Lots of seashells at New Haven, Connecticut!

On Friday, January 19th, 2018, a friend of mine (Charlie Whitman) drove Ed and I north from NYC to New Haven, Connecticut, to meet up with another old friend from Massachusetts (Jay Cordeiro), so that Charlie could give Jay a full set of "New York Shell Club Notes" to place in some deserving institution, since the NYC shell club is now, finally, defunct. It was a relatively nice day with temperatures in the 40s and a little sun, although there were still piles of ice around here and there, ice-covered ponds, slabs of ice on the beaches, and so on.

We all met up briefly in a small parking area not far west of the Long Wharf. Charlie and I noticed that on the shore below the rip-rap rocks there was a small sand beach with several very promising-looking full drift lines of mostly white shells. We could not spare any time to search the drift right then, because all of us except Ed and I needed to go eat at Pepe's Pizza.

However, when it was time to return to NYC, Charlie took a little detour back to Long Wharf Park, where he and I started combing the beach drift. It was now low tide and even more beach was exposed. The beach drift was far richer in species than we had imagined, so we spent almost an hour there. We also both took sediment samples home with us.

Here is what we found. The micro species are marked with an M.

Hydobia totteni -- numerous shells -- M
Littorina littorea -- several fresh shells
Littorina saxatilis -- one broken shell
Assiminea succinta -- one shell -- M
Bittium alternatum -- one broken shell -- M
Crepidula convexa -- several fresh shells
Crepidula fornicata -- live
Crepidula plana -- one shell
Neverita duplicata -- several shells
Eupleura caudata -- several shells
Urosalpinx cinerea -- several shells
Mitrella lunata -- one fresh shell -- M
Busycotypus canaliculatus -- four of them
Tritia obsoleta -- countless shells
Tritia trivittata -- some shells
Boonea sp. -- many shells -- M

Geukensia demissa -- live
Anadara ovalis -- a fragment
Anadara transversa -- one small valve
Argopecten irradians -- many fragments
Crassostrea virginica -- with flesh still inside
Mulinia lateralis -- one valve
Ensis directus --paried valves
Macoma balthica -- paired valves
Gemma gemma -- paired valves -- M
Mercenaria mercenaria -- paired valves
Petricola pholadiformis -- one valve
Mya arenaria -- paired valves

A total of 28 species of shelled mollusks! I am assuming that the drift on this little beach at Long Wharf Park is not normally so extremely rich in species -- perhaps this abundance of beach drift had something to do with the recent prolonged extreme cold snap as well as the snow storm / nor'easter that happened a couple of weeks ago.

We also found several other kinds of marine life:

Snail Fur
Atlantic Horseshoe Crab
Trumpet Worms
Bay Barnacle
Fragile Barnacle

Sea Lettuce -- Ulva lactuca

Posted by susanhewitt susanhewitt, January 21, 2018 16:13

Observations

Mollusks

Photos / Sounds

What

Molluscs Phylum Mollusca

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 12:16 PM EST

Description

Lots of beach-drift mollusk shells on this beach!

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Soft-shelled Clam Mya arenaria

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 02:37 PM EST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Oyster Crassostrea virginica

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 02:38 PM EST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Channeled Whelk Busycotypus canaliculatus

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 02:38 PM EST

Description

Two medium-sized juveniles. There were at least four on this beach and they were all the same size.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Common Atlantic Slippersnail Crepidula fornicata

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 02:39 PM EST

Description

Living on the surface of one of the juvenile Channeled Whelks.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Northern Quahog Mercenaria mercenaria

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 02:39 PM EST

Description

A juvenile valve.

Photos / Sounds

What

Thick-lipped Drill Eupleura caudata

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 02:40 PM EST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Convex Slippersnail Crepidula convexa

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 02:42 PM EST

Description

The shell at the top is the Convex Slippersnail.

The lower one is a very eroded Eastern Mud Snail.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Amethyst Gem Clam Gemma gemma

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:06 PM EST

Description

These are really tiny - about 4 mm - but there were many thousands of them in the fine drift line.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Eastern Mudsnail Tritia obsoleta

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:06 PM EST

Description

A lot of Eastern Mud Snail shells plus also a Baltic Macoma shell, and an Eastern Oyster drill shell.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Trumpet Worms Family Pectinariidae

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:07 PM EST

Description

This was found in a fine drift line. These tubes are quite fragile.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Atlantic Horseshoe Crab Limulus polyphemus

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:18 PM EST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Saltmarsh Cord Grass Sporobolus alterniflorus

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:19 PM EST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Atlantic Ribbed Mussel Geukensia demissa

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:20 PM EST

Description

Lives ones growing in the mud of the salt marsh.

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Saltmarsh Cord Grass Sporobolus alterniflorus

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:21 PM EST

Photos / Sounds

Square

What

Saltmarsh Cord Grass Sporobolus alterniflorus

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018 03:23 PM EST

Photos / Sounds

What

Snail Fur Hydractinia echinata

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018

Description

The "stubble" left over from a coating of the "snail fur" hydroid on the underside of this Neverita duplicata moon-snail shell.

That would indicate that it was inhabitated by a hermit crab after the death of the moon snail.

Photos / Sounds

What

False Angelwing Petricolaria pholadiformis

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018

Photos / Sounds

What

Dwarf Surfclam Mulinia lateralis

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Oyster Drill Urosalpinx cinerea

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018

Description

This Eastern Oyster Drill shell has residue from the Snail Fur hydroid on it, and also a big notch on the columella, which indicates that a hermit crab lived in this shell for some considerable time.

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018

Description

From a sediment sample taken from the fine drift line.

I will try to see if I can take a photo that really shows the sculpture.

Photos / Sounds

What

Lunate Dove Shell Astyris lunata

Observer

susanhewitt

Date

January 19, 2018

Description

From a sediment sample from the fine drift line.

Comments

Thumb

@kueda -- I thought you would find this interesting. There were no bubble shells or tiny tellins, but still we had a blast!

Posted by susanhewitt over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Neat, this looks a little more like the cast of characters I see at Hammo.

Posted by kueda over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

You mean Hammonasset State Park?

Have you looked on this Long Wharf Park beach ever?

Posted by susanhewitt over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Such an enjoyable read! Thanks, Susan. :)

Posted by sambiology over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Yes, Hammonasset. Have not been to Long Wharf Beach (have been to the theater), but maybe next time I'm back in CT.

Posted by kueda over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

OK Ken-ichi, I hope you do well there when you do get to this beach.

Posted by susanhewitt over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

¡Jay Cordeiro! Easily one of the most enjoyable interviews I ever produced: https://vimeo.com/40486273

Posted by kcopas over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Great video, Kyle -- thanks for sharing that.

Posted by sambiology over 3 years ago (Flag)
Thumb

Yes, thanks, nice to see that. Jay is for sure an interesting person. :)

Posted by susanhewitt over 3 years ago (Flag)

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