The beautiful seashells of the Ryukyu Islands.
It all started in 1989, I went to a friend’s house and saw some beautiful seashells displayed on a counter-top. My first thought was that they were fake or man-made. The intricate design of the Venus comb Murex shell caught my eye. I was fascinated by the design and wanted to learn more about the animal that produced this beautiful shell.
Murex spicatus -Venus comb murex
I continued to collect, photograph and read more about marine mollusks from the Ryukyu Islands. I eventually started contributing my collection samples to worldwide museums, scientists, specialists and images for various scientific publications. I currently do not collect shells anymore but enjoy photographing the marine snails in their natural habitat.
General rules to shell collecting
- Be respectful to the environment.
- Only collect dead specimens
- Avoid over collecting sea-shells
- If you turn over rocks, place them back in the original position
Below are some of my favorite shells found on Okinawa.
Semipallium dianae – scallop
Cardium victor – Heart shell
Lambis scorpius – scorpion conch
Annachlamys reevei – MYN technique
Chicoreus ryukyuensis -Okinawa, Japan
Cypraea (Blasicrura) luchuana - Okinawa, Japan
Gloripallium speciosum – sunray scallop
Avoid handling the venomous cone shells. They are often found reef walking during low tide.
Venomous cones shells of Okinawa
Sinezona milleri (Geiger & Sasaki , 2009) – Named for the collector of the type specimens, Shawn Miller of Nagahama, Okinawa, for his continued support in malacological research by providing marine sediment samples of Okinawa.
Sinezona milleri (Geiger & Sasaki , 2009)
Hemilienardia shawnmilleri. A new species named after naturalist and underwater photographer Shawn Miller. Described by Shawn Wiedrick.
Have a great day!