2022-2023 exhibition of shells from Mediterranean

There is a small exhibition of shells from the Mediterranean Sea called “Shells of Mediterranean” (in Czech: Mušle Středomoří) in Regional Museum in Olomouc. The exhibition lasts from August 26, 2022 to March 5, 2023. Authors of the exhibition are Dimitris Iakovidis and Niki Iakovidou.

Shells of Mediterranean.

I like few things on this exhibition. There are number of specimen of each species, so a visitor can see a variability of shells of the certain species. This is important thing, because there are usually only very few images of each species in books. Also newbie biologists have usually only few shells in a collection. For these two reason there is the whole varibality of shells within the species very usefull.

Showing variability of each species in number of shells.

Another thing I like are short but informative texts with characteristics of each species.

There are also few shells of each species, that visitors can touch. I like it.

Texts with general characteristics of each species. This example includes texts in the Czech language about Tonna galea and Galeodea echinophora.
Visitors can touch few shells of each species.
Shells of Mediterrnean.

I counted the following species of molluscs in the exhibition. There are 49 species of bivalves and 28 species of gastropods. Gastropods:

1. Patella caerulea Linnaeus, 1758

2. Gibbula albida (Gmelin, 1791) = Steromphala albida (Gmelin, 1791)

3. Bolma rugosa (Linnaeus, 1767) – there are surprisingly only opercula of Bolma rugosa on display. However these earrings is a great bonus.

Earrings made of opercula of Bolma rugosa.

4. Rissoa splendida Eichwald, 1830

5. Tricolia pullus (Linnaeus, 1758)

6. Smaragdia viridis (Linnaeus, 1758)

7. Pirenella conica (Blainville, 1829)

8. Cerithium vulgatum Bruguière, 1792

9. Turritellinella tricarinata (Brocchi, 1814)

10. Epitonium clathrus (Linnaeus, 1758)

11. Vermetus triquetrus Bivona-Bernardi, 1832

12. Tonna galea (Linnaeus, 1758)

13. Galeodea echinophora (Linnaeus, 1758)

14. Euspira guilleminii (Payraudeau, 1826)

15. Neverita josephinia Risso, 1826

16. Aporrhais pespelecani (Linnaeus, 1758)

17. Euthria cornea (Linnaeus, 1758)

18. Aptyxis syracusana (Linnaeus, 1758)

19. Conus ventricosus Gmelin, 1791

20. Bulla striata Bruguière, 1792

21. Columbella rustica (Linnaeus, 1758)

22. Tritia nitida (Jeffreys, 1867)

23. Tritia reticulata (Linnaeus, 1758)

24. Tritia neritea (Linnaeus, 1758)

25. Ocenebra erinaceus (Linnaeus, 1758)

26. Stramonita haemastoma (Linnaeus, 1767)

27. Hexaplex trunculus (Linnaeus, 1758)

28. Bolinus brandaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Bolinus brandaris produces Tyrian purple dye. Hexaplex trunclus produces purple-blue dye or indigo dye. Stramonita haemastoma produces another shade of Tyrian purple dye.

I considered these threee shells with colors higly informative until I realized, that colors does not correspond with the display in the Museum of Natural History in Vienna. The dye from Hexaplex trunculus is always more blue in comparison with other ones. Moreover the dye from Bolinus brandaris and from Stramonita haemastoma goes through the blue shade during the exposure to sunlight. However I was unable to verify in an instant what shade of Tyrian purple is correct or even if it is dye from Bolinus brandaris and from Stramonita haemastoma distinguishable from each other.

The actual colors in this Olomouc exhibition are exactly according to the research by Rena Veropoulidou and her 2011 thesis about the same theme. So I consider them correct. (Colors in the Vienna may be switched in this sense.)

I wrote this list of species also for myself, because this list can be considred as a list of most common species from Mediterranean for general public. There are always to learn new things about each of these gastropods, although they are quite well known.

Shells of Mediterranean.

Do not miss the exhibition. Is is open until March 5, 2023.


(in Czech) 2022-08: Mušle Středomoří. –⁠ Vlastivědné muzeum Olomouc.

(in Greek) Βεροπουλίδου Ρ. [Veropoulidou R.], 2012: Η πορφύρα των Φοινίκων, μια «βασιλική» βαφή [The Tyrian Purple, a “royal” dye]. 99–105. page 102, fig. 1. In: Adam-Veleni P. & Stefani E., 2012: Greeks and Phoenicians at the Mediterranean Crossroads. Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.


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