PHOTO CREDIT tcc.fieldguide.ai/malacology
“I found a rare shell that is only located in the
Dominican Republic, and I presented it at the annual
Conchologists of America convention in 2017,” Linda
said. “It didn’t have an official name, and the president
announced it would be given mine.”
Jaspidiconus lindapowersae was entered into the
World Register of Marine Species in November,
2017. Commonly named the Linda Power’s Jasper, the
cone-shaped shell is about a half-inch long and is a
type of predatory sea snail.
Linda schedules most of her vacations around shell
hunting. On her most recent trip, she visited Vanuatu,
an island located in the South Pacific Ocean.
“I like to create self-collected assemblages from the
trips I take to different parts of the world,” she said.
The Englewood Shell Club meets on the third
Tuesday of the month at the Elks
Lodge at 401 N. Indiana Ave. in
Englewood, Florida. Visit englewoodshell.
club for details.
The Gasparilla Inn also has
several interesting shell collections
on display for guests to enjoy. The
collection includes rare and
common shells found in this area.
The Inn holds an annual “Thelma
Tipson Dear Shelling Contest”
every year in March for guests and members.
Mrs. Dear started the tradition in 1978 in honor
of her mother, Alice Ramson Dreyfuss, who loved
children and shelling. Winners have their names
posted on a plaque above the display case.
Shelling in Boca Grande is particularly good
during the winter months. The low tide following
a strong cold front can expose some real
treasures. You will find an abundance of
gastropod and bivalve seashells.
A gastropod seashell can be defined as a
univalve shell that is not hinged together. A
bivalve seashell can be defined as a two-pieced
seashell that is hinged together, these shells are
commonly found on Boca Grande .
Less common shells in this area are bubble
shells, apple murex, nutmegs and various kinds of
Bivalves like clams, muscles and scallops, have
compressed bodies that are enclosed within a
At least 535 million years ago, mollusks
acquired the ability to secrete a carbonate of
lime solution that formed a hard, protective shell
Mollusks are born in an egg case. Each little
coin of the egg case is where the shell is located.
They escape the casing through little holes in the
egg sack. If you find an egg case on the beach and
shake it and it doesn’t rattle, that means all the
babies have exited and survived.
Sharon recommends a couple of books for
beginner shell enthusiasts. One is called “Florida’s
Living Beaches: A Guide for Curious Beachgoers”
and the other is called “Audubon Society Shell
Guide.” Both can be purchased at the museum
gift shop located inside the lighthouse at
Gasparilla Island State Park.
said. “You never know what you’re going to find
walking on the beach after a storm. I am often
surprised what the tide brings to the shoreline.”
Linda Powers, past president of the Englewood
Shell Club, has an impressive collection at her
Manasota Key Beach home. Linda is known to many
in the area as the “shelling queen” – she’s even had
a shell named after her by an international
A collection of True Tulips at
The Gasparilla Inn & Club.
50 GASPARILLA ISLAND January/February 2019