Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 14:21:59 -0500
Reply-To: Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
Sender: Conchologists of America List <CONCH-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Sylvia in Alabama <sylvia@HIWAAY.NET>
Subject: Re: Purple dye "Harvesting"
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Art - I have told our story before on Conch-L, but will repeat it again.
>From 1982-92 we lived on beach in Florida midway between Panama City and
Ft. Walton. In May 1984, Janthina janthinas washed ashore overnight
much as described here before. They weren't as noticeable, since they
were tangled (along with the Portuguese Man-O'-War and Velellas) among
large quantities of Sargassum weed.
Since they weren't as easy to retrieve, we did not get as many as
Charles Simpson (especially after Bob got a Man-o'-war wrapped around
his ankle while scraping aside the seaweed). But we did get hundreds,
and almost all were the same size, which we now know is unusually large
(we just established one of our shells at 44 mm, a world's record).
We found them at other times during our 10-year stay there, but never in
that quantity, but always with the seaweed, Man-o'-war and Velellas.
And not that large. It did, however, always seem to be in late spring,
and came with very rough surf which brought in large amounts of tar
along with it. At the time the tar was generally attributed to an oil
spill off the coast of Mexico.
I have nothing to document this, but I have always been under the
impression that the home of Janthina janthina was the Sargasso Sea which
floats off the southeast coast of the US. It was my understanding that
during storms, parts of this breaks away and enters into the Gulf
stream, which brings it up into the Gulf of Mexico, and ultimately to
the panhandle of Florida.
MR ART WEIL wrote:
> Dear Peggy;-
> Yes! That's exactly the article I had in mind. I thought 1911---
> but I suppose 1883 is close enough. I wonder if anyone has
> encountered this phenomena in recent times. I also wonder---why
> purple? Do any mollusks secrete and excrete other colors?