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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Common Sundial

Architectonica nobilis (Röding, 1798) is a marine snail of the sundial family Architectonicidae that may reach in excess of 50 mm (about 2 inches) in diameter. The characteristic, circular, shield-like shell has a sculpture of strong spiral ribs crossed by axial cords, and reddish-brown spots superimposed on a light-cream background. The umbilicus (“hole” on the base) is deep and internally flanked by a wide, segmented band. The species has a very broad distribution from North Carolina to Florida and the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico (in deeper water), and both sides of the tropical Atlantic Ocean, including West Africa.

The Common Sundial, Architectonica nobilis, from the East Coast of Florida. Photos by James F. Kelly.


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