• José H. Leal

The Brown Gem Clam

The Brown Gem Clam, Parastarte triquetra (Conrad, 1846), is the smallest local member of the Veneridae, a large bivalve family that includes locally familiar species such as the Sunray Venus, the Calico Clam, and the Southern Quahog. At only about 0.12 inch in size, Brown Gem Clams are usually hard to detect: Most of the specimens in the Museum collection were obtained through sifting of previously collected samples of fine sand or bay mud. Its shells have an elongate-triangular shape, and are smooth, polished, and usually darker inside than outside.

The Brown Gem Clam, Parastarte triquetra, from Sanibel. Photo by Noe Barrera.

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