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Southwest Florida Shells with Emphasis on Sanibel & Captiva

By José H. Leal

Family Truncatellidae

Truncatella pulchella

Pfeiffer, 1839

Beautiful Truncatella

Shell size to 7 mm; shell elongate, with six rounded whorls each with 17-40 axial ribs. Suture indistinct. Color yellowish to brownish. There is eventual presence of a basal ridge, and presence of a thick outer lip that in some shells look “doubled” (arrow). Differs from Truncatella caribaeensis by the smaller size and eventual presence of the "doubled" lip. Found in mangrove litter above high-tide line. Truncatellas derive from marine ancestors and have adapted to live almost completely independently from the marine environment, except for the moment of fertilization, when male meets female in seawater. They live very close to the sea but above the high-water line, usually in mangrove areas, and mostly under plant debris and other drift materials.