Shells from Puerto Rico

Some of the shells my first group to Puerto Rico found. There were some great shells there!
Volvarina albolineata (Marginellidae)

This very active animal was in sand under a rock.

Hyalina species (Marginellidae)

Another pure white, translucent shell; the animal, however, is spectacularly colored.

Sea Cucumber

Sea Cucumbers are related to sea stars and sea urchins, among others. They are soft- bodied and filter sand through their digestive tracts for tiny organisms for their food. There is a group of mollusks that is parasitic on sea cucumbers, and one is shown just below this cucumber.

Balcis (?) species (Mellinellidae)

These mollusks are white or pink and mostly small. The mouth end of the shell sticks in the flesh of the sea cucumber and the pointed end is free. They are usually found at one end or the other of the host. They haven't been well studied, so species are hard to distinguish.

Lucapina philippiana

On the underside of a rock. These animals are too large to be covered by their shells, so they cling to rocks for protection.

Lucapina philippiana

In this shot you can see the animal's mouth. It rasps food from rock surfaces.

Dermomurex castor

Found on the underside of a rock.

Dermomurex paupercula

Found on the underside of a rock.

Cymatium femorale

Found in grass in three feet of water. Note the coloring of the animal.

Cymatium raderi

This shell is noticeably different from the previous one. It is the first one our guide had found in 30 years of collecting in Puerto Rico. The animal, too, is colored differently, and the mantle (seen near the inside of the shell) is a different color than the foot, which is extended.

Turbo castanea

Found on turtle grass in very shallow water.

Cerithium species

One of the most common species in the grass flats off La Parguera.

Mancinella deltoidea
Xenophora conchyliophora

In sand at five feet. The original shell collector, it cements other shells to its own for camouflage.

Engoniophos unicinctus

Found in the same habitat as Nassarius species, this animal also has a similar operculum and is also a carion feeder, so I suspect it has been placed in the wrong family.

Olivella species

I found several of these large Olivellas in shallow sand in San Juan!

Oliva reticularis

Olives burrow in sand and come close to the surface when the tide turns to high. Then they make trails while hunting for prey. I followed this Olive's trail to dig it up.

Cymatium nicobaricum

Another Cymatium with its own distinctive color pattern.