There are thousands of seashells at your fingertips most days on Sanibel but this weekend I was finding oodles of miniature shells that fit ON my fingertips. I found this RUSTY DOVE SHELL rolling along the surf line.
Isn’t this the pretties little shell detailed with those tiny teeth along the opening (aperture)? I was excited to find it since it isn’t my every day find. I knew it was a DOVE shell but MurexKen verified that it was a RUSTY DOVE SHELL.
Clark found this little SWEET CONE….
I always love to find the bright orange “juvie” SCALLOPS…
I normally only pick up the FLORIDA SPINY JEWEL BOX but this CORRUGATE JEWEL BOX just struck me as being so colorful and vibrant with such a fun shape… I had to pick this one up. Honestly, most of the time they just aren’t so cute… but maybe they are starting to grow on me.
On Friday,I met shelling sistah and sister blogger Cheri from Shelllady who I could have talked to for hours. She lives very close to my family in Virginia so it was so nice to talk to Cheri and her “Hubby” about my old stomping grounds and felt right at home with them…and I got to see their shells they found.
This next picture are the shells they found on Friday but if you go to her blog HERE, you can read about everything they found from the week. They found The Sanibel Six and more!
If I had seen this on Thursday, I would have added this to my “10 Reasons Why I Love The Beach” list so I’ll just say this is #11….Rainbows
WOW!! We’re famous now!! :) Thanks for the ‘plug’ Pam…I’m with you, coulda talked forever!! This absolutely was mini week….we got many, many small perfect shells….LOTS of mac and cheese!! Enjoyed visiting with you!!
Love those little seashells. Hope you are doing well. Thanks for the suggestion on the Henry Flagler book. I’m gonna pick it up and read it on vacation next week. Coincidentally, I am going to be in St. Augustine…visiting Flagler College. That is where I graduated from. Take care and have a great week!!
see…size really doesnt matter. i have always loved those tiny shells! ;)
Love the seaoats and rainbow pic. Lots of minis at the lighthouse Saturday. Love just little jars full of them. Never knew what those little corrugated jewel box shells were called but I put them in lamps and people always asked what they were. I find something that looks like them but is bright yellow so now I need to know what they are. Anyone know? MurexKen or Alice?
It might be a leafy jewel box. I’ve picked them up too but I’ve just never photographed them…. wasn’t sure anybody would want to collect them. I’m so glad You said something! Is it this? http://shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=213
I love the mini’s. Maybe I have to sit down to get them now but I still love them! I love too how people ask what you’re looking for when you’re searching for the mini’s (OK, I have a thing for Wentletraps!) like the only good shell is a big shell. Wow, I guess size does matter! ;)
I LOVE YOUR SITE. COMING IN A COUPLE OF DAYS FOR THE FIRST TIME. I’M A COMPLETE NOVICE. ANY SUGGESTIONS AS TO WHERE I SHOULD ABSOLUTELY GO? I AM DYING TO FIND SOME BIG SHELLS, AND HOPING IT WILL BE EASY TO TELL LIVE ONES, SO THERE WILL BE NO MISTAKES. IT PROBABLY WILL BE TO HOT TO GO TO CAYO COSTA WON’T IT?
You have to get to Cayo Costa by boat so you’ll be with a breeze in the boat and you can jump in the water when you get there…..So no- it wont be too hot! If you arent sure if a shell is alive or not, you can ask anybody on the beach. Most people are very friendly and you will be able to spot the shellers….. they’ll be the ones doing the Sanibel Stoop! I’d say you should check out Blind Pass Sanibel side at some point when you are here…. and don’t forget about the mini shells! They are amazing too!
WOW, Thanks for responding so fast. Is one boat service better for going shell hunting or do they all take you to the same place.
I would recommend Capt. Brian….go here to his site http://captainbrianonthewater.blogspot.com/ …he’s great and can show you and tell you about everything around Cayo costa!
Absolutely love the minis — have a tiny vase (looks like a genie bottle, with narrow neck — maybe 4″ high — that I have put my tiniest treasures in — everyone is always amazed when they see it. Pam, the rainbow photos are beautiful — #11 seems appropriate!
those rainbow shots are delicious!
Hey Pam, do you ever look beyond the minis to the micros? There are some really amazing micro shells.
Best wishes to you,
hmmm what do you consider a micro? I’m intrigued!
Pam, the terms “miniature” and “micro” are terms applied to shells to give a general indication of their size (as you might expect). These terms are not rigidly defined in the scientific sense. However, in common usage, a miniature shell is defined as one that is an inch or less in maximum diameter. A micro shell is one that is 1.0 cm (a little more than a third of an inch) or less in maximum diameter. Usually the term “micro” shell is applied to shells with an adult size less than 1.0 cm. Whereas, “miniature” shell is a term that is used for small, mature shells or immature specimens of larger shells.
The Wentletraps found on Sanibel Island are almost always miniatures (O.K. the Angulate wentletrap can grow to over an inch, but they are uncommonly found that large), but they are not micros. In your post the Rusty dove shell is about a half an inch as an adult. So, it is a miniature, but not a micro. The cone shell (probably florida cone) is a small specimen of a shell that gets much larger at maturity. Again, it is a miniature, but not a micro.
Because of their small size, micro shells are usually viewed under a magnifying glass or under a dissecting microscope. The actual number of species of micro shells probably exceeds the number of species of larger shells with which most shell collectors are most familiar. The Rissoids, are just one family (of many) of shells that are almost aways micros. Several of these shells are found on Sanibel Island. Rissoina angeli is just one example, http://shellmuseum.org/shells/shelldetails.cfm?id=23 These micro shells are often in the same location on the beach as the Wentletraps. They often are part of the “shell grit”. They are more difficult to see, because they are so small, especially for those of us with older eyes. ;~)
Hope this helps. MK
I see MurexKen beat me to replying to your question Pam. Yes. Micros are adult shells that are less than 10 mm in length, or maybe even less than 7 mm in length. Some of them are big enough that you can pick up with your fingertips, but others are so very small (at adult size) that you have to scoop up a sample of fine shell hash and go through it later. If the hash is dry when you find it, you can pick up a really small micro simply by wetting your fingertip, touching it to the shell, and then gently scraping it off into a vial or pill container. Most micromollusk shells are surprisingly sturdy and do not break easily. I look for very fine shell hash and then get down on my hands and knees and look at he hash wearing over-the-counter magnifying glasses (reading glasses) that you can buy in any drugstore.
As MurexKen says, there are more micromollusk species than there are bigger shells. Some micromollusks shells are really beautiful and fascinating in shape as well as being nicely colored like some of the left-handed Triphora species.
I see from their website that the Bailey Matthews Shell Museum has a display and a video on “Micromollusks, No Small Wonders” but I guess perhaps they don’t have actual micromollusk shells on display? If you get to go behind the scenes at any point during the year, ask if you can see some!
OK, it is true that some micros are so extremely tiny that you need a microscope to ID them to species, but the larger ones you just need good light and some magnification to see how very cool they are.
Here’s a pretty one (Triphora family) at 5 mm
Here is a pretty one size 4 mm, related to cowries:
Here’s a pretty 5 mm dove shell:
And another beautiful dove shell at 9 mm
All good wishes to you and to MK,
Thanks yall for such great information on these micros! I have not looked for anything smaller than the minis but now that I know to look for them, I’ll try. Problem is…like MK said too, my eyes are not what they used to be but I always love to look for new treasures. I’d love to find one of the green eratos!
love reading about the minitures!!!! oh how fun!… thanks for sharing!
I’m glad you got to meet Cheri. She’s one of my newest blogger friends and I call her the “Queen of Shelling.” This lady knows how to find the goods. BTW Pam, my sister Wendy is on the island until saturday, so you may run into her and her husband at the beach. Make them “phoon” with you if you do!
I love Cheri’s blog! She is fun!
Aha! Corrugate Jewel Box…I have several of these, and was wondering what they were. Thanks for the ID!