Archive for Junonia
Whoa! Have you ever seen a GOLD-BANDED CONE (Lindaconus spurious aureofasciatus)? It’s a VERY rare CONE found in SW Florida that neither Clark nor I have ever been fortunate enough to find….yet. It’s not actually a different CONE species found locally but it’s a FREAK color form or “a rare abnormality” of the ALPHABET CONE (Conus spurious). Yep, it’s a freak alphie!
You can see here from left to right… a FLORIDA CONE, the GOLD-BANDED CONE* and the ALPHABET CONE. See how tall the spire (the tip) is on the FLORIDA CONE compared to the other two? (Update! Please see below for correct identification of this middle cone)
I am sooooo happy for Jordyn from Georgia! She found this fabshellous GOLD-BANDED CONE* last year June 1, 2013 on the Sanibel side of Blind Pass but didn’t know exactly what she had.
Jordyn and her parents Danny and Lisa went back home to Georgia and did extensive research to find out what kind of shell this was since it didn’t quite look exactly like a FLORIDA CONE and it didn’t have the spots of an ALPHABET CONE. They finally found the book The Sanibel kaleidoscope: A view of seashell variations in color, pattern, and structure which has photos of the GOLD-BANDED CONE and describes this very rare shell so it was their best guess that’s what they had. They knew they would be coming back to vacation on Sanibel this year (as they do each year), so they brought the CONE with them this week to get it identified.
Clark and I walked the beach at Gulfside City Park during low tide last evening and just happened to run into Danny. OMG I was so excited that he had just found a JUNONIA on the beach in front of Sanddollar Condos. This is a very lucky family!
This is how I learned about Jordyn’s CONE… right after Danny told me about the JUNONIA, he told me about the GOLD-BANDED CONE that Jordyn found last year. I just about came out of my skin when he told me they brought the shell back to Sanibel and he could show it to me. I was thrilled when they ran up to their rental unit to get it. Yowza! It sure looks like a variation to me since I remembered seeing a similar shell in that same Harlan Wittkopt book The Sanibel kaleidoscope (I love that book too!). After taking photos of her shell, I went home to do research as well.
When I saw more photos of various types of GOLD-BANDED CONES on Gastropods.com and after looking at the 4th photo down on this page CLICK HERE , I was pretty convinced that, yes, it was this rare shell indeed. The funny thing is… if you noticed above that I put a * behind the identification of the GOLD-BANDED CONE since the jury is still debating whether in fact that it is truly a GOLD-BANDED CONE or not. MurexKen, Larry Strange, Dr Leal and a few other shell buddies have mixed reviews. Half say “Yes” it is and half can’t give it a positive I.D. of GOLD-BANDED to this CONE. That’s what makes this so dang fun and interesting! There are hundreds of different CONE species around the world so it’s really hard to know when it is this “rare” because it might be confused by a shell from the Philippines (for example) which got placed on our beach because perhaps it was bought for a decoration for a beach party. Sooooo, since I’m not a scientist and I’m not going to look into the DNA of this shell, in my book…. it’s a GOLD-BANDED CONE (oh well, it’s not a Gold-Banded Cone LOL- See below). I’ve been looking for one of these shells for years!
I’m incredibly happy for Jordyn and her family so if there was any time to say “Shellzam!” this would be it!
So here goes…. SHELLZAM!
Congratshellations to this beautiful and extremely awesome family.
PS- I think it time to go looking through all of our CONES just to make sure we didn’t overlook one of the lighter banded ones shown on Gastropods photos 3, 5, 7 and 8 . If you find one, let us know here in the comments or on iLoveShelling Facebook- it’ll be fun to see how rare they really are!
UPDATE: JUNE 6, 2014 1:09 PM EST-
It has been absolutely amazing how many conversations I’ve had with different folks around the world about this CONE shell. The good news is… I have one photo of three… I said THREE… (yes!… 3) GOLD-BANDED CONES so we can compare Jordyn’s shell. This next photo is just three out of the four GOLD-BANDED CONES that my lucky friend Clair has found over the years. Clair took this photo and graciously let me use it on this post. Holy Cowrie, Batman! Thank you Clair! Her fourth shell is pictured in Harlan Wittkopt’s book (I mentioned above). She is Clairly The Cone Goddess…
So this brings us back to the question… Is Jordyn’s CONE truly a GOLD-BANDED CONE? I had *ed the ID because there was already some controversy even after I asked some other long time shellers and experts. Yesterday, while visiting Larry’s shop Seashells.com (on the corner of Periwinkle and Fitzhugh on Sanibel) I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone of an INDO-PACIFIC shell that also looked like Jordyn’s shell. Notice that the price is only $1, Which that normally means its a pretty common shell on the other side of the planet.
Then I looked at the apex (the tip of the spire) and saw that it was brownish like Jordyn’s. I know that judging a shell by it’s color isn’t the best way to ID a shell but it sure does make you wanna say Hmmmmm. Now that Susan H and David Carroll thought that Jordyn’s CONE was a OAK CONE (Conus quercinus), this may very well be the shell I photographed with my iPhone yesterday.
So I think this might be a real buzz-kill for lots of us that were hoping JORDYN found a GOLD-BANDED CONE, but I think the jury is coming to a solid conclusion. After seeing Clair’s photo, the links Susan and David provided and seeing the shell I saw yesterday with a $1 sticker on it, I believe now that Jordyn’s shell is an OAK CONE from the Indo-Pacific area… which I call a “Wedding Shell”. It probably came in a bag of shells someone bought for a beach wedding for decoration then got washed out with the tide then washed back in for Jordyn to find. Even so! This is such a wonderful, positive conversation with folks around the world who all love shells and shelling and we can all learn together about what washes up on our shores in SW Florida and the world.
Shells! Shells! Shells! I teased you yesterday with a quick update post of Beth’s beautiful seashells she found at Lighthouse Beach after west winds whipped through Southwest Florida a few days earlier in the week, but it really was just the start of an incredishell couple of shelling days.
A few of you spotted the TRUE TULIP Beth (Ohio) found, which I believe is the prettiest TRUE TULIP I’ve ever seen. It’s “truly” spectacsheller!
Well… on second thought it may be the second prettiest one to the one I found while videoing after a storm on the post Fishing For True Tulips At Sanibel Pier. heehee
I saw Connie Miller and John again and they were having a BABYS EAR hay day.
She was filling her coffee cup with other treasures too but I was amazed with how many BABYS EARS.
Jana, Andrea and Ruth Ann from Tennessee not just found beautiful LIGHTNING WHELKS….
They found The Sanibel Six ….and to my surprise, Andrea found a SCOTCH BONNET! The Lighthouse Beach isn’t really known as SCOTCH BONNET territory.
Later in the day, Ruth Ann posted a photo on the iLoveShelling Facebook page that Andrea found a CABRITS MUREX the same day on Captiva. Shellzam!
I must have just missed them because I was on Captiva watching this major shell pile form at Blind Pass later in the afternoon….
This is where I met Cathy (Ft Myers) after she found two SCOTCH BONNETS while the shells were rolling in. Holy Cowrie!
But wait! after I took that photo of her holding her 2 SCOTCH BONNETS…. I heard her squeal with excitement! She found #3!!! BoomShellalaka!
It was a very happy birthday for Suzy (Fort Myers) because she found her own SCOTCH BONNET too. Here she is shellebrating with her husband Frank. Shelltastic!
In a few hours, I watched lots of the shells roll back into the Gulf Of Mexico but there were so many still at the waters edge and in the pile.
I saw my friend Faye from North Carolina (she lived on Sanibel for years and years) find a huge handful of shells.
Faye actually had a little help from Super Sheller Clark as he scooped the water with his shelling backhoe and brought us shells to sort through. Clark is on the far right getting those shells for us! I haven’t even gone through our shells yet to get a photo but I do know that in all of these years shelling Clark had never found a CARRIER SHELL… until now. He found four! hahah It’s one shell that he said he just didn’t have an eye for…. I repeat…. until now. Yay Clark! I’ll get pictures and show you later.
Right as I was leaving, Len from Illinois showed me a couple of shells he found.
He found a FULGURATOR OLIVE! Exshellent find along with the very nice NUTMEG.
It has been so much fun to see the beaches change within hours and to witness Blind Pass fill up with shells again. I feel like its been three months since we’ve seen it get shell crazy by the jetty rocks. It felt sooooo gooood.
I have to show you Erin’s JUNONIA again since it was so sweet.
I haven’t even caught you up on all the great shelling holes I found this week! Yes, Lighthouse Beach and Blind Pass Captiva have been fabshellous… but the shelling on Fort Myers Beach has been outragshellous too!
Next post I will show you how amazing the shelling on the south end of Fort Myers Beach. Here is the first pile of shells I stooped over to find my first treasures yesterday on this beach. Just click on the photo to enjoy the CYBERSHELLING! I hope this incredishelling continues through the weekend!
UPDATE 3-20-14 around 6:00pm- I stopped at Blind Pass Captiva to see how the beach had changed. It was wiped clean of shells! Ack! There was still a small and very picked over pile of shells but most was just sand. All of the shells were taken back in the water. Darn it!
I have said countless times that the beaches of Southwest Florida change every day and by the hour so finding shells becomes a fascinating treasure hunt. So I would say Tam Tam from Michigan has had quite a treasure hunt this week! She found so many shells that aren’t found on our beaches all that often like that sweet baby LIONS PAW (top left), a CABRITS MUREX (middle), a LONG SPINED SEA URCHIN (okay, thats not a shell but its just so beautiful and big for that type of URCHIN) and a THORNY OYSTER (bottom). The ALPHABET CONE isn’t rare at all but it is just dang gorgeous…. and same for that BABY’S EAR. And of course you see she found a JUNONIA too!
Tammy found her LIONS PAW along West Gulf Drive and found her JUNONIA and CABRITS at BLIND PASS SANIBEL. Her friend Barb from Virginia found a CABRITS MUREX at Blind Pass Sanibel too!
I think this is the tiniest, cutest CABRITS MUREX Ive ever seen. Wow!
Oh but hold on there’s more… Sue found a LIONS PAW as well!
Her LIONS PAW is soooo pretty, right? The CONE is just as spectacshellar and both were found off West Gulf Drive. That is a very dark rich color variation of a FLORIDA CONE. Shellicious!
Lisa and Derek from Kansas were very happy to be finding such a variety of shells at Blind Pass Sanibel.
They are very new to shelling but as you can see, they already have a great eye for such pretty shells. They found out about all the seashells on Sanibel from Derek’s dad Darrell who caught the shelling bug about 5 years ago on his first visit to Sanibel. Hey Darrell! Thanks for spreading the shelling love on to your kids- Derek and Lisa cracked me up!
Lisa could identify most of their other shells but she showed me this little mini shell and asked me what it was. Its a PITTED MUREX! I don’t find these all that often but I loved that even as new shellers, they both were so interested in this tiny shell that turned out to be not all that common in our area.
Every day is a new adventure on Sanibel, Captiva and all of the beaches in southwest Florida. What I find even more rare than these shells that my lucky shelling friends found, is that our islands are filled with so many friendly, smiling folks that enjoy every gift from the sea whether its rare or not. (oh…and the view aint half bad either )