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Southwest Florida Shells with Emphasis on Sanibel & Captiva

By José H. Leal

Family Batillariidae

Lampanella minima

(Gmelin, 1791)

West Indian False Cerith

Shell size to 20 mm; shell elongate. Sculpture of strong and weak spiral threads crossed by axial ribs. Aperture with siphonal canal bent sharply to left. Extremely variable species with many local forms. Color from light-gray to black, aperture dark-brown. False Ceriths feed on decomposing plant materials. This species, which may reach a little tad under an inch in length, is extremely abundant in and around the mangrove forests of South and Southwest Florida, where it may form veritable mats including thousands of individuals. (The species was, until recently, included in the genus Batillaria.)