Fig. 1 Caribbean vase from Basil Jones, 3" long. A very heavy shell, usually heavily encrusted and not a very pretty shell until cleaned. Up to 4", it is found in the reef jand rocky intertidal mainly, but at times in the sand.
Fig.2 Mud Conch, (Melongena), medium sized, showing opening and spine development. This is the most common conch found off Ambergris Caye in the intertidal, and in San Pedro Lagoon and Chetuma1 Bay. A very predacous carniverous snail. While beachcombing in the early mornings, these greyish coloured snails will be seen moving in the intertidal with the black siphon very noticeably extended.
Fig. 3 Mud Conch, medium sized specimen showing spinal development.
Fig. 4 Mature Mud Conch as viewed from the top showing the spiralled and inset nature of the spire, 4 1/2 " long.
Fig. 5 Young Mud Conch 1 1/4" long: few spines developed.
Fig. 6 Spotted Sea Hare (Aplysia), local Spanish name is "tinta", mottled green in colour, found seasonally grazing on the intertidal algae. When molested it, like the octopus, gives off a cloud of purple ink as a defense mechanism.
Fig. 7 The small internal skeleton of the sea hare, about 1 1/2" across. Although the animal has a soft body, this skeleton lies under the skin in the mantle area.
Fig. 8 Four Toothed Nerite, 1" across. Note the colour pattern on the outside. These nerites live exclusively on the intertidal rocky shores, and are very common at Rocky Point.
Fig. 9 Same specimen of the Four Toothed Nerite showing the four distinctive "teeth" in the opening.
Fig. 10 The Tesselate Nerite, slightly smaller than the Four Toothed and showing the lack of large tooth development inside the opening.
Fig. 11 Tree or Mangrove Oyster, Isognomoni, attached to a red mangrove root. Note the flat shape of the oyster and the way it grows in layers around the tree root. This oyster is presenly found in only one lagoon complex at Ambergris Caye. It is common in southern Belize mangrove estuaries. Although the shell is big, the animal is very small and edible. It is not commercial because of its small size.
Fig. 12 A lobster trap. It is an example of the commercial lobster trap, a traditional pot introduced around 1921. The long strips are made from split palmettos imported from the mainland. The frame is usually mahogany or Santa Maria. Two weeks before new traps are fished, they are soaked.