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Posted: Dec 13 2022

Melampus monile (Bruguière, 1789), Caribbean Melampus

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As of Dec 13, 2022 I am aware of only one confirmed collection of Melampus monile in Florida (Middle Florida Keys), illustrated below from Duane Kauffmann's webpage, Key to the Shallow Water Snails of the Middle Florida Keys

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Color of the Melampus monile shell is orangish-brown to dark coffee brown, often with bands of white.  The shell is robust with a dominant body whorl, a spire of moderate height, and a pimple-like protoconch.  The spire is straight to slightly convex just below the apex.   The upper end of the shell shows small pit scars (the remains of bristles on immature shells).  The aperture is elongate and narrow; the outer lip thin.  The only ridge on the inner lip is deep within the shell.  There is a small fold at the base of the aperture and there are low ridges on the interior of the outer lip.  There are 9 to 12 whorls and the sutures are moderately distinct.

Specimens were collected from the NW mangrove shoreline of Long Key bight in 1988/1989.

12/19/22:  Upon reviewing the above presentation Harry Lee notified me of another collection of     M. monile in the Keys documented in the Jacksonville Shell Club's newsletter, the "Shell-O-Gram," excerpted below.  We could not ascertain the date of the newsletter in which the article appeared.  The Melampus monilis Phil discussed was not among the species illustrated in the article.

A Florida Marsh Snail Hunt

By Phil Poland

"The following day found me, bright and early, at Harry Harris County Park near Tavernier in the Upper Keys. A hard shore with tidepools gave way to mangrove and a gently sloping shore. The mangrove sheltered a bonanza in marsh snails."  "I (found) spot near the high-water mark to turn rocks and debris around the roots of the mangrove."  Melampus monilis clustered in crevices on the undersurfaces of rocks and larger pieces of wood. The deep-brown shells, sometimes banded, have tiny hairs or setae on the tops of the whorls. Pits remain if they've worn off."

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