It’s ok readers, I haven’t totally lost the plot. The seashore can throw up some unusual treasures and both of these are just those, colloquial names for sea-shells, which are both treasures in their own right.
The Placuna placenta bi-valve, colloquially known as the windowpane oyster, is another Indo-Pacific shell, known from Arabia, but more commonly found in Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and other parts of Asia.
Here, on the Arabian shoreline, I have only found one or two battered and broken specimens. Given its fragility, the rough seas off Oman don’t give it the chance of appearing on that shoreline intact. A bivalve, it’s glassy and delicate construction makes it a collector’s delight when found whole. A muddy lagoon dweller, it can reach up to 150mm, but is normally found at around 120mm.You may possibly know this as Capiz, used in the decoration of lampshade and boxes.
Now for the watering can or Brechites attrahens… this is an utterly amazing odd-ball bivalve. I have recently found three for the first time in the three years I have been scouring the Arabian shores, needless to say, it was a fairly pleasing three moments.
This superfamily Clavalloidea are unusual amongst bivalves because they assume, in part or completely the form of a tube. The Watering pot shells are the most familiar, of the genus Brechites, where both valves are fused into the wall which is multiperforated at one end (the part buried in the sand) and open at the other. In Arabia, the distribution is known as Masirah island, Oman but the ones I found were on the mainland, albeit across the channel from Masirah.