on the aperture side.

fulgurator olive ap

I asked Kari if I could take the shell to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum to get a positive identification from Dr. Jose Leal. Yes! She was thrilled… and so was I. So today I took the shell over to the Shell Museum to have Dr. Leal take a look at it and he identified it as the OLIVA FULGURATOR.

Dr Jose Leal Shell Museum

Wahoo! So cool! It turns out that the museum does not have a specimen of a FULGURATOR found in our area. They only have specimens found on the east coast of Florida. This is how beautiful Kari is…. she donated her shell to Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. She told me her whole family was shelling that day but her 3 year old daughter Kadence was actually the one who picked up this shell first. (Ha! Teach ’em to young, Kari!) She wants little Kadence’s shell to be in a museum so she will know how special it is.

brown olive sanibel

 But… guess who else found one this past February. Donnie found a FULGURATOR. LOL

fulgurator olive donnie ap

He didn’t think anything about this shell until he saw the photo in my other post. He said he thought it was a non-native species so didn’t give much thought and threw it in with some other “just okay finds”. I’m sure he will look at this one a little differently now, right? I have obviously never found one of these OLIVES and neither has Clark but I can tell you now, Clark and I will be on a major hunt to find one…. and we will find you Mr. Fulgurator!

UPDATE: I finally found a FULGURATOR OLIVE! Check out my post http://www.iloveshelling.com/blog/2013/03/04/aha-i-finally-found-you-fulgurator-olive/

pam fulgurator olive

fulgurator oliva donnie

Thank you Dr. Leal for doing such a great job for the Shell Museum and solving this mystery for us! And Congrats to all who have found this luscious chocolate treasure.

UPDATE 11/28/2012: Dr Leal added Kadence’s FULGURATOR to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum website and named her as the collector. Congrats Kadence! Check it out… http://shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=309