Journal archives for January 2018

January 21, 2018

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 on January 21, 2018 16:13 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 22 observations | 9 comments | Leave a comment

January 12, 2018

Sanibel Island versus Randall's Island

In mid-December 2017, I had a 16-day trip to Sanibel Island, in Lee County, Florida on the Gulf of Mexico. It was gorgeous, and I made a lot of observations there. I also met up for three days with two other citizen scientist malacologists, although neither of them is on iNaturalist.

My husband and I came back home to two or three mild days of winter weather in NYC. Then suddenly a prolonged and extreme frigid weather spell hit New York City and the whole of the northeast and central part of the country. It was hard to get through -- even indoors with steam heat it was cold.

But that eased up recently, and I was able to get back to Randall's Island, which is currently my favorite local iNat destination.

I am not a birder, but I managed to see Red-breasted Mergansers for the first time on Sanibel, and then saw some a couple days ago on Randall's!

As usual, I am shelling a lot on both islands, but I try to record as many other species of organisms as I reasonably can.

You would not think that Sanibel and Randall's have much in common at all, but surprisingly, seven marine mollusk species which are present on Sanibel are also present on Randall's! They are: the Hard Clam, the Atlantic Bay Scallop, the Common Oyster, the Dwarf Surf Clam, the Angel Wing (I found one fragment of a valve on Randalll's), the Eastern Melampus, and the Shark Eye.

One really interesting thing about the beaches on Randall's Island is that you can find valves of the Atlantic Rangia there, an estuarine species. But that is another story all by itself!

I love iNaturalist!

Posted on January 12, 2018 17:38 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 20 observations | 6 comments | Leave a comment