Shell Collection

Please Note: This site is out of date, please visit our webpages at the Biodiversity Knowledge Information Center here.

The Malacological Collection consists of around 40,000 shell specimens that formerly formed the private collection of Chester W. Melville (transferred to ASU in 1966). The collection consists of specimens from tropical and temperate marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats (especially important are collections of Liguus/ Oxystyla land snails). It includes extensive series from several tropical and subtropical areas, including topotypical specimens of some species. The collection is cataloged on paper.

In 2001, Charles Kazilek & William Sharp used a scanning light microscope to photograph some of these specimens They exhibited the images in a show entitled 'Shells of the Desert'. You can find more of these fabulous images here.

To arrange a visit to the collection or for more information, please contact Nico Franz at