Archive for Pitted Murex

Feb
06

Similar Small Sanibel Seashells

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mauve mouth, gulf oyster drill, cantharus, pitted murex

Can you tell that these are four different shells? The difference between these seashells is very slight.

small shells Sanibel lighthouse

I found a few cutie little shells at the lighthouse that looked very similar but when I turned them over to look at the apertures to correctly identify them, I found little HERMIT CRABS in each one.

small seashell apertures hermit crabs

 After I took the pictures, I put the shells back in the water where I found them then got inspired to head home to sift through my collection of unsorted shells. I had so many of these smaller shells lumped together so it was time to make sure I had the right identity on each one. Okay, so let’s go back and look at the shells I found in my collection at home that were so similar (but not exactly the same kind I found on the beach)…

mauve mouth, gulf oyster drill, cantharus, pitted murex

From left to right… MAUVE-MOUTH DRILL, RIBBED CANTHARUS, GULF OYSTER DRILL and a PITTED MUREX.  Here are the apertures…

aperture mauve mouth drill cantharus murex

I showed the MAUVE-MOUTH DRILL (and it’s eggs) in my January 24 post …

mauve-mouth drills Calotrophon ostrearum

but now you can see how similar it is to the RIBBED CANTHARUS

Ribbed Cantharus shells

and the GULF OYSTER DRILL…

gulf oyster drills

 I’ve only showed a GULF OYSTER DRILL once before, which is strange because  they are somewhat common to find on Sanibel. So here’s a closeup…

Gulf Oyster Drill

gulf oyster drill aperture

 The PITTED MUREX is bit smaller (and not as common… for me any way) than the others but it’s still a bear to identify without “cheaters” on. And it is so similar too!

pitted murex

pitted murex aperture

So now we can sift through our collections and finally identify the differences between these four shells now that we can see them side by side. Uhhhh….. I hate to tell you this…. but…. unfortunately, there a few more that look similar to these as well. For instance, …like that photo of my palm with the HERMIT CRAB shells? That top shell more to the left of the photo…. that’s a juvie APPLE MUREX! Doesn’t it look like the rest of the shells? And the shell on the far right side of my palm has a broken base so it’s harder to identify (and I didn’t get a great photo of it) but I’m sure it was a RIBBED CANTHARUS too. And y’all thought Seashell Identification was easy, didn’t you? heehee

small seashell apertures hermit crabs

RIBBED CANTHARUS, APPLE MUREX, MAUVE-MOUTH DRILL, broken RIBBED CANTHARUS (I’m sure).