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Shelling in Rehoboth Beach, DE
05-23-2017, 03:55 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-17-2017, 09:48 AM by JackSullivan. Edit Reason: more stuff )
#1
Shelling in Rehoboth Beach, DE
During a recent vacation trip to Rehoboth Beach, I kept an eye out for shops that would be selling shells, specifically Conus. I found 2 shops, one in town & one on the Coastal Highway: http://www.seashellshop.com/Shell-We-Golf/ They both had large quantities of cone shells from the Philippines. They were arranged in several bins. There was no other attempt at labeling or organization, so you just had to grab what caught your eye. I picked the larger (3 each C. litteratus) as well as a number of C. textile & 20-30 shells that I could not readily classify, including 7 in matched pairs. I deliberately chose shells with unique banding or coloration to make identification easier.

These shops were packed with marine-related souvenirs & trinkets of all sorts, so there was no ability to do a more thorough search through the bins. Space in these shops was very limited.

Shells were priced based on size, from $0.99 to $2.99, so I consider my time & effort to have been very productive. I likely will wind up adding 10-15+ species new to my collection for a fraction of what I would spend in time & money sourcing them from commercial sellers.

The manager told me that their shells are delivered by 18-wheeled tractor trailers & all appear to come from the PI.

Jack
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I have acquired a number of authoritative books on Philippine sea shells as both additions to my library & as an aid in identifying my acquisitions. My focus until recently was strictly limited to the cones. This evening was my first chance to spend some time trying to identify my Rehoboth finds.

Here is a partial list by species & number of specimens that I have IDed so far (33):

araneosus nicobaricus (new for me) - 1
capitanellus - 1 (new for me)
flavidus - 2 (new for me)
imperialis imperialis - 1
inscriptus - 1 or 2 + 2 possible juveniles (new for me)
lenavati - 2 (small: juveniles)
litteratus - 3
magus - 3 (big fish hunter)
miles - 1
mustelinus - 1 (new for me)
neptunus f. colorovariegatus - 1 (new for me)
stramineus - 2 (new for me)
striatus - 3-5 (big fish hunter)
textile - 5
tulipa - 2 (new for me) (big fish hunter)
vidua - 1

That's 8 species added to my collection. Not bad for a random retail expedition!

That leaves 5 shells left to ID which should keep me occupied for the next week or so. Recent eye surgery has slowed down the process a bit, so that time estimate may dilate a little (play on words).

This entire process has been both fun & very educational.

The difficult part of trying to ID random bulk shells is that many of them don't look much like their photos in my big, glossy shell books. Conus vidua, C. flavidus & C. miles were examples. The pix in the books are F++ or GEM quality shells photographed by professionals. These random bulk shells were obviously not picked for their beauty or quality or, in the case of C. textile, their large size.

My shelling interests have expanded to include all members of the Conoidea, including the turrids & terebrids & families such as the Pseudomelatomidae & Raphitomidae.

My wife & I have vacationed in Rehoboth Beach several times over the last 5 years & plan to do so next year. Now I can add shelling to my list of activities (along with eating raw oysters & sipping rum punch)!
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