A group of sand-dwelling molluscs, that is very popular with shell enthusiasts. Almost all species have smooth, highly glossy shells, that enable the animal to glide into the sand. The genus Oliva is actually shaped like an olive. The shapes are pretty uniform, what varies most is the color schemes and pattern. Allthough most species are easy to obtain, there are a few rare exceptions. Pictured here are some of my favorites.
Swainson, W.A., 1825
67mm. East China Sea.
A frequently trawled, yet spectacular shell. This specimen is fresh, fully displaying the beauty of its red-brown lacquer colored spire.
Sowerby, G.B. II, 1859
59mm. Bazaruto Island, Mozambique.
A very pretty, distinct species, with chocolate-milk streaks on the main whorl, deep purple columella and dark brown callous in the spire.
Swainson, W.A., 1825
69mm. Chacopata. Venezuela.
A rarely available venezuelan endemic. This is beautifully banded in creamy white and shades of golden yellow, pink and orange.
Amalda v. herlaari
P.L. Van Pel, 1989
98.3mm. Arafuara Sea, North Australia
Stunning large species: the main body is tan, with bands of white, pink and orange. The shoulder and spire callous is burnt caramel.
Dautzenberg, Ph., 1927
53.9mm. Pohnpei, Micronesia.
Gorgeous olive! creme anglaise, with violet-wine dashes. Bought many years ago from a micronesian dealer. Today a valued treasure!
Jousseaume, F.P., 1884
53mm. East Diamond Is. Qld., Australia
One of my favorite olives. Pictured is the most saturated, richly colored in blue and orange shell I have seen.
Oliva m. marrati
Johnson, C.W., 1910
89.2mm. Olango Is., Palawan, Philippines.
A very elegant form of O. miniacea. This is solid dark brown, with the typical soft orange mouth, that contrasts beautifully.
Reeve, L.A., 1850
41.2mm. Taiwan Strait.
A species that is usually patterned in greys. Color forms are uncommon. The red shell shown here is truly unique and outstanding.
108.1mm. Loreto, Baja California, Mexico.
The undisputed king of the family, and one of the most gorgeous of all shells. Pictured here is a medium-sized, perfectly formed example.
Fischer, H., 1903, "1902"
41.9mm. Wallis & Futuna. Vanuatu.
A classic, rare, localized species. Pictured here is the even less seen Wallis form, with banana colored dorsum and brown zig-zags.
Duclos, P.L., 1845
51.5mm. La Isleta, Margarita is. Venezuela.
A very beautiful, seldom seen shell. It is plump and heavy. The color is mud-green, with yellow tents outlined in dark brown
Oliva i. oldi
Zeigler, R.F., 1969
47.4mm. Port Vila, New Hebrides
Pictured here is an exceptionally beautiful specimen, creamy yellow base and tents with a greenish brown, barred reticle.