California Spiny Jewel Box Shell, Arcinella californica: The California Spiny Jewel Box Shell is very rare with shells only available on a limited basis from dredges of 50 to 150 foot water.
They have a known range from Cedros Island to Panama.
The shells are white in color with symmetrical rows of long spines making the species easy to identify.
They reach a maximum size of two inches. Shells are used to make decorative items or sold for shell collections.
The California Spiny Jewel Box Shell is a medium sized member of the Chamidae Family, the Jewel Boxes. They are all oyster-like bivalve mollusks with approximately 20 known global family members from 3 genera.
They have been dated, via fossils, to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, some 200 million years ago, and are considered to be an important evolutionary marker.
Members of the family have thick shells that are irregularly rounded. They are sedimentary animals that attach themselves to hard substrate (coral and rocks) by either the left or right value and the lower valve becomes larger and deeper and the upper valve becomes flattened. They have well developed sculpture with large thick hinges. The interior of the shells is porcelaneous.
They are suspension filter feeders with separate sexes that reproduce via external fertilization.