A Jax Double-double**
By Harry G. Lee

    Our Jax Shell Club Webmaster and indefatigable fieldworker, Bill Frank, has made shell-collecting history.  In early March he collected a dextral specimen of the normally left-handed Lightning Whelk, Busycon perversum (Linnaeus, 1758) to many, and, on Valentine’s Day, a sinistral specimen of Ventridens cerinoideus (Anthony, 1865), the Waxy Dome, which, like all our 73 locally-occurring landsnails species [species listing] is normally right-handed. Both these rarities were taken alive and in very fine condition.

    While there are several records for dextral Lightning Whelks, I could find none for a sinistral Waxy Dome. Only three single instances of (abnormally) sinistral Ventridens spp were encountered in a search of the literature: V. acerra (Lewis, 1875), collected by Bryant Walker in TN, a V. demissus (A. Binney, 1843) taken in AL by Henry van der Schalie, and a specimen of V. ligera (Say, 1821) in the Academy of Natural Sciences taken very nearby (Philadelphia, PA).

    I've been keeping records of the American landsnailers who've found an reverse-coiled specimen. Bill is now immortalized along with Joshua Baily, Mary Ingersoll Baily (both husband and wife each found one!), W. F. Clapp, Ralph Dexter, Dan Emery, James Ferriss, H. Fluck, Julia Gardner
, Steve Gould, Henry Hemphill, Leslie Hubricht (the undisputed champion with seven species; 12 individuals), W. M. Ingram, C. W. Johnson, Mark Johnson, Archie Jones, C. J. Maynard, Phil Poland (see: Anomalous Sinistrality), Will Pratt, Homer Rhode, F. A. Sampson, Sanderson Smith, Wayne Sullivan, Henry van der Schalie, Frieda Schilling, Richard Silverstein, Fred Thompson, Bryant Walker, Charlie Wolfe, and the author (Vertigo rugosula Sterki, 1890 & Daedalochila avara (Say, 1818)) in the pantheon of terrestrial collectors extraordinaire, most of whom have left this mortal, er, coil.

    Furthermore, Bill has distinguished himself by scoring a “double-double” - finding a marine and a land snail of reversed coil along with a normal specimen – and in a span of less than one month – and both in Jacksonville!

 ** A basketball term for ten or more of two categories (points, rebounds, and assists).

Addendum: Since the time of the original writing the 31st collector has been inducted into the pantheon: John Slapcinsky (Polygyra septemvolva Say, 1818; FL).

Stephanie Clark    Early during her continuing stay in the United States (now over five years), Stephanie Clark, who is technically Australian, literally bagged a sinistral Anguispira cumberlandiana (I. Lea, 1840)
in northern AL. Being busy with other projects she didn't actually see it until early September, 2009, when she began sorting that soil sample! A hallowed place awaits Stephanie if she opts for American citizenship. HGL 2 Sept., 2009