About

Our focus is on the variety and variation within species, of South African shells – with emphasis on the endemic species.
Our aim is to provide quality specimens, with reliable data at affordable prices. South Africa has a unique molluscan fauna, and although increasingly well known, many more species, subspecies and forms remain to be discovered. Our turbulent seas and inaccessible sections of coastline hide many future surprises!

At present we live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, one of the larger ports in our country, situated in Algoa Bay at the north-eastern border of the well-known Agulhas Bank, which extends far south towards Cape Town and which supports the bulk of our offshore fishing industry.  It has an active commercial fishing community and many of the deep water shells are obtained from fishing trawlers or deep-water lobster boats. Before that we lived in Cape Town and East London. Our shells are mainly from the colder water of our country.

Photo of a white Burnupena papyracea dived in Port Elizabeth area, 15m

Photo of a white Burnupena

Mike has been collecting shells for over 45 years. His life-long hobby has expanded to such an extent that we decided to name it Africana Specimen Shells. Mike is also a diver with more than 40 years experience in scuba diving all areas of our extensive coastline. Together with a longstanding diving buddy, Marius Beltman, a new species of Marginella was identified – Marginella beltmani Hart 1993 – later to be seen as a southern subspecies of Marginella peelae.

Renée, Mike’s wife, has supplied the organizational skills to the shells that Mike collects from all over Southern Africa which frees him to pursue his interest wherever possible. Her field of interest is Chitons.

Mariette Jearey has been collecting shells for more than 25 years and has extensive experience in beach and intertidal as well as dive collecting. Callochiton jeareyae, Dell’Angelo and Mifsud 1998 was named after her following her discovery of one of the earliest specimens whilst diving in Algoa Bay. Her field of interest is bivalves.

Photo of Vaughtia babingtoni live

Vaughtia babingtoni live

Members of the scientific community are welcome to contact us for local information or material. Collectors of micro shells should enquire about specimens available. Specialists in particular families who wish to acquire a range of a certain species are also welcome to enquire.

Although shells are our passion, we do it in their spare time.

Photo of Nucella squamosa live, West coast, intertidally

Nucella squamosa live