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Posted: Apr 16 2024

I made this first-time trip to Salt Run in hopes of finding a Busycon carica forma eliceans, a shell I've never seen live in Florida.  Salt Run attracted my interest due to an observation reported on iNaturalist.  

Salt Run is a lagoon running south along Anastasia State Park from St. Augustine Inlet.

Salt Run.jpg
Salt Run 2.jpg
Salt Run 2 Apr 9 2024.jpg
Salt Run 3.jpg..jpg

My search area was at the southern tip of Salt Run.  The habitat is one of soft, muddy sand with oyster-lined shorelines. I timed my visit for a -0.71 tide.

I spent about two hours trudging through the soft sand over exposed flats and shoreline.  Few mollusks were observed.

Here are the sppecies I encountered in addition to thousands of oysters:

Geukensia demissa 18.jpg
Arcuatula papyria 1.jpg
Atrina rigida 6.jpg
Dosinia discus 9.jpg
Eupleura caudata 12.jpg
Busycotypus pyruloides 12.jpg
Busycon carica live juvenile.jpg
Ilyanassa obsoleta 12.jpg
Nassarius polygonata 23.2 .jpg
Salt Run Apr 9 009.JPG
Salt Run Apr 9 015.JPG
Salt Run Apr 9 011.JPG

Only one adult Busycon Carica was observed.  To me this specimen has enough "swelling running around the center girth of the body whorl (Abbott 1974)" to be called a forma eliceans.  Others have opined that it "whispers eliceans," "this shell shows the bulge," and "I regard eliceans as an ecophenotype (a phenotype modified by specific adaptive response to environmental factors)  of carica, so I’d say carica."


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