Archive for Junonia

Nov
13

Sending Sunshine From Sanibel

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Sanibel Sunshine Seashells

It might be pretty up north in the U.S. right now with white blankets of snow but I think you need to get your beach fix warmed up a little too. So Im sending you some sunny sunshine photos of my  morning beach combing.  I thought of so many of you “in the cold tundra” (as some of you call it- heehee) so as soon as I saw so many bright yellow COQUINAS covering the beach this morning, I knew I needed to send you some of this warmth.

yellow coquinas

My friend Alex and I only had to walk a few steps on to Gulfside City Park beach to find lots of treasures still scattered throughout the SEA SQUIRTS.

Sanibel Stoop with Alex GSCP Sanibel

She was collecting lots of DOSINIAS and juvie FIGHTING CONCHS to make another shell mirror.

alex finding dosinias to make a mirror

I met Shelly on the boardwalk to the beach and she collected COQUINAS too. She said “… in a way I’m glad the bigger shells weren’t around… otherwise I may have missed this experience of looking for the small wonders”. Be still my heart.

Shelly with Sanibel shells on beach board walk

But hold on to your sun hats, folks! She wasn’t just collecting sunshine yellow ones, she was collecting COQUINAS of every color under the rainbow…. and “CANDY” too. Gorgeous! Colorful Coquina Candy

There were areas that had gobs of double DOSINIAS, FIGHTING CONCHS and stinky SEA SQUIRTS but after a finding shelltastic gems in just a few minutes, amazingly enough the odor went away.

high tide wrack line on Sanibel gulfside city park

Talk about amazing… Rick from Fort Myers found the sweetest perfect JUNONIA at Bowmans Beach. Shellzam!

Rick found a baby junonia

Even if you haven’t found your JUNONIA…. yet… there are so many shell lines to sift through right now to find so many fabshellous shells and bling to find sunshine and happiness.

Shells on a quiet beach on Sanibel Island

Oh wait, you’re not in SW Florida to sift through these shells for yourself… and maybe the photos aren’t doing it for you? How about some CYBERSHELLING! In this next photo, notice that this area doesn’t look so pretty at first, right? This is exactly what Shelly was talking about… if there are larger shells on the beach, we never look through the shell lines that look like this because it just doesn’t look as appealing at first. But… if you take you time and look a little closer…. Oh My! There are such beautiful shells just waiting there for you to discover and appreciate one day. Click on the next photo to enlarge it… then look around for three WENTLETRAPS (I only saw the big one- I had no idea the other 2 were in there until I enlarged it- Ack!) , a BABYS EAR, TUSKS, a DRILL, JINGLES, MUSSELS and all sorts of other goodies. Have fun!

Find seashells with cybershelling photo

 

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Categories : Coquina, Junonia
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Sep
10

A Barnacle Bit Of Beauty

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barnacle on blue

Have you ever found a BARNACLE flower? They are beautiful clusters of BARNACLES that cement themselves to shells or other hard surfaces in intertidal areas which wash up on our beaches as perfect little BARNACLE blossoms like this…

sw florida barnacles

When I was young, I thought BARNACLES were shells like SLIPPER SHELLS that attach themselves to HORSE CONCHS and WHELKS or like LIMPETS attaching to rocks and boat dock pilings. But they aren’t MOLLUSKS at all… they are CRUSTACEANS. They are in the same family as CRABS and LOBSTERS. Funny, huh?
Sanibel barnacle among shells on the beach

I’ve even seen BARNACLES attaching themselves to SEA TURTLES, CRABS and even MANATEES. They don’t feed on these creatures they just hitch a ride for a lifetime and filter feed. I’ve seen several live BARNACLE clusters wash up in the surf lately so I was able to get a smidge of video before I quickly put it back in the water. You’ll see how the BARNACLES cement themselves head down on this APPLE MUREX shell while their legs come out searching for water to feed. YouTube Preview Image

I haven’t spent much time scouring the beaches of SW Florida in the last month since the shelling has been…. well… it’s been a little slow. Yes, there are nice shell lines at Lighthouse Beach and there are lots of the more common shells lining Gulfside City Park but we have come to a stand still in bringing anything home unless it is something very different than we already have collected- like these BARNACLE FLOWERS. Clark and I have neglected to clean, sort and organize our treasures we have collected since I have been blogging…  So this has been the perfect time to organize. I found this cute little jar to keep them separated from our other BLING so now I can easily find them if we find more to add. I know this doesn’t sound like a big deal… but honestly, this is a huge step to get us organized! So yes, I’m making headway in the Shellaboratory.

shellaboratory jars of barnacle beach bling

Now that I’ve started on organizing, I’m obsessed with it and can’t wait until it’s completed so I can show you. So while I’ve been shelling periodically at Gulfside City Park finding BARNACLE flowers and sorting through our finds from the past, Clark told me our friend Jim found a JUNONIA. Yes. A JUNONIA! He found it in the surf at Gulfside City Park Monday around 7pm. Jim’s wife Sue is the real sheller of the family and has never found a whole JUNONIA- dang it! They said that night they had only found one OLIVE in an hour or so when Jim saw color and spots in the surf that he scooped up with his shelling backhoe. Congratshellations Jim!

Jim found a junonia

PS- Now I know what you are thinking… “impossible that perfect JUNONIA washed up when there were no other bigger shells coming in!”.  Since we know Jim and he swears he didn’t play a trick on Sue, both Clark and I believe he found it in the water at Gulfside City Park. The conditions aren’t “optimal” to bring in deep water shells like the JUNONIA right now (high or continual west winds) but Mother Nature has a way of always keeping us guessing.

Explore with me! Join us Friday SEPTEMBER 12 on our iLoveShelling Cruise to Cayo Costa- CLICK HERE!

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Categories : Barnacles, Junonia
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Jun
10

Gold-Banded Cone Found On Sanibel Island

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Lindaconus spurius aureofasciatus gold banded cone

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!

Lindaconus spurius aureofasciatus gold banded cone aperture

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)

Florida Cone Gold-Banded Cone Alphabet 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 found a gold-banded cone Sanibel Island Florida
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. 
danny lisa jordyn georgia junonia gold banded cone

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!

Danny found a junonia on Sanibel Island Florida

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.

gold banded alphabet cone

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!

aperture of gold-banded cone Sanibel

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.

danny lisa jordyn georgia junonia gold banded cone

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…gold-banded cones

 

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.Conus quercinus oak cone indo pacific

 

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.

apex spire Conus quercinus oak cone indo pacific

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. gold-banded cones

 

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