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  • José H. Leal

The Purplish Semele


The Purplish Semele, Semele purpurascens (Gmelin, 1791), is one of the most distinctive bivalves found along the coast of Southwest Florida. It may reach about 1 to 1.5 inches and is easily distinguishable from other local clams by, among other shell features, its maroon, purplish or sometimes orange color, and presence of a central area of more intense coloration inside the shell valves. The external sculpture consists of very fine commarginal ("concentric") striations, which impart a dull aspect to the shell, and the internal surface is smooth, glossy.


The Purplish Semele, Semele purpurascens, from Sanibel. Photo by José H. Leal.

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