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Posted: Dec 21 2008

 Stewartia floridana (Conrad 1833)

syn. Pseudomiltha floridana

A review of the database of the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum disclosed several lots collected in the environs of Sanibel Island.

Harry Lee, among the foremost experts on Florida mollusks and much sought shell show judge, graciously reviews many of my presentations before posted. Upon reviewing this presentation on Sat 12/20/2008, Harry commented:

"This is a nice presentation of a Gulf of Mexico endemic. We found it last weekend at two places in the Cedar Keys.

Andrews (1971) indicated that it is found along the entire Texas coast, but Vokes and Vokes (1984) did not report it from the Yucatan.

Andrews, J., 1971. Sea shells of the Texas coast. Univ. Texas, Austin, xvii + pp. 3-298 incl. numerous text figs.

Vokes, H.E. and E.H. Vokes, 1984 [1983]. Distribution of shallow-water marine Mollusca, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Mesoamerican Ecological Institute, Monograph 1, Middle American Research Institute, Publication 54: i-viii + 1-183 incl. 50 pls."

On December 21, 2008
Marlo posted an inquiry on Conch-L requesting first-hand locale collecting information of others' for this shell. Here are the responses.

Sun 12/21/2008  Peggy Williams, author of Shallow Water Turridae of Florida and the Caribbean, wrote:

"I've found it in Sarasota and Charlotte Counties. It prefers muddy inner bays and apparently lives in large colonies. Since I haven't collected in this habitat for awhile, I haven't collected it for some years."

Mon 12/22/2008  
Charlie Sturm, Research Associate - Section of Mollusks Carnegie Museum of Natural History Pittsburgh, PA, USA, wrote:

"Juan Jose Parodiz spend 3 weeks studying the Yucatan molluscan fauna. His checklist from this study appeared in the Pittsburgh Shell Club Buletin [1979]. He, similar to the Vokes, did not report collecting Stewartia floridana in the Yucatan."

Mon 12/22/2008
John Wolff wrote:

"Mudflats south of Port St. Joe, FL; intertidal; drilled by Natica, Feb. 1995; 36 and 31 mm
Also found as a fossil in APAC pit, Sarasota."

Mon 12/22/2008
G. Thomas Watters, PhD, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology The Ohio State University Museum of Biological Diversity, reported:

"My records are:

2 mi E of Port St. Joe, Gulf Co.

dredged in Intracoastal Waterway, Indian Rocks Beach, Pinellas Co."

Posted: Jan 22 2015, Susan J. Hewitt:

It would be helpful to know what this species looks like when all you find is a beach-worn single valve.

Any chance of a photograph of one in that degraded condition?


Here is an example of a specimen which has survived not only the vicissitudes of sun and surf, but also millennia of burial. The interior of the aragonitic shell has metamorphosed into a chert-like texture: Extralimital lucine.

A quick read of the label at the bottom of that page should reveal the "deeper" heuristic aspect of this unusual find.

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