Posted: Jun 1 2008
Atys caribaeus & Atys sharpi
Abbott (1974) presented three species of Atys as occurring in Florida; namely, A. riiseana, A. sandersoni, and A. caribaeus. It is my opinion that Abbott’s descriptions and assignment of names is in error. I follow the interpretation that A. riiseana and A. caribaeus are synonyms with A. caribaeus being senior, and that Abbott’s description of A. riiseana applies to A. caribaeus. Abbott indicates that A. sharpi is a synonym of A. caribaeus, and indeed, his description of A. caribaeus is accurate for A. sharpi, which should have full species status. I believe Abbott’s A. sandersoni was confused with A. sharpi and probably does not occur in Florida. In my opinion, only two species of Atys are found in Florida’s shallow waters - A. caribaeus and A. sharpi. I have discussed our Florida shells and this position with Harry Lee and he commented,
“I agree that there are two similar Atys widespread in much of the Florida shallows, and the two names you chose cannot presently be improved upon.
There are also Atys alayoi Espinosa and Ortea, 2004 and A. mandrewii (E. A. Smith, 1872), but they aren't as often seen in FL waters.”
The following presentation presents the two Atys I’ve found in Florida’s shallow waters.