submitted by Museum Administration on 23.10.2003
The Rock Cerith, Cerithium rupestris, is also called the Rough Cerith. Conical and heavily whorled with ornamental knobs, this pretty shell appears in shades of pink and gray. Pictured, 2.5 – 3 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Like their big cousins, the Little Worm Shells, Vermetus triqueter, are irregularly shaped, twisting and coiling back on themselves. They actually resemble bits of pasta more than seashells. In various shades of white, brown, yellow and pink, they have openings that measure around 2 mm across. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Mediterranean Cone Shells, Conus mediterraneus, are found around Kythera quite frequently, in a wide variety of beautiful colors and patterns. 2.5, 3.5 and 4 cm. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Banded Murex, Hexaplex trunculus, is extremely common on Kythera. The banded pattern is clearly visible on the back of the shell and inside the lip of the aperture. These specimens are 4.5 and 6 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The very common Banded Murex, Hexaplex trunculus, is frequently encrusted with white calcerous material, and can grow quite large. This one is nearly 10 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Although Kythera's ancient dye industry was based on the Spiny Murex (see below), its close relative, the Banded Murex, Hexaplex trunculus, also produces a purplish dye. This can be seen above, as a stain near the shell's aperture. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Bubble Shell, Bulla striata, lives in sand and mud among the weeds close to shore. 2 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Most univalves (single-shelled snails) have a little ‘door’ called an operculum, made of a horny substance and attached to the snail’s foot. When the snail retreats into its shell, this little door shuts neatly behind it, sealing the opening with the animal safely inside. Pictured are two fine, brittle opercula from murex shells. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Spiny Murex, Murex brandaris, is also known as the Dye Murex, because its gland secretes a purplish color that can be made into a dye. In ancient times this dye supported such an important industry that Kythera was once called Porphyroussa, meaning "Purple Island." The beautiful murex pictured is 7.5 cm long, and shows the creamy, glossy yellow coating inside its aperture. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
This rear view of a Spiny Murex, Murex brandaris, shows the fine, long spines on the outer shell. 7.5 cm. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Two thick, sturdy Whelks, Euthria corneum, measuring 4.5 and 5.5 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The Dog Whelk, Sphaeronassa mutabilis is fairly common on Kythera. 2 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
The lovely little Rustic Dove Shell, Columbella rustica, can be found on many of the beaches around Kythera. These are from Diakofty and measure between 0.7 and 1.5 cm long. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
Two Striated Tritons, Pisana striata, measuring around 2 cm each. Photograph © James Prineas, 2003
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