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  • José H. Leal

A Unique Lettered Olive

Shellers are always looking for that rare or unusual shell. But a unique,

one-of-a-kind Lettered Olive? That’s exactly what Tom and Deb Longtin of Waukesah, Winconsin, found while shelling at Tarpon Bay Beach at low tide. This Lettered Olive (Oliva sayana), which the Longtins donated to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, is technically defective (having a very long spire), most likely because of a “programming” (genetic) error. The resulting effect, however, is very pleasing to the eye. [This species is now included in the genus Americoliva.]

Americoliva Sayana UNUSUAL

(In 2015, Museum volunteer LeRoy Neitzel found another “unique Lettered Olive” with exactly the same shape, on Sanibel.)

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