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shell identification help
05-01-2007, 12:27 PM,
shell identification help
Dear all,
Whenever I went to the beach, I always like to collect or buy some shells for souvenir, now I realised that I don't have any information on those shells, would appreciate if any of you can help me to id the shell and possibly the family, base on those information then I can further search for information about those shells.
Please find below the link to the picture of some of the sheels..Thanks in advance for your kind assistance.

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05-02-2007, 12:53 PM,
shell identification help
Hello Edo,

Welcome to the forum. Most of these are not too difficult. A few are "iffy". Species name followed by the family name in parentheses:

1. Cypraecassis rufa (Cassidae)
2. Conus marmoreus (Conidae)
3. Lambis crocata (Strombidae)
4. Tibia fusus (Strombidae)
5. Tonna allium (Tonnidae)
6. At first I thought this was Lunella coronata (Turbinidae). But it's over 2" in width, which would be huge for that species. So I believe it is one of the various forms of Angaria delphinula (Angariidae). A ventral view would be helpful.
7. Distorsio reticulata (Personidae)
8. Architectonica perspectiva (Architectonicidae)
9. Turbo argyrostomus (Turbinidae)
10. This looks like an immature Vasum (Vasidae/Turbinellidae), not sure of the species. Could also be a Thais. A ventral view would be helpful.
11. Lambis lambis (Strombidae)
12. This appears to be a small Vasum ceramicum (Vasidae/Turbinellidae). Not absolutely certain from this view. Again, a straight-on ventral view would be better.
13. Cymbiola vespertilio (Volutidae)
14. Argonauta hians (Argonautidae)
15. Drupa morum (Muricidae)
16. This is a land snail in the genus Amphidromus. Not certain of the exact species. Perhaps one of the many forms of Amphidromus perversus.
17. Strombus canarium (Strombidae)
18. Strombus luhuanus (Strombidae)
19. These are Trochus (Trochidae). The one on the left appears to be Trochus radiatus. The other two may be the same species or other related species. There are a number of small Trochus species that are difficult to distinguish.
20. Vexillum rugosum (Costellariidae)
21. Cypraea caputserpentis (Cypraeidae)
22. Neritina waigiensis (Neritidae)
23. Lambis scorpius (Strombidae)
24. Cymatium lotorium (Ranellidae)
25. Cymbiola nobilis (Volutidae)
26. Terebra maculata (Terebridae)
27. Difficult to see just what this is. Is it a bivalve? If so it is probably Hyotissa hyotis (Ostreiidae). If it's not a bivalve, a better picture is needed.
28. Nautilus pompilius (Nautilidae)
29. Cassis cornuta (Cassidae)
30. Haustellum haustellum (Muricidae)
31. Harpa ventricosa (Harpidae)
32. Strombus bulla (Strombidae)
33. Drupa ricinus (Muricidae)
34. Conus capitaneus (Conidae)
35. Strombus luhuanus (Strombidae)
36. Strombus lentiginosus (Strombidae)
37. Cellana testudinaria (Patellidae) (polished)
05-05-2007, 08:32 AM,
shell identification help
Hi Paul,
Thanks a lot for your help on this, may I know what is "iffy" ? After making some comparison on the picture, I think the shell 6 is angaria delphinula.
Please find the link below on the ventral view of some of the shells
<a href="" target="_blank"><!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""></a><!-- m --></a>
I hope the picture can come out, as I was having some problem to upload the picture just now.

Do you mind sharing some of your thoughts on 'starting the hobby of shell collector' ? I tried to start this hobby but so far still have concern/questions on the following:
- So many different type / family of shells, usually people start with random collection or just focus in 1 or 2 family
- Any possibility to have the information on the special visual characteristic of the shell families? By just looking at the picture, you can easily know they are from which family,and maybe their name, I believe all families have those characteristic, something like conidae=>the shape like cone, etc.
- I have difficulties for the space to keep those shells, any idea of other than putting them into small container/drawer, what are the other option to keep them, I prefer to have them always available at sight, but having them display all over the house or making a special glass rack for them sounds like a bit too much.
- "does size matter?" Usually when I bought shells, I will like to look for the largest available, but recently I take the smallest available but with the most original/strong pattern because of the space issue, what do you think?

Thanks a lot my friend.

05-05-2007, 02:17 PM,
shell identification help
Hi Edo,

After looking at the new pictures I'm sure about Vasum ceramicum (#12) and Angaria (#16 in the new pictures, #6 in the original set). The correct name of the Angaria is delphinus, not delphinula - my error. #27 is definitely an oyster (family Ostreidae), and I still think it may be Hyotissa hyotis, but I still am not 100% certain.  #10 is a puzzle. I still think it looks like an immature Vasum, and there are not very many species of Vasum, but I just can't place it.

"Iffy" is just a slang term meaning "indefinite" or "uncertain".

Most collectors start as generalists, collecting a variety of families. Some collect only gastropods, not bivalves. Few collectors begin as specialists in a specific family. General experience allows a person to compare various familes and to decide on a few favorites. Personally I have always remained a generalist.  There are just so many fascinating families that I find it difficult to narrow it down to just a few. Of course I do find some families more interesting than others.

For characteristics of families, have you looked at the family identification page on this website? It's the last item in the menu provided on the homepage, labeled "Identification Help". We don't have all the families posted yet.  I'll have to get back to that project some time soon and fill in the missing families.

Yes, a shell collection requires a lot more space than a stamp collection or a coin collection. As a collection grows, it becomes impractical to keep all the shells on continuous display. Most collectors use some sort of cabinets with sliding trays or shallow drawers to house the majority of the collection, sometimes keeping a selection of the larger, more attractive specimens on display.  I once knew a lady who had a large collection (several thousand species), whose only requirement was that every shell had to fit in a particular 1" x 1" plastic box that she bought by the thousand, and which she used to house the entire collection.  In a single 20" x 20" tray she could display 400 specimens!

Regarding size, the largest specimen is not always the best specimen. Specimen quality is more important than size. This means specimens that are free of visible flaws like growth mends, scars, chips, cracks, broken spines, fading, loss of gloss, etc. Also, in many species the colors are often brighter in smaller specimens, while the older, larger shells tend to be relatively dull.  I knew another lady who collected world record size shells, and who had at least a couple of hundred such specimens in her collection. But for most collectors size is secondary. A small, colorful specimen of Busycon sinistrum, the Florida Lightning Whelk, for example, is really much more attractive than a full grown, dull white specimen.

05-06-2007, 12:10 PM,
shell identification help
Hi Paul,
Thanks a lot for your help, I will look into the reference into the website. Tx.

Note: you make me down on the 'iffy' things, I was hoping on something like 'rare' :-((


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