|Semele bellastriata (Conrad, 1837) cancellate semele|
|Shweekie on Tigertail Beach, Marco Island|
Isn't that a gorgeous shell. My niece Shweekie found it on Marco Island during our shelling trip last week. It is definitely her prize find of the day. We just couldn't figure out what it was. I looked in all my shell ID books & at all the online sites I use - nothing conclusive. So I did what any social networker in the 21st Century would do. I posed the question to my homies on Facebook.
Karen Blackford My niece found this on Tigertail Beach. Can anyone ID it for me?
In a classification system begun by Swedish botanist Carl von Linne in the 18th century, every known animal and plant (living and fossil) has a Latin name. The classification system begins at the widest level (Kingdom = animal or plant) and moves down through Phyllum, Class, Order, Family, and finally Genus and Species, which make up the two-part (binomial) name of each plant or animal.
You can remember these levels this way with a mnemonic - Kings Play Chess On Friday Generally Speaking. Or you could use Kings Play Chess On Fuzzy Green Stools. How about Kiss Pigs Carefully Or Face Grimy Smiles.Well, you get the idea.
Kings (Kingdom) =animal
Play (Phyllum) =Mollusca
Chess (Class) =Bivalve
On (Order) =Veneroida
Friday, (Family) =Semelidae
Generally (Genus) =Semele
Speaking(Species) =semele bellastriata (Turton, 1819) cancellate semele
So, mystery solved. This is the scientific or Latin name for Shweekie's Marco Island find. No longer to be known as "pretty little purple shell". It is now Semele bellastriata (Conrad, 1837) cancellate semele.
Since I am planning a trip to a few shell shows this year I have decided that maybe it is time for me to try to learn the Latin names for the most common shells. Depending on the locale, a shell can have several common names. Take a moon snail for instance. I've heard it called a shark's eye. In the UK they call it a necklace snail. They are actually 2 similar shells from the same family but different genus.
I figure if the Hubbs can spot a football team by their helmet logo & colors and give me their stats for the last 50 years. I can learn a few Latin shell names.
|Tellina linata Turton, 1819 |
Rose petal Tellin
Tigertail Beach, Marco Island
So I used the guidelines from the rules to enter the scientific class of the Sanibel Shell Show and started labeling my shells like this :
Genus (capitalized) species (not-capitalized)
Author & date
Other pertinent data (optional)
The Author & date refer to the person who first described and named the species and the year of authorship.
When author and date are in parenthesis, it means that the species has been reclassified into a
genus different from the one in which the author originally placed it.
It figures when I finally decide to learn a new language, it's a dead language that no one speaks anymore. I can see me now on Sanibel "Woo Hoo I just found a