- José H. Leal
The Giant Bittersweet
The Giant Bittersweet, Glycymeris americana (DeFrance, 1826), is the largest species of the Bittersweet family Glycymerididae found in the western Atlantic Ocean, attaining up to 5 inches in size. Shells of the species may be found along the beaches of Sanibel and Captiva after storms. Bittersweets feature a shell hinge that consist of a curved row of a large number of chevron-shaped “teeth” (top of left-hand photo). The hinge teeth in bivalves ensure that the two shell parts, or valves, do not slide past each other in opposite directions when a predator makes an attempt to gain access to the animal inside.
The Giant Bittersweet, Glycymeris americana (DeFrance, 1826).