Shell of the month – September 2022

Homalocantha anatomica Perry, 1811

Not all shells are handsome. Not all shells are graceful. Not all shells look like wha we think a shell should look like.

Homalocantha are Murex found in the tropics waters of the Pacific. They reside in coral heads. We have two varieties of Homalocantha anatomical this month, Homalocantha anatomica zamboi Burch & Burch 1960 and Homalocantha anatomica pele Pilsbry 1918. The first is from the Philippines The second is indigenous to Hawaii. Hawaiaans consider Pele to be full species Authorities disagree.

Both are extremely similar with a dominant body while and large varices that look like webbed feet at the termination of growth. The difference being that Zamboi shoot out varies at the end of each growth cycle and in Pele a knob is formed instead Pele is generally larger. This specimens small to make a a better comparison. Adult size is between 2 and 3 inches.

S second difference is that Zamoi is always white. Pele can have brilliant colors, especially on the body white. Intense reds and yellows sometimes occur. shades of lavender are common. The price for a bright red specimen spirals out of control.

The development of the body sculpture is very consistent from one specimen to the next.. Occasional specimens have additional or missing digits. The difference between the two species is clear in the final phot. Look closely!