The Lady-in-waiting Venus
The Lady-in-waiting Venus, Chionopsis intapurpurea (Conrad, 1849), a member of the Venus clams family Veneridae. It measures up to 38 mm (about 1.5 inches). The shell valves have a characteristic sculpture of numerous, concentric ridges that are serrated on the edge. This feature gives the species its common name, as the frilly ridges apparently resemble the trimming on gowns of personal attendants (ladies-in-waiting) to female royalty. Do not mistake shells of this species for the young of the Southern Quahog (Mercenaria campechiensis) or of the Northern Quahog (Mercenaria mercenaria), which both lack the serrations on ridges and are more rounded in outline.
The Lady-in-waiting Venus, Chionopsis intapurpurea, from Captiva Island. Photo by José H. Leal.