Munsilna McGundo House Shell Midden Snail Habitat

Munsilna McGundo House Shell Midden Snail Habitat

    In 1818 Thomas Say wrote of his Olygyra [later changed to Oligyra by Say in 1819 - a better spelling linguistically but forbidden under nomenclatorial regulations] orbiculata:  "Inhabits East Florida. Cabinet of the Academy [ANSP] .... This species we found in great numbers on what are called Oyster-shell Hammocks, near the mouth of the river St. John, East Florida ....The shell is certainly a Linnean Helix, but according to the improvements which have been made in Conchology since the time of the Swedish naturalist, by Mr. Lamarck and other systematists, it is at once excluded from that genus and its congeners, by having but two tentacula, and by its operculated aperture .... Upon these considerations I have thought proper to construct the present genus."

    Say was in the Jacksonville area beginning on Jan. 3, 1818 (Lee, 1976; Weiss and Ziegler, 1931), and this was only one several species he first collected in northeast Florida and later named. The type locality can be taken to be the oystershell hammock at the Munsilna McGundo House, Ft. George Is. very near Pilot Town, Xalvis Is, where his ship probably visited after having engaged a river pilot for the treacherous (pre-jetties) entrance into the St. Johns River.

Lee, H. G., 1976. Thomas Say America's first malacologist. Shell-O-Gram 17(11): 1-3. November.

Say, T., 1818. Descriptions of land and freshwater shells of the United States (cont'd). Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences 1: 276-283. May(?).

Say, T.,  1819. Article "Conchology" in W. Nicholson (ed.). American edition of the British Encyclopedia or Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, comprising an accurate and popular view of the present improved state of human knowledge. Vol. 2. Third edition. Samuel A. Mitchell and Horace Ames, Philadelphia. No pagination.

Weiss, H. B. and G. M. Ziegler, 1931. Thomas Say, early American naturalist. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois. xiv + 1-260, frontispiece.