Archive for Cantharus

Jun
19

Precious Little Vulcan Lions Paw

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tiny lions paw sanibel palm

It’s True! It really is the small things in life that are most precious. This is such a sweet little LIONS PAW! But I actually think this one might be called “The Trekkie Paw”… or “The Vulcan Paw”. He’s got a Vulcan Salute for all of you Spock Star Trek fans out there. LOL

interior lions paw lizbeth

My friend Lizbeth found this awesome gem while taking a long walk off West Gulf Drive. I know it looks similar to the KITTENS PAW, but this is clearly defined by that shoulder piece (Spock’s thumb). Good eye, Lizbeth!

lizbeth lions paw

Last evening by the Sanibel pier, I saw Ron from Atlanta snorkeling for quite a while…

snorkel sanibel lighthouse beach

When he finally came out of the water, he showed me this gorgeous live LIGHTNING WHELK he found then he placed back in the water. He also had that big yellow shell bag filled with FIGHTING CONCHS, COCKLES and a few emPty WHELKS.

ron atlanta snorkel sanibel

Lori and Katelyn from Alabama were going for the minis.

lori katelyn lighthouse beach sanibel

Most of these were found just at the water’s edge. I havent seen one of the TINTED CANTHARUS shells in a while so it was fun to see that. It’s the one in her hand that almost has a purplish tint to it. And I wish I had gotten a better shot of the huge WENTLETRAP they found. It’s hiding behind that cute pink-nosed LACE MUREX. The one just above the juvie LIGHTNING WHELK is a nice TOP SHELL.

miniature shells wentletrap cantharus

I always get the CORMORANT and the ANHINGA birds mixed up. They look so much alike! My friend Susan told me this one was the CORMORANT because he has the hook on the end of his beak. The ANHINGAS have the long straight beak. Okay, and I said “he” but I have no idea if this is a male or female but I’m sure there is a way to tell by the plumage. I’m much better at shell ID than bird ID…. but I’m going to try to remember… this one is the CORMORANT!

cormorant bird sanibel pier

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Apr
19

Every Day Is A Gift

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beach combing southwest florida

Yes, I am a fanatic sheller and beachcomber… but some days I want to visit the sea to find calmness and peace.

Sanibel stoop shelling april

The beach reminds me that life’s treasures aren’t always obvious. At times I have to stop for a minute or two and focus on everything that is surrounding me. Then take another minute or two to refocus from the large obvious objects, to the smaller items that I may not have noticed.

looking for seashells florida

There is so much there and so much more to enjoy. That’s when I am happiest.

seashells on sanibel beach april

 By the look on Kelly’s face, she found a little happiness too.

kelly beach comber sanibel

Kelly (Colorado) picked up a TINTED CANTHARUS, WENTLETRAP and golden CHESTNUT TURBAN near Gulfside City Park.

tinted cantharus wentletrap turban

I don’t see the TINTED CANTHARUS often so here is a look at the aperture side of the shell…

tinted cantharus aperture

It also makes me so happy to find someone else that only collects one little shell to make them all warm and fuzzy (although we didnt need much help with getting warm… it was in the mid 80s. Nice!). I was happy to meet Susan from Naples…

susan sun bather sanibel

She was thrilled to find this beautiful little COQUINA. She told me she loves butterflies and showed me her butterfly notebook which matched her sweet little COQUINA. That’s all she needed to make her day of shelling complete. One COQUINA. Every day should be that simple.

coquina butterfly notebook

With all of the beautiful shells strung along the beach, Caryn from Michigan was quite amazed by the SPONGES, EGG CASINGS,  and even the BONES (leftover bait from the crab traps that fell out) that were scattered on the beach. Ah! Somebody else that loves that BEACH BLING like I do!

caryn mi beach bling sanibel

And I met other beachcombers that found a few treasures but just as happy to be on the beach with the fresh air and sunshine. Here is Bernadette from Quebec City, Gertie from Arizona and Angela from Melbourne, FL (with the iLS shell ID card!)…

bernadette ca gertie az angela

Ahhhh. Yes. I found my not-so-obvious treasures in seeing the happy faces of others enjoying what Mother Nature does best… reminding us that every day is a gift.

sanibel stoop girls seashells

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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).