$200 Reward, Dead or Alive

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Posted by Andy S on March 30, 2006 at 07:51:26:

$200 Reward, Dead or Alive.

I’ll pay $200 for anyone who can get me a live Amphissa lineata or $150 for the animal (not just the shell) dead. The nice pictures posted by Chris of the Ophiodermella ophioderma the other day got me thinking how UW photographers look at a lot of “small stuff” and there is a chance one of you may come across an Amphissa lineata. This is a rare mollusk and they are not large, 1 inch or less I’d expect. I plan donate it to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Dr. Jim McLean) for study and future potential DNA analysis so it can be compared to the common Amphissa versicolor. The question is whether A. lineata is a distinct species from A. versicolor. My boat partner Paul “the Sheller” found an A. lineata at Santa Cruz in June 2004 but he cleaned the shell before giving to the Museum. . It was found under rock in 80 feet of water off the S. East side of Santa Cruz Island (“Yellow Banks”).

Here are some pictures of what you are looking for.

The one in the pictures is 16 mm long and the shell has an immature lip. I understand that the mature lip would have a thicker edge to it. Beware, Amphissa versicolor is very similar and quite common. “The lineata form is without exception consistent in having the color pattern of dark brown spiral cords, interrupted by a lack of color pattern below the shouldler and at mid-whorl; the first cord below the suture is dark-colored , with tow lighter cords below an done lighter cord at mid-whorl” (McLean & Kanner, On the color form [or species?] lineata Stearns, 1873, of Amphissa Versicolor Dall, 1871, The Festivs, XXXVII, pg 111, 2005). I guess that makes sense if you know about shell. I’ll let Jim McLean be the judge if it is A. lineata for the reward. All you need to do is keep one alive is put it in a jar of seawater and aerate it occasionally by stirring vigorously or put a bubbler in it. If it dies, put it in isopropyl alcohol or preferably 200-proof Jamaican rum (I’ll drink that). You can email me about getting the animal to me. Good luck “hunting”…

Andy S.

Photos by Paul Kanner

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