Archive for Dosinia

Feb
18

The Dosinia Difference

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difference disk dosinia and elegant dosinia

Did you know that there were two different DOSINIA shells that wash up from the Gulf Of Mexico on to the shores of Sanibel, Captiva and Southwest Florida? In my last postI showed you so much BEACH BLING that washed up after high west winds and teased you with two DOSINIAS as well. It’s pretty common to see DISK DOSINIA (Dosinia discus) seashells on our beaches but it’s very difficult to tell them apart from their sister and more elusive shell… the ELEGANT DOSINIA (Dosinia elegant).

differences in dosinia shells disk and elegant

To identify most bivalve shells, it’s easier to look at their interior since the biggest differences show on the inside around the hinges and also where the MOLLUSK itself connected to the shell. But… just like the outside shape, color and thickness- the interior is so similar too on these shells that it’s still so hard to tell them apart.

slight difference of interior of disk and elegant dosinia

The easiest way for me to distinguish the differences of the DISK DOSINIA from the ELEGANT DOSINIA is by looking closely at the outside grooves on the shell. The DISK is on the left and the ELEGANT is on the right of all of my photos. Now it’s a little easier to see a difference, right?

different grooves in 2 types of dosinias

Notice how fine the grooves are on the left shell (DISK) compared to the coarse grooves of the shell on the right (ELEGANT). If you rub your thumb nail along the out side of each shell you can definitely tell the difference .

commarginal grooves in disk and elegant dosinias

I know you can’t run your thumb over these shells I showed you in the photos but I hope I showed you enough detail so that you could identify each one in person. But let’s just see if you can still spot the differences in CYBERSHELLING! YAY! Okay, here goes…. How many ELEGANT DOSINIAS can you find in this next photo?

how many can you identify of disk or elegant dosinia shells

Hopefully, now you will be able to pick up a DOSINIA and impress your friends and family by telling them which type of DOSINIA you just found.  (heehee) 

Dosinias on the beach

shelling adventures trips by pam

 

 

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crab trap and buoy on sanibel beach

After strong west winds last week, surely we would get some interesting shells and Beach Bling washing up on our shores of Sanibel and Captiva. Yep, lots of Beach Bling lined the beach at Gulfside City Park.

sanibel beach after storm winds

The winds were so strong, the strength of the waves pushed oodles of crab traps with buoys onto the beach. When traps get tossed around by the power of the water, their doors get jostled then spill out the bait for the crabs.

crab traps wash up n sanibel beach

So of course, the bait gets washed up on the beach too. Pigs Feet! Yes, they use PIGS FEET to attract STONE CRABS and BLUE CRABS so that’s why you may have seen odd bones washed up on the beach- most of the time its from crab traps. I actually think this one may be a HOGS FOOT. Its weird and humongo! On the beach, I do not like pigs feet or ham, Pam I am.

pig hog foot on sanibel beach

But don’t let this PIGS FOOT be confused with this SEA PORK. More ham, Pam I am?

pen shell and yellow sea pork

I also found lots of different MOLLUSK EGG CASINGS too like this LIGHTNING WHELK EGG CHAIN…

lightning whelk egg chain gscp sanibel

I saw there were little baby shells in their fluid still sealed in each of the disks so I put it back in the water. I’m sure they washed back up on the beach since the water was still pretty rough but … who knows. Maybe they got stuck on something out there in the water and were able to hatch. Dunno, but why not try?

baby lightning whelks in egg chain

This one is an EGG CASE to a PAPER FIG…

paper fig egg case on pen shell

This is a BANDED TULIP…

banded tulip egg case on penn shell

This beauty is a TRUE TULIP EGG CASE…

true tulip egg case sanibel florida

When Clark and I looked a little closer, we saw there were several other EGG CASES that were laid on some of the TRUE TULIP EGG CAPSULES.

true tulip egg case with other mollusk eggs

There were lots of MILLIPEDE STARFISH (and PEN SHELLS)…

millipede starfish and pen shell

This was a very cool LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN…

long spined sea urchin sanibel florida

There were hundreds of DOSINIAS that were washed up on the beach as well. I was really thrilled to find both types of our local DOSINIAS scattered along the wrack lines. The top one is the very common DISK DOSINIA and the bottom one is the ELEGANT DOSINIA. I haven’t had time to photograph them but I hope to show the detail much better on my next post.

disk dosing top elegant dosing bottom

We searched Blind Pass (both sides) and Lighthouse but didn’t find huge piles of shells this weekend after the high winds but loved finding all of this cool bling at Gulfside City Park. I’m still hoping the shell piles will come rolling in soon but the birds are happy as clams with so much gourmet food at their beaks.

The birds do like stone crab and clams.

gull eating crab

They like them here and there. They like them everywhere.

bird eating stone crab sanibel

They do so like stone crabs and clams. Go Birds. Go Birds. Pam-I-am.

bird on beach with crab

smaller sea urchin sanibel beach bling

SEA URCHINS! I haven’t seen SEA URCHINS washed up on our shores in quite a while… much less cutie itty bitty ones like this.

small size sea urchin sanibel island florida

I found dried tiny ones with spines as well…

tiny dried sea urchin sanibel beach

Normally if SEA URCHINS still have their spines in tact I would assume they were still alive and put them back in the water. But I found these in the highest wrack line at Lighthouse Beach. They had been cast on shore by those rough waves from the high winds last week with the high tide and got caught in the “sea weeds” then left for days to dry out. They look like the gumballs that the Sweetgum trees drop in the winter up north, dont they? LOL

sea urchin gum balls sanibel florida

I normally don’t get so excited to collect PEN SHELLS (since we see them so often on our beaches) but I rarely see perfectly intact baby STIFF PEN SHELLS (on the left of my hand) and SAW TOOTH PENS SHELLS especially with no BARNACLES or SLIPPER SHELLS attached to them. They are so cute!

stiff pen shell saw tooth pen shell

See how thick this wrack line was? Some people in other parts of the world might think this was an ugly site on a beach… but not me and most beach combers. This is a haven for shells and BEACH BLING for beach combers and for wildlife as well. Thick wrack lines like this packed with all sort of vegetation and other sealife are so important for our beach ecosystem. They provide food for birds and other wildlife as well as providing a layer to trap sand  for less erosion. They become incubators for dunes!

macro algae cast on shore Sanibel Island Florida

But… Just to make sure this seaweed was a natural occurrence without being harmful, I asked my friend and director of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) Dr. Eric Milbrandt if he knew what types of matter had washed ashore. Of course he did! He said “There were 8 species from collections at Moonshadows beach and the Lighthouse beach. Many of the specimens had intact holdfasts and given the recent > 1 m wave heights, were likely attached and cast on shore. Many of these species are found at nearshore hardbottom areas (the same areas that produce many of the mollusc shells) whose abundance peaks in Nov.”  He also reported that most of these species of seaweed (macroalgae) were common on all coasts. Thank you Dr. Milbrandt!

macro algae wrack line on Sanibel island Florida beach

Along with the PEN SHELLS and SEA URCHINS tucked away in all that seaweed, Clark and I found hundreds of double DOSINIAS…

disk dosinias sanibel lighthouse beach florida

And a very cool completely intact dried (and non-stinky!) SPIDER CRAB…

spider crab on sea whip sanibel florida october

Clark found a double SAILORS EAR (CHANNELED DUCK CLAM) without any cracks. It’s funny, we rarely find them on the beach with both sides intact because they are just so dang delicate…

double sailors ear shell sanibel beach

I haven’t gotten a good dose of combing through cool BEACH BLING in a while so I was in haaaawg heaven. There were oodles of little micro shells, SEA WHIPS and other goodies so I could (and did) walk for miles and miles getting lost in discovering the fascinating gifts that Mother Nature leaves us on our beaches.

shells urchins sea whips crabs sanibel florida

dosina shell with tiny sea urchin sanibel florida

Apr
26

Beach Bling Is A Wonderful Thing

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beach bling flotsam sanibel gulf

If you want to learn the types of seashells, sea life, vegetation and what the different kinds of mollusk egg cases look like and live in the Gulf Of Mexico, you’ve got your chance this week. It all washed up on the beach on the East end of Sanibel.

beach bling flotsam

You can see it for miles. So many mollusk egg casings and PEN SHELLS galore!

mollusk egg cases Sanibel Florida

MERMAID PURSES! Well, they are really SKATE EGG CASES…

mermaid purse skate egg

HORSE CONCH EGG CASINGS (I shot this with the Nikon J1)…

horse conch mollusk egg case

WHELK EGG CHAINS…

mollusk egg casings beach

Lots of CRABS too. This one is a STONE CRAB…

stone crab sanibel florida

My friend Jane called me and said she found a dead crab shell on the beach that had a NAUTILUS  shell pattern. She has found a NAUTILUS before so she would know! Wanna see? CLICK HERE . So I went to see this crab…and it does have that pattern! It’s a FLAME BOX CRAB…

box crab jane

I also saw lots of SEA WHIPS. This was the first time I’ve ever found a WHITE SEA WHIP…

white sea whip

We normally just find the purple SEA WHIPS but when I went to see Jane’s FLAME BOX CRAB she showed me this bright yellow WHIP she picked up as well.

purple yellow sea whip

There were oodles of PURPLE SEA URCHINS also ( J1)…

purple sea urchin on seashells

I always get questions about the bones on the beach. They are from the bait in the crab traps… not random dead carcasses. LOL

beach bone flotsam

I also get a lot of questions about this guy on the left. It’s a SEA CUCUMBER…

sea cucumber sanibel

Don’t worry, I saw lots of shells too. Mainly, the double DOSINIAS.

Cyber Sheller Alert! This next photo is really big so you can do a little shelling and blinging…

dosinia sea shells sanibel cybershell

Looking through all this BEACH BLING, there are little treasures that look like this so you have to look closely…

turban horse conch shells

Some goodies were still washing in at the shoreline as well…

scattered shells south florida

The big find was by Seth (FL)! He found this huge HORSE CONCH on the sand bar near Donax Rd. Here he is with Erin and Reese…Erin Seth Reese

See? BEACH BLING is a wonderful thing… (J1)

beach bling flotsam jetsam

PS- Some of you know I’ve been testing a new Nikon J1 camera. It isn’t very spontaneous but when I do catch a nicer shot than with my spontaneous, trusty, easy, clear Panasonic DMC…. I’ve noted it.

 

 

 

Dec
04

Shelling For The Holidays

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i Love Shelling 2012 calendar cover

 The holiday season is in full swing on Sanibel and Captiva islands so I have been a busy little elf! First of all,  I’d like to introduce the brand new i Love Shelling 2012 Calendar chock full of beautiful Sanibel photos and of course our beloved seashells. Now you can enjoy shelling 12 months of the year!

Here’s a sneak peak of January’s sunset photo and  CLICK HERE to see all 12 months and get one for yourself or as a gift for your shelling buddy.

Jan page calendar 2012

 We also hit the beaches this week to find a few shells and lots of Beach Bling. We found big old WHELK and CONCH pieces I love for yard shells along with a few SEA WHIPS, LONG SPINED SEA URCHINS, PURPLE SEA URCHINS, PEN SHELLS, CRAB SHELLS and this little BRITTLE STAR too.

Beach bling shells sea whip urchin

There were lots of DOSINIAS mixed in with hundreds of SAILORS EARS and TRANSVERSE ARKS

ark shells, dosinia, sailors ears

I even saw a few bones scattered along the beach. These are from bait in the crab traps in the gulf that get tossed around in rough surf.

Sanibel beach bone from crab trap

STONE CRABS are what lots of those traps are made to catch. When fishermen bring in the traps, they only take one claw from a STONE CRAB since the claws have the best meat. They throw the crab back without killing it because they know the crab can eat and defend  itself with only one claw until another claw grows back. Here is a STONE CRAB  claw lying on the beach that could have been a good appetizer if it had been freshly caught. Darn!

stone crab claw on beach

There were HORSESHOE CRABS too …

horseshoe crab beached

And a BLUE CRAB…

Blue Crab Sanibel

I also saw this MOON SHELL (SHARK’S EYE) EGG COLLAR…

shark eye moon shell egg collar

 I met a wonderful local man Frank, who moved here in 1964 and still loves to walk the beaches and pick up shells especially with his daughter Connie. He told me he was 87 but he looks like he is no older than 72! Thank you Frank for your service for our country in WW2.

Connie, Frank Sanibel locals

Here are some of the mini shells Frank and Connie collected when I saw them along Middle Gulf Drive.

Connie Frank mini shells

 I also have photos of the yesterday’s oh-so-fun Captiva Holiday Village golf cart parade. Here’s one picture of our Junonia Jalopy but I’ll have to show you the rest tomorrow. It was a blast!  All of the other cart were so darn cute!

junonia jalopy i love shelling

Check out my new tee shirt! I wore my new “Oh CONE All Ye Faithful” Christmas design v-neck tee. I got so many compliments- so much fun ! And don’t forget to check out the 2012 i Love Shelling Calendar too….. and the new online i Love Shelling Shop….. Or the fun faves at Shelling Shop. You see? I’ve been a little Santa’s helper for the good seashell loving girls and boys. Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Xmas beach art

 Captiva Holiday Village Logo

Jun
29

There’s A Rainbow Somewhere

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Dosinias on the beach

We have finally gotten rain…..and rain….. and rain. We were so dry for so long but in the last few days, we’ve finally gotten some good rain for our yards and to cool things down. After a rain shower when I was a kid, I would always run to the front porch with my mom after the sun would peak out to look for rainbows. She’d shout “There’s got to be a rainbow somewhere! Let’s go see it!”.

Parchment worms on the beach

So when the sun peaked out yesterday afternoon, I ran down to the beach to see if I could catch the rainbow. Yes, there it was! Ohhhh…wait! Don’t disappear! I caught just a smidge of it but it disappeared so quickly in the clouds.

murex, dosinia pen shell

Then the rain came again….. but I caught another rainbow. The rainbow colors of COQUINAS!

Coquinas on the beach

 

Categories : Coquina, Dosinia, Sanibel
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