The Adams Miniature Cerith, Seila adamsii (H.C. Lea, 1845), is a small gastropod not uncommon on the barrier islands of Southwest Florida. Its shell reaches 0.5 inch in length, and is slender, narrowly conical, with an elegant sculpture of three spiral cords. The shell color is orange to dark-brown. Despite its small size, Adams Miniature Ceriths are as handsome as some larger species. Casual beachcombers may walk the beaches for years and not notice them, but small shells and micromollusks represent a big parcel of the local diversity of mollusks. True micromollusks (“micros,” in the jargon of shell collectors) range in size from about 0.25 inch to the size of a grain of sand. To find micros, collectors take home coarse, shell-rich sand scooped by the water line, then search for them using a hand lens or small microscope.
The Adams Miniature Cerith, Seila adamsii, from Sanibel Island. Photo by José H. Leal.