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New to shelling, need IDs please
12-01-2011, 06:47 AM,
New to shelling, need IDs please
Hello!  I am brand new to collecting shells, and have ten specimens that I had been given by family many years ago that were put in a box and forgotten, plus two I found myself.  I've tried researching them, and have found possibly ID's for eight, so would very much appreciate if someone would help with both ID'ing the other four and telling me if the names I found are at all correct for the rest.  Smile

They can all be found here with their possible names

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Thanks so much!  ;D
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12-01-2011, 09:55 AM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
Hi!  Welcome aboard!

12.  Pitar lupanaria, family Veneridae, West Central America

11. Cepaea nemoralis, widespread in Europe and the United States

10.  Viviparus malleatus (fresh water)  Originally from Asia, but now widespread in the United States

09.  Cancellaria oblonga, western Indo-Pacific region

08.  It's a land snail, may be an immature Achatina fulica which now exists practically worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions.  It grows to over 5 inches in length.

07.  Yes, Marginellidae - Marginella (Prunum) prunum, Caribbean

06.  There are a lot of these small Trochidae species, some of which are quite similar, but this looks like Tegula viridula from the Caribbean

05.  Yes, Cypraea caputserpentis, western Indo-Pacific

04.  Yes, Turris indica, western Indo-Pacific

03.  Yes, immature Strombus.  I believe it is Strombus alatus, not the rather similar Strombus pugilis.

02.  Yes, Olividae - Olivancillaria gibbosa, Indian Ocean

01.  Nassarius dorsatus, western Indo-Pacific
12-01-2011, 10:18 AM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
Thank you SO MUCH! 

I guess I made the mistake, though, of not being specific and requesting common names for these as well.  My google-fu is weak, and I can't always find it when looking up the latin.  For example, Cepaea nemoralis in google comes up with three names;  grove snail, brown-lipped garden snail, and banded snail, but most don't come up with anything at all.  Which one is it?  Wiki doesn't always help either.  Sad

What is the common name for:
Pitar lupanaria
Cancellaria oblonga
prunum prunum
Tegula viridula
Olivancillaria gibbosa?

Is Viviparus malleatus the chinese mystery snail or trapdoor snail?
Is Achatina fulica the giant african land snail?
Is Nassarius luridus the dog whelk?

For future reference, what do you suggest I type in to Google, or what specific sites to go to, to find common names?
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12-01-2011, 12:42 PM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
If you are going to get very involved in shell collecting, you will need to become familiar with scientific names.  Many shells have multiple common names, just in English - as you noticed for Cepaea nemoralis - and many other common names in other languages.  But each shell has only one scientific name, which every collector in the world understands, regardless of what language he/she speaks.  Also, only the relatively well known species or species in popular families have any common name at all.  There are tens of thousands of species that have no common name.

Here are some common English names provided in the Compendium of Seashells - but there is nothing official about these names, and another book may give a different common name:

Pitar lupanaria - Prostitute Venus Clam - Yep, no kidding. That's what "lupanaria" means in Latin, and shells of this family are called "Venus Clams".

Cancellaria oblonga - Oblong Nutmeg

Prunum prunum - Plum Marginella

Tegula viridula - The species is not included in this book, and most books don't give common names.  However, "viridula" is derived from the Latin "viridis", meaning "green" or "greenish", and "ula" is a diminutive suffix, so "viridula" means "little greenish".  Therefore, based on the scientific name, a reasonable common name would be "Little Greenish Top Shell".

Olivancillaria gibbosa - Gibbous Olive Shell

Is Viviparus malleatus the chinese mystery snail or trapdoor snail? - Yes
Is Achatina fulica the giant african land snail? - Yes
Is Nassarius luridus the dog whelk? - "Dog Whelk" and "Nassa" are names applied to the family Nassariidae in general, so this species might be called "Lurid Dog Whelk" or "Lurid Nassa".  However, the name "Dog Whelk" is also used for some species in the family Muricidae, genus Nucella - another example of the unreliability of common names.

Incidentally, your photos are superb!

12-01-2011, 04:45 PM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
Wow, thank you so much again for your response!  I am a mineral and fossil collector at heart, only getting involved with shells the last few months, and it is VASTLY more difficult than minerals!  I honestly had no idea that there would be so many without common names, and latin is not exactly an easy language to remember!

I've been very fortunate to be invited on my very first collecting trip with a friend of mine who is a longtime gem/fossil/shell collector and dealer.  We hope to go all along the east coast of the US, to Florida and maybe even further if lucky.  We'll be collecting minerals, fossils and of course shells, and might be out for several months.  It'll be a fantastic opportunity to learn as a beginner  8)  I can only imagine how long people like yourself have been at this to have such vast knowledge of so many species so easily!

And thanks for the picture complement, my camera is actually a complete piece of crap that I hope to replace very soon.  It takes far too much effort to get pictures worth posting, and that's only after being edited first.  You wouldn't believe how many bad shots it takes to get a good one  Tongue  I'm no photographer by any means.

There are a few more specimens I forgot to ask you about, so I do hope you'll not mind helping with them when I get them posted tomorrow. 

*gives you a cookie for your help, everyone loves cookies* ;D

(edit:  i just realized that you originally said the one was "Nassarius dorsatus" and in my reply I asked for common name of "Nassarius luridus" instead.  I have no idea how that happened...
Also, you said that the Tegula viridula can be "greenish top shell", but wiki has it as a turbin shell?)
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12-02-2011, 09:32 PM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
concerning shell08, it´s really a little bit difficult to decide without knowing the origin and the size. Both would be very helpful. In Achatinidae, the whorls normally are a little bit more konvex and the sutures deeper. Furthermore the columella is truncated in Achatinidae. The general shell shape, the columella and the smooth and continuous aperture margin strongly reminds me of a bleeched specimen of Orthalicus (perhaps Orthalicus princeps, family Orthalicidae), a genus widespread in Central America and Florida. Orthalicus (O. princeps and other species of this genus) normally reaches a shell hight of about 50-55 mm (slightly more than 2 inches), at it´s best.
Kind regards: wolf  Smile
12-03-2011, 04:16 AM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
Hi, wolfi!  I was given this one, so I have absolutely no idea where it comes from.  It measures approximately 1.25".
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12-03-2011, 04:47 AM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
Japs. That fits nicely.
All right, then my guess (might be wrong, of course  Wink) is a rather young specimen of Orthalicus spec.
Kind regards: wolf
12-03-2011, 05:31 AM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
Thanks.  Smile  I forgot to mention, and this may or may not be helpful, that it is a very thin and fragile shell, one of the thinnest of all the ones I have.
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12-03-2011, 05:53 AM,
Re: New to shelling, need IDs please
The shells of landsnails are usually rather thin, in comparison to most of the seashells.
In this case there might have been some lack of calcium, perhaps...... .
Regards: wolf

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