MITRIDAE + COSTELLARIIDAE
Are spectacular little shells, that live in sand and prey on worms. Most are superbly sculptured and vibrantly colored, alas small: mostly around 1" Then again, there are a few exceptions. The largest members of the family (pictured here) are also supremely attractive, and fortunately, quite available to shell enthusiasts. I n particular, Mitra mitra is for me one of the most beautiful species of all shells, it can also reach an appreciable 7+"!
Dibaphimitra florida Gould, 1856
52.04mm. Tennessee Reef. Florida Keys.
F++. This is an extremely beautiful, and sought-after Florida-W. Caribbean species, and unlike any other miter: It is large, plump, relatively short-spired, and very glossy. Shells from its Northern range are typically pure white, with faint orange dash-dot spiral lines. These uncommon shells live in reefs and only come out at night. Here is a large, top quality piece.
Price: 95.00 usd.
Scabricola vicdani Cernohorsky, 1981
39.9mm. Panglao, Philippines
Gem-. An uncommon and very elegant miter. This shell is of handsome proportions, the surface is heavily beaded along its spiral ribbons, and the color is a mixture of beige and white. This particular specimen has a good size, nice color and perfect formation, with a thick lip and perfect canal and apex. Overall a really nice shell.
Price: 80.00 usd.
Thiarella puncticulata Lamarck, 1811
55.3mm. Olango Island, Philippines.
F+. A real monster-sized specimen of this very attractive miter. This is banded in cream and bright orange, with a pattern of dashes, between thin, dark brown spiral grooves. There are blemishes, as is normal for such a size: gerontic growth and some erosion in the spire, where a scar is also present. I checked Poppe´s website: Only one larger shell is recorded.
Price: 20.00 usd.
Vexillum dennisoni Reeve, 1844
53.5mm. Cuyo Is. Palawan. Philippines.
F+. One of the classic shells of the family; and once a great rarity. These are quite available today, but still by no means common. The shells have a very distinct pattern and color scheme. Color variations do occur, nevertheless. Here is a very pretty yellow flushed specimen. The lower grade is due to a slightly dull surface and glued-back broken canal chip.
Price: 30.00 usd.
Vexillum vulpecula Linnaeus, 1758
45.6mm. Makina Passage. Marau. Solomon Is.
F+. A widespread species, it seems to develop local forms. Here is a really fantastic one: Solid black and orange color bands, just like a bumble bee. Shells like these one are much desired but not particularly easy to come by. These shells are restricted to several locations in the South Pacific and are rarely available to the collector. Just a slightly eroded dorsal spot.
Price: 25.00 usd.
Ziba gigantea Reeve, 1844
98mm. Playas. Ecuador.
F+. How often do you see one of these being offered? This uncommon trawled species is also one of the largest miters, capable of reaching a respectable 5"! It shares its range with the very similar Mitra belcheri, an even larger shell that has the exact same colors, but spiral grooves instead of spiral ridges. This is quite large, unfortunately the apex is broken.