top of page


Posted: Jul 15 2006

 Neverita delessertiana (Récluz in Chenu, 1843), Poland's Neverita   Natica fossata (Gould 1847) is a junior synonym

This presentation is very long and has 2 galleries, much narrative discussion, and more photos.  Be sure to scroll down to view everythning.

Phil Poland, one the finest field workers in Florida, for many

years believed a particular form of Neverita duplicata (Say, 1822)

was a valid separate species. Read story (May-Jun, 1998 issue of

Shell-O-Gram, the newsletter of the Jacksonville Shell Club).

It's eight years later, but with help from many, Phil has been

proven correct as reflected in the following 2006 article:

Hülsken, T., Clemmemsen, M. & Hollmann, M. 2006. Neverita

delessertiana (Récluz in Chenu, 1843): a naticid species

(Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda) distinct from Neverita duplicata

(Say, 1822) based on molecular data, morphological characters,

and geographical distribution. Zootaxa 1257: 1–25.

Read Journal Article.

Gallery 1

1/2/11 I posted on Conch-L:

"For a long time there was only N. duplicata in Florida. Now we know there is a second almost identical species – N. delessertiana. Aside from the paper confirming N. delessertiana as a separate species, I believe only the recent Encyclopedia of Texas Seashells (2010) briefly describes this shell. One of my backlog projects has been to address both these shells and provide useful tips as to how to distinguish the two. I finished today.

There are two issues with these shells for which I am seeking information:

1. My impression is that these shells are found in areas with quartz sand and not the calcareous sand found in the Florida Keys. Has anyone collected live specimens of either species in the Keys, and, if so, was it an isolated incident or are you aware of living populations? And, if so, do you recall the kind of sand where they were found?

2. Does anyone have first-hand knowledge of confirmed, live specimens of N. delessertiana being found on the east coast of Florida?:

Reader's responses:

G.Thomas Watters, Curator of Molluscs, The Ohio State University, reported:

"My only N. delessertianus is from the west coast at Clearwater, live in mud just S of the causeway."

1/6/11 Discussion of Range Distribution

In my presentation slides I noted that I've only found N. delessertiana on Florida's west coast. The specimen population examined in support of the research report [Hülsken, T., Clemmemsen, M. & Hollmann, M. 2006. Neverita delessertiana (Récluz in Chenu, 1843): a naticid species (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda) distinct from Neverita duplicata (Say, 1822) based on molecular data, morphological characters, and geographical distribution. Zootaxa 1257: 1–25.] confirming species status for N. delessertiana found all to have been located around the perimeter of the Gulf of Mexico, except for three specimens. One was identified as from Cocoa, Florida, in Brevard County on the central east coast. I have lived on an island in the Indian River Lagoon immediately east of Cocoa since 1979 and have never found any Neverita in this area. This area of the Lagoon has no exposure to ocean waters with the nearest open water access to the ocean being 20 miles away. The data for this shell must be considered erroneous. [Note: See next post, below, in which Michael Hollmann, one of the authors of the research report indicates "one should not put too much weight on (the Cocoa specimend data as) evidence for an East coast occurence of N. delessertiana."] The other two specimens were from Key West in the Florida Keys. Since N. delessertiana is documented as far south on Florida's west coast as Cape Romano, it is conceivable that adventitious incidents of dead or living specimens might occur. However, until we have some first-hand evidence of a living population in this area, I believe we should not consider these two specimens as evidence that the normal range of N. delessertiana extends any farther south in Florida than Collier County. Note that it appears that all three of these specimens were shells without animals (not included in the DNA sample group) and were from museum collections rather than field-collected material specifically for the study.

In addition to the three specimens noted above, the only other possible evidence of N. delessertiana on Florida's east coast is the inclusion of this species in Harry Lee's checklist of Peanut Island Marine Mollusks (revision 9/4/10). I contacted Harry about this circumstance and found that inclusion on the list was based upon a single shell he had seen and identified, but does not possess, and the exact situation of its source were not clear. Despite our researches with the potential collectors who may have provided this shell, we could not reconstruct its source with any certainty. Harry had this to say regarding the possible existence of N. delessertiana on Florida's SE coast:

"Although I believe N. delessertiana has a presence in SE Florida as I have ID'ed a specimen from Peanut Is., Palm Beach Co., I class it as a Gulf of Mexico (GOM) endemic ...  The absence of Neverita from extreme S Florida conforms to other distributional patterns seen within the Carolinian malacofauna, and, although associated with a difference in sediment composition as you astutely point out, may result from other and more complex ecological factors."  Harry went on to comment that while N. delessertiana was among those species identified as a "true Gulf of Mexico endemic," it "May straggle to SE FL."   While I readily agree with the former, I cannot accept the "May straggle to SE FL." idea based upon one specimen that was not actually collected by Harry, himself, and which actual place of collection or the accompanying data, examined by Harry at the time of identification, but which is no longer available, cannot be confirmed as accurate (as we have tried to do). This is an isolated case of a single shell. I know of no other instances of a confirmed N. delessertiana having been found at Peanut Island, where Phil Poland, myself and numerous shell-collecting acquaintances have collected regularly over the past 25 years. There can be several explanations for Harry's shell other than that it is representative of a living population of N. delessertiana at Peanut Island - mostly that there was some kind of mix-up and the data and shell do not go together. To support this conclusion, I would note that Tom Honker of Delray Beach, Florida, has been collecting in the Peanut Island area and via SCUBA in the waters off Palm Beach County for at least 30 years and could not confirm having found N. delessertiana. He commented that he could recollect only having found "duplicatus, large, from out here" and "I agree, the shell i(s) not found in carbonate sands south of here." Tom also discussed this issue with Ed Petuch who concurred that Neverita did not occur in carbonate sands and he was unaware of any records south of Palm Beach County. I also checked the NOAA/University of Miami 1968-1973 Biodiversity Study of Southern Biscayne Bay and Card Sound, and no Neverita or Polinices were reported. This is consistent with Biscayne National Park Marine Mollusk Checklist based on 38 years of study by Robert L. Pace of Miami.  Additionally, collector Andy Borgia, resident of Key West since 1988 and who has been actively collecting shells throughout the Keys since 2001, reported "No, I've never found Neverita in the Keys." This information would cast doubt upon the possibility of an adventitious occurrence of N. delessertiana being washed northward along Florida's east coast by the Gulf Stream or other mechanism from a proximate population in the Keys.

Based upon the information I have at the moment (1/13/11), I believe it is only reasonable to conclude that there are no living populations of N. delessertiana on Florida's east coast or in the Keys. Both Harry and I would like to hear from any collectors who have actually encountered living populations of N. delessertiana on Florida's east coast or in the Florida Keys.   

Prior and subsequent to my statement on 1/13/11, Harry and I attempted to verify the one shell that was the basis for inclusion in his checklist and to locate other records of N. delessertiana on Florida’s east coast. Following is an edited record of our exchanges that serves to chronicle our investigation and illustrate the twists and turns with a surprising outcome.

1/2/11 Marlo to Conch-L:

“For a long time, there was only N. duplicata in Florida. Now we know there is a second almost identical species – N. delessertiana. “ “Does anyone have first-hand knowledge of confirmed, live specimens of N. delessertiana being found on the east coast of Florida?”

Harry Lee:

“Although I believe N. delessertiana has a presence in SE Florida as I have ID'ed a specimen from Peanut Is., Palm Beach Co. , I class it as a Gulf of Mexico (GOM) endemic and give my reasoning at …”


“Harry, I have considered your comments and added them to the range discussion …” “It would appear we agree (with supporting observations from others) that there is no hard evidence of living populations of N. delessertiana on Florida’s east coast …”


Dear Marlo, I've tried to remember, plumbed my email archives, and discussed the situation with Bill Frank, our webmaster, and I cannot be sure of the exact circumstances leading to the addition of Neverita delessertiana to the Peanut Is. checklist. I did receive a copy of an email from Dr. David Hess, an out-of-state member of the Jax Shell Club, to webmaster Bill Frank on Tuesday, January 23, 2007 5:34 PM: "Received a Polinices fossata today from Tom Honker, and it is indeed different with the partial deep umbilicus and callus only partly covering. This one came from Lake Worth south of Peanut Island ..." At the time I emailed David immediately indicating it to be an unprecedented find and asking for a scan of the umbilical aspect of the specimen. Alas, David was unable to provide that service and I'm quite sure I never saw that specimen. There is a reasonable chance that I saw material at the Broward Shell Show 1-2 years ago. I'll have to ask around when I'm down there in two weeks. Meanwhile maybe Tom Honker can help us here.”


“I asked Tom about a Polinices fossata on one of his lists last week .... He indicated he did not have the shell and seemed to recall he sent it to you, but was not clear if it was indeed N. delessertiana.” “In the absence of others having found living populations of this shell on Florida’s east coast in the last 30 years (after all, it is not exactly rare when it does occur), there are far more reasonable explanations for these mysterious identifications (error, mixed up data slips, or isolated aberrant N. duplicata.)”


“When all else fails, try the collection!

I have two lots of Neverita delessertiana from Peanut Island:
(1) Two small live-taken specimens with opercula collected by Phil Poland on 11 June, 1991.
(2) Three medium-sized live-taken specimens with opercula obtained at the Broward Show on 27 Jan., 2007. The label is in Bob Pac's handwriting and on the reverse I inscribed: "Collected by Ed Petuch in [the] 1990's teste Bob Pace, who gave me these shells."

Harry sent an inquiry to Phil Poland to verify the specimens noted above:

“Dear Phil, I have these two lots of Neverita delessertiana from Peanut Is., Palm Beach Co., FL in my collection:
(1) Two small live-taken specimens with opercula collected by Phil Poland on 11 June, 1991.”

“Do you recall the event commemorated on label (1)?”


“I would probably remember the event, and I don't. If, on the other hand, the original word-processed data I gave Marlo, with the shells, specifically confirms the species as from PI, that's probably the case. Shells that I gave to Marlo seem to have some data mix-ups, probably as a result of (others) grabbing interesting shells prior to Marlo's getting them.

If it helps, though you probably already know it, N. delessertiana is at home in the shallows of bays and I'd be suspicious of any offshore records.”


“I keep your label with anything you send me, but, in this case, there is no such paper trail. I'll ask Marlo (Cc) to check his archive. Normally I don't get myself in a position like this.”


“Where did you get the 1991 data on the shells? I assumed the shells were from the collection I gave Marlo. In any case, I would not expect to find the species at PI. Almost anything else, though.”


“Dear Phil, All I can say is that the label is in my handwriting and it says ",,, just NE Peanut Is., Lake Worth, Palm Beach Co., FLORIDA. Phil Poland! 6/11/91. 26º 47' N 80º 03' W." As I said, there is no other label with the lot. I may have gotten the information by word of mouth, but more likely a preceding label was copied and inadvertently misplaced.

I am reasonably certain that the coordinates were provided to me by the donor as I don't usually expend the time to add them to a familiar locality citation.

Looking at some of your other typescript labels of that era, I see that you often employed this two digit/two digit degree/minute format.

Ring a bell?”

11/12/11 Responding to Harry’s “Ring a bell” question,
Phil commented:

“Yes, I used to determine coordinates for localities to be sure the location wouldn't be confused in the future - Hah! That is certainly my data. It isn't word-of-mouth data, though, or you wouldn't have the coordinates. It must be a transcription. This data refers to a sandbar inside and to the north of the inlet. Snails found there included Natica. It is unlikely but not impossible that I found N.d. there. The spot has some shoal grass and soft silty patches.

The way to confirm this record is through Marlo. I gave him a record of all the finds and locations of that period. It would be found as N. duplicata, Peanut Island, whether he has the shells or not.” “The written record is the thing.”


“The “data mix-ups” are almost entirely instances where there were no shells in the collection to match Phil’s collection records and maybe one or two instances where the wrong shell was returned to the wrong bag. Phil did not include data slips with shells. Rather, each shell was stored in a plastic bag and the bag identified with a record number. While there might be some “shell mix-ups,” I doubt there are “record mix-ups.” Phil’s records are meticulous. In my discussion I indicated that Phil had not found delessertiana at Peanut Island for two reasons. First, I had asked if he recalled doing so and he had not. Second, I reviewed his collecting record (copy attached) and all of the 23 records are of finds on Florida’s west coast. Knowing that Phil collected regularly at Peanut Island, the absence of any record (in addition to the fact that I’ve collected there for 30 years and not found any, or that no other first-hand reports have materialized) is persuasive to me.”

I do note that Phil’s data is missing number assignments for 41-1 and 41-20. Are the shells you have in plastic bags with a record number? Phil has indicated that the collection he amassed prior to 1990 was donated to a museum. However, since the date with the shells you hold is June 11, 1991, I would have expected it to be included among the attached file.”

“I still don’t think we have certain enough data to conclude delessertiana occurs at Peanut Island. Again, I have put this question to Tom Honker. He and I collected Peanut Island waters together in the early 80’s (although it was all in diving depth waters south of the port rather than the flats on the north side of the island) and he has been collecting via SCUBA offshore throughout Palm Beach County for over 30 years. He clearly recalls collecting only duplicata. If delessertiana exists (or at one time existed) at Peanut Island, I do not see how it could go so unreported, being such a prolific shell when it does occur and with the heavy collecting activity at Peanut Island. I understand that almost all collectors would not have distinguished it from duplicata, and that this may be a factor. But, not for me or Phil. And, maybe, if you have the contacts, you could make personal appeals to those collectors you know collected frequently at Peanut Island, and ask that they review their collections to ascertain if any of their duplicata are delessertiana. As you recently commented, when all else fails, look at the collection.”

1/12/11 Upon reviewing his collecting records attached to my email,
Phil commented:

“Having seen my records on "species 41," there is no doubt in my mind. I never found N.del. on the east coast.”

Harry then commented:

“Dear Marlo and Phil, Thanks for the forensic initiative, Marlo.

I have no record number, but my possessing only a marker like "41-1" and/or "41-20" would likely eventuate in my seeking the data, transcribing it, and discarding the nearly meaningless code skip.”

“I'll attempt an … interview with him (Bob Pace) next week at the Broward show. He may hold an important missing piece of this puzzle.

Despite your reiterative yet well-composed argument, a periodic colonization or cyclical population boom is certainly not implausible.”

Marlo reported:

“Well guys, now that you’ve neatly resolved the issue with ????????????, here’s another twist. This morning I looked up Phil’s records for N. duplicata (copy attached – first page only). Previously, I had just looked at his “41” record labeled “Neverita” [the hand-written “fossata (Gould, 1847)” is mine and was added before “delessertiana” became more official]. Never crossed my mind to look at his record for N. duplicata. After all, Phil would never mix these two up. Well, much to my chagrin for my failure to check both lists, I found that it appears the shells Harry has have data coincident with record 291-3, which reflects the exact data recited by Harry. I then checked to see if 291-3 was among the shells Phil gave me and found it was not. Actually, few of Phil’s documented 17 lots of N. duplicata are in my collection and all are small specimens. I suspect “(others)” kept all the larger ones. 291-3 is the only one of the 17 records from P-Isl.

So, it looks like a real conundrum. Are the shells Harry has actually 291-3, which Phil identified as N. duplicata? Or, was N. duplicata data mistakenly somehow attached to some N. delessertiana? Could Phil have misidentified the 291-3 shells – I just can’t accept that. Is there a trail sufficient to know whose hands these shells passed through where a mix up could have occurred? Is it reasonably possible to draw any conclusions about the origin of Harry’s shells or is it wisest to just toss them in the trash and forget them, considering the lack of any other reliable evidence that N. delessertiana occurs in Palm Beach County or anywhere on the east coast?”

(Note: At this juncture, only the three shells Harry obtained from Bob Pace remained unresolved.)

Harry replied:

“Is it possible that I ended up with lot 291-3? If Marlo doesn't have it, perhaps I did.”


“That’s why I asked if the shells were in a plastic bag with one of Phil’s numbers. My impression is that you got data with the shells, there was not one of Phil’s bags, there was no identification with it, and you do not have a clear memory (record) as to who actually gave you these shells. The identification came later. I do not perceive any evidence that can verify where the shells were actually collected and if that data is accurate for the shells.

Every shell I got where there was a record was in a bag with the corresponding record number. The fact that it was not is why I suspect it did not come to you directly from Phil and some kind of mix up occurred with the data and the shell. And, if you obtained the shell from a go-between, and it was before the distinction between the two species was generally known (or accepted), that go-between may just have randomly (or almost randomly) put the two together not thinking it made any real difference because there were not two differing species and the only real fact may have been that the person had indeed found Neverita at P-Isl., just not the actual shells sent to you. The puzzling thing is the source of the data exactly as Phil recorded it?”

1/13/11 After seeing his data record,
Phil commented:

“…from this record … I'm certain that there was no mixing of the two species within either 41 or 291. I was also reviewing that material after 1991.”

Marlo in emails to Phil and Harry:

“The nutty thing is that the data Harry has corresponds exactly with your record. Do you recall if you might have given 291-3 to Bob Pace or someone else from SE Florida who in turn might have sent something to Harry? We have to assume that Harry is correct that the two shells he has are indeed delessertiana and the shell corresponding to your data was indeed duplicata. So, somewhere, somehow data and shells got mixed up.”

“I believe in both of you, apple pie and the golden rule. Therefore, Phil’s documentation says he never found delessertiana at P-Isl. (Since) your ID is correct and Phil’s documentation is correct, then your shells have a 99.99% probability (never say never) of having the wrong data associated with them. So, you have shells with no data and a data slip with no shells.”

1/13/11 In the mean time
Harry was researching from another angle and found a pertinent old correspondence:

“Dear Marlo, The tide is turning; Ecce signum (behold the sign : look at the proof); vide infra (see below).

At 05:15 PM 3/23/1998,
Gary Rosenberg wrote to Conch-L:

I've looked throught the specimens of Neverita duplicata here and can contribute some observations. I find specimens that match Phil's Neverita sp., all from the US Gulf Coast, except for one lot from Lake Worth, collected by Tom McGinty. The channeled umbilicus seems distinctive. Specimens of Neverita duplicata from New Jersey have golden brown periostracum in the umbilicus, although not as brightly colored as in the Florida specimens (and the specimens from NJ were collected 30 years later).

If this form proves to be a different species, then it is Neverita fossata Gould, 1847 (type locality Florida). Gould stated "This would not at first sight, be distinguished from _N. duplicata_ Say, which it greatly resembles in form and coloring, but the umbilical region is entirely different; and the deep wide channel leading to the umbilicus bordered by an acute ridge, and covered by a spirally striated epidermis is in striking contrast with the pale polished region adjacent."

Harry also noted:

“At FLMNH there are at least six records for Neverita in Lake Worth;

19709 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Lake Worth, S Inlet dry 5/11/1995
152889 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Boynton, in Lake Worth 7/3/1945 dry 11/13/1991
152890 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Lake Boca Raton McGinty 4/29/1949 dry 11/26/1996 8:08:00 AM
153279 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Boynton, in Lake Worth McGinty 6/28/1943 dry 9/3/1996 11:14:00 AM
174693 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Boynton Beach Ladue, T. P. 2/1/1922 dry 2/20/1997
174694 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Boynton Beach dry 11/13/1991
176163 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Boynton Inlet, in Lake Worth, S Lake Worth Inlet dry 11/13/1991
280451 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Lake Worth dry 9/29/2000
280454 Mollusca Gastropoda Naticidae Polinices duplicatus Say (1822) USA Florida Palm Beach Co. Lake Worth”

“Almighty Rosenberg/McGinty Juggernaut may be a test of your faith.

I'll look at the 6+ Neverita lots from Lake Worth the next time I'm at the FLMNH.”

“What do you think of Tom McGinty's shell at the ANSP?”


“I think this does muddy the waters – in two respects.

1. ND may indeed be present in Lake Worth, but one instance in the face of all the other lack of evidence is not sufficient to support a declaration. And, if there was a population there when Tom collected (when was that?) and it has since expired, it would be inappropriate today to declare it exists there.

2. For me with my lay-knowledge level understanding of genetics, such an isolated occurrence (until more finds can be documented to confirm existence of an actual distinct population) raises the issues of a highly latent recessive gene within a species and the possibility that the one study we have relied upon to accept separate species status may not be truly valid. I am not one to subscribe to morphological differences (even if dramatic and consistent) as a definitive basis for species differentiation … We may have a circumstance where a highly recessive trait was able to flourish in one geographic region (GOM) but not in another (Atlantic), but pops up every once in awhile. One way we can facilitate testing of this hypothesis would be to support another round of genetic testing by collecting material and feeding it into Gustav’s program with a focus ascertaining comparative results for our sample material.”

“See my other related emails. I’m not that familiar with McGinty, but since he was publishing in the ‘50’s I assume his material in this case may precede Phil’s and my periods of experience at P-Isl. It may well be that a once existent population of ND in Lake Worth had expired by the time we entered the picture, which, if that is the case, would still support the lack of evidence for a current living population there. What were the collection dates for the McGinty shells?”


“Tom and Paul McGinty lived in Boynton Beach, FL and collected from the 1930's to 1970's. Tom was by far the more active sheller, and he sent lots of stuff to Pilsbry, with whom he collaborated on publications (usually in Pilsbry's journal, The Nautilus), many of which were based on the Palm Beach Co. collections.

I should be able to check his several lots of Palm Beach Co. Neverita at the FLMNH next month.”

1/16/11 In the course of other correspondence
Marlo included the following request of Carole Marshall of Lake Worth City (about 13 miles south of Peanut Island):

“Harry and I are counting on you to help resolve this issue of N. delessertiana in Lake Worth. So far, every report of this shell (except one from 50 years ago) on Florida’s east coast we’ve run down has resulted in nothing that can be confirmed or trusted to be accurate. And, we are not yet certain about that one report until we get to the FLMNH to examine the material, if indeed it exists. So, we’re hoping that collectors who have done a good deal of collecting in Lake Worth will go through their Neverita from there, if they have any, and see if any of them could be N. delessertiana. Maybe you could also talk this up with other club collectors and get them to review their material.”







1/16/11 Carole reviewed her shells

and responded with the data shown

in the adjacent slide.



1/17/11 Marlo:

“What you are calling delessertiana sure looks like it could be. Harry will definitely be at your (shell) show, so be sure to bring them in for him to examine."


“I don't think there's much doubt on this ID. I agree that it would be a good idea for me to look at this and any other Neverita from Palm Beach, Broward, or Miami-Dade Co. that you can bring to the Broward Show.”

1/24/11 After examining Carole’s shell at the Broward shell show
Harry confirmed:

“Yesterday AM I confirmed the ID of the shell which is cited on the green Carole Marshall Collection label.”

Marlo wrote to Carole:

“I want to be sure I understand your data slip correctly. It indicates you found this shell last June? It implies that you found only one. Do you frequently collect in the area indicated and have I located it correctly on the map …?”


“As soon as the weather breaks for the better, I will see if I can find a live one. There were more, mostly crabbed, I just didn't need them.” “I'll keep in touch when I find one.”

Carole came through:

2/4/11 Harry:
“This is Neverita delessertiana

(Récluz, 1843). Where exactly did you

find it?”

Carole provided details, which

are reflected in the above slide. She


“So, this should be proof that that

species is, indeed, on the east coast

of Florida. I do not know if there are

other populations. Time will tell.”



2/6/11 Harry:

“I think the area should be revisited from

time to time in order to see just how big the

population is - and if N. duplicata cohabits

that niche.”


So, it seems, despite the questionable data, there is at least one living population of N. delessertiana on Florida's east coast in Lake Worth. But, this story is not over.

Two events occurred on the weekend of Feb. 18 - 20, 2011. On Feb. 18 Harry reviewed all the Neverita at the FLMNH and on Feb. 19 and 20 Marlo took to the field at three Florida east coast locations to search for N. delessertiana. Marlo's results first.

On Feb. 19 I collected at two locations in Lake Worth lagoon south of Peanut Island, one being the same location reported by Carole. I found N. delessertiana, and only N. delessertiana at both locations, but living specimens at only one. On Feb. 20 I collected in the backwater lagoons on the north side of Ft. Pierce Inlet and found only old, dead specimens of both N. delessertiana and N. duplicata (although egg collars were quite numerous over a wide area). The results are portrayed below:

Gallery 2

2/20/11 Harry reported the results of his review of the the Neverita at the FLMNH:

"Dear Marlo, John, Carole, Phil, and Bill,

Last Friday I spent about two (2) hours campaigning through all the Neverita at the FLMNH. Carole had kindly pulled the (four) drawers for me, and I made notes on 36 lots. As I was limited by time, I did not make place any notes in the collection itself (misidentifications, etc.) although I examined every one of well over 100 lots My comments are focused on the two dozen lots I extracted from the database earlier last week ..."

Of all the material Harry examined (all identified as N. duplicata), he indeed found many N. delessertiana from locations along Florida's east coast, as follows:

Brevard Co. South of Melbourne, Indian River 8/22/1964 dry 11/13/1991 [3 shells; collected by Germaine Warmke]

Palm Beach Co. Boynton Beach dry 11/13/1991 [1 shell]

Dade Co. Lemon Bay dry 9/1/1994 [3 shells] (This locale data is questionable. There is an area once known as "Lemon City" in Miami, Dade Co., close to, but not on Biscayne Bay. There is also a "Lemon Bay" on Florida's west coast at the Sarasota/Charlotte county line.)

Palm Beach Co. Lake Worth dry 9/29/2000 [I failed to note no. of specimens]

Palm Beach Co. Lake Worth dry 9/29/2000 [1 shell]

St. Lucie Co. Fort Pierce McGinty 3/1/1949 dry 9/3/1996 11:14:00 AM [3 shells]

Broward Co. Pompano Beach 10 McGinty dry 9/3/1996 11:14:00 AM [1 shell]

Palm Beach Co. Boynton Beach Ladue, T. P. 2/1/1922 dry 2/20/1997 [actually the lot bearing this number was labelled "Ft. Pierce, St. Lucie Co. McGinty;" 1 shell]

USA New Jersey, Cape May Co. Cape May Poverty Beach Muriel Hunter 1987 [1 shell] [In the collection there are also Neverita collected by her in that approximate time frame in SE Florida]

Harry concluded:

"There were over two dozen Neverita lots from the E Florida coast to Massachusetts, and, with the exceptions of the Cape May specimen, no N. delessertiana was recorded N of the Warmke record cited above. I think we can consider that shell (the Hunter shell) mislocalized." "No occurrence for either species documented in Monroe Co., FL."

MarloBased upon Harry's findings (partially confirmed by Marlo's field work) it would appear that at one time N. delessertiana was present along Florida's east coast (most probably in the intracoastal lagoons) from south Brevard County to Palm Beach County and maybe Broward. I do not credit the record for "Lemon Bay" in Dade County, since I can find no bay in Florida by this name except in Sarasota County and also noted that Lemon City in Dade County is landlocked. The quality of the dead and the live shells Carole and I found in south Lake Worth indicate that there is a living population in that area.

From: [CONCH-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Michael Hollmann
Sent: Saturday, January 15, 2011 10:52 AM
Subject: Re: [CONCH-L] Neverita in Florida

Dear Harry and others interested in Neverita distribution in the S.E. US,

Concerning the geographical distribution of Neverita delessertiana recently
discussed on Conch-L, I rechecked the one lot of Neverita delessertiana we
reported from East Florida (Cocoa, central East Florida) in our 2006 paper
(Hülsken et al., Zootaxa 1257, pp. 8, 20) cited by you in your response to
Marlo¹s question.

The lot mentioned in the paper contains 6 specimens allegedly collected in
1946 in "Cocoa, Florida", of which clearly are Neverita delessertiana
while the other 3 are equally clearly Neverita duplicata. However, the lot
has been purchased (in 1993) from "The Sea", a now defunct shell shop in San
Pedro, Los Angeles. As many of the lots for sale in that shop were located
in cabinets accessible to the customers, it cannot be excluded that this
particular lot might have gotten mixed with specimens originating from
another locality, possibly a Gulf of Mexico locality. Therefore, one should
not put too much weight on this particular piece of evidence for an East
coast occurence of N. delessertiana.

Best regards,


Michael Hollmann
Stockumer Heide 44
D-58454 Witten

Responding to Michael's observation about the shell shop,
Steve Rosenthal wrote:

"I was able to visit that shop twice before it closed and can attest that customers certainly had access to the lots, both out in the open and in the cabinets, and "mixing " was definitely possbile."

bottom of page