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Southwest Florida Shells with Emphasis on Sanibel & Captiva

By José H. Leal

Family Ellobiidae

Blauneria heteroclita

(Montagu, 1808)

Left-handed Melampus

Shell to 5 mm, sinistral, slender, bullet-shaped, with a glossy surface (when well-preserved), covered with microscopic growth lines. The Left-handed Melampus belongs to the family Ellobiidae, a group of air-breathing (pulmonate) snails that evolved to inhabit areas very close to high tide line, without actually living in sea water. The species was first collected on Sanibel by Jim Scatterday, who found individuals living under the bark of red mangroves, in a small community that includes other ellobiids, truncatellid gastropods, and isopod crustaceans. Main photo by James F. Kelly.