Berschauer D., E.J. Petuch, & R.N. Clark 2018
Shell Size Range 70-105mm
Northern Sea of Cortez / Gulf of California / Wagner Basin
New F++ condition Forreria Corteziana. There is some small tip damage to a couple of spines and a chip along the siphon. This is from trawling in nets from 150 meters / 500 ft, banged around and jostled as part of the bycatch. Shrimp and fish are the intended catch, any shells or corals caught in the nets are discarded and thrown back into the water. I have yet to see a GEM/perfect shell. I am grading this a bit higher due to it's rarity, and difficulty in procuring. As you might be aware, the trawling process takes a heavy toll on shells from such depths.
This has been minimally cleaned. If you desire to clean the shell any more than it aleady is, that is up to you. I already soaked it in 50% bleach for 15 minutes using my new ultrasonic cleaning machine. That is all the cleaning that has been done. Then a light brushing with a plastic tooth brush. A light coating of mineral oil to preserve the shell.
I am asking $1,200 for this specimen. It is in fairly good condition. Trust me, if and when I get a Gem quality shell, the price will reflect it.
I use grading system:
- F-: OK, some small imprefections, maybe a couple of small chips or fractures
- F+: Good, one small chip, but otherwise no other apparent defects
- F++: Excellent, any imperfections noticeable by collectors only, no chips or breaks, or something so small you need a magnifying glass, or if the shell is large, again very small defect.
- Gem: As stated, absolutely perfect shell in every way possible, depending on species as operculum and periostracum intact.
This is a new species of muricidae newly discovered by myself in March of 2018. A Shrimp boat captain brought me a bag filled with these unknown shells and pteropurpura centrifuga. He said thay came from a small deep area in the northern part of the Sea of Cortez at a depth of 150 meteres or 500 feet. The only time these are seen is during shrimping season from October to January. So not only are they extremely rare and localized population, they are only collected in the nets from shrimp boats as bycatch for a few months of the year. Contact me for photos of the uncleaned, still live specimens. Each with a symbiotic sea anemone attached.
I am not a conchologist or even serious collector. I aquire fresh seashells to sell those collectors around the world, hard to get specimens from the Sea of Cortez. In the beginning I did not know what I had. I scoured the books and online and saw they they resembled forreria belcheri, but not exactly. The differences were such that I was confused and just put them on a shelf for about 2 months before contacting a few customers to ask them, what they thought this shell was. Some told me it was a varient of f. belcheri. So thinking nothing of it I listed a few on eBay as forreria belcheri deep water varient. I was soon contacted by David Berschauer a head member of the San Diego Shell Club. He was excited and he explained to me what I had. I inititally put up for sale 32 specimens. Mr. Berschauer and just a few other people mostly his associates jumped on them. As far as I am aware 19 people in the world plus a few places like the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle in France, Natural History Museum of LA County and a few other institutions for recording purposes, besides myself. Nobody else in the world has this seashell.
Mr. Berschauer, along with Edward J. Petuch, and Roger N. Clark proceeded to register this seashell as a new species. They named it Forreria Corteziana. I did manage to throw in my two cents and agreed that Corteziana was preferrable over Californica, being that it's only endemic to the small deep area of the Sea of Cortez. They get the main credit and discovery. I wouldn't have known where to start contacting anyone to begin to register and cataloging this shell. I was amazed at the process, and I am very glad that those gentlemen I named get the credit for the discovery. The San Diego Shell Club puts out a quarterly magazine called the Festivus, the latest issue Vol. 50 (3), August 2018, has much more information and background on the forreria corteziana. I included a photo of the front page. Hopefully, Mr. Berschauer and the others don't mind. You can contact the San Diego Shell Club for a copy of the Festivus. Or message me and I can send you the information on how to get a copy or even a digital PDF file copy. I do believe an actual copy of the Festivus quarterly magazine is $10 and not sure how much the PDFs are. Please feel free to inquire.
If you are looking for a very rare NEWLY DISCOVERED SPECIES of muricidae. Here you go. I never know when I will get some, I don't know if I will get more. It's a total surprise when a shrimp boat deck hand shows up with 3-4 or a bag of them. Again, I have not had any since the first batch in March 2018. This forreria corteziana was taken live with a snail inside. This particular one was actually taken in the deep water 150 meters in the Wagner Basin. As per usual it came with a black coating / periostracum fully encrusted with polyps and a symbiotic sea anemone attached. I lightly cleaned the shell, there is still some black on it. I did not want to over clean, so please continue the cleaning at your leisure. As per the photos I have the operculum that came with the shell.
Thank you for your interest and I hope a proud owner of a newly discovered species of muricidae - Forreria Corteziana, a distant cousin to the Forreria Belcheri.
Corteziana - FC0212201907
82.26mm / 3 1/4"
31g / 1.1 oz
F++ / Some spine damage due to trawling.