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  • José H. Leal

The Beautiful Semele

The Beautiful Semele, Semele bellastriata (Conrad, 1837), is truly one of the prettiest clams found in our barrier islands. Its shell is never longer than about one inch, and displays a sculpture of concentric ridges and radial ribs that combine to give a “criss-crossed” aspect to the shell surface. The Beautiful Semele is one (and the most attractive) of five species of the family Semelidae occurring in the area. What is remarkable about the Beautiful Semele is its variable coloration, with a background of cream or yellowish-white color with reddish, yellowish, or purplish markings. [The species's common name in the Southwest Florida Shells guide is "Cancellate Semele."]

The Beautiful Semele, Semele bellastriata (Conrad, 1837).

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