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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Smith Nutmeg

Axelella smithii (Dall, 1888), reaches 17 mm (about 0.7 inches). The shell is relatively thick and the shell sculpture includes about 8–10 raised axial (“vertical”) ribs per whorl. The ribs are separated by wider interspaces, and are crossed by alternating stronger and weaker, raised spiral cords. The color is variable, ranging from whitish-yellow to orangish-brown. The interior of the aperture is usually of lighter color and bears spiral threads. And the protoconch is brown, smooth, bulbous, with about two whorls. The species is found offshore, in moderately deep water, along the Florida Panhandle, and the west and east coasts of Florida.


The Smith Nutmeg, Axelella smithii, from off Port Canaveral, Florida. Illustration by Chris Kovasz.

#axelellasmithii #smithnutmeg #cancellariidae #portcanaveral