The Miniature Lucine
At about 10 mm (about 0.4-inch) the Miniature Lucine, Radiolucina amianta (Dall, 1901), is one of the smallest among many species of the family Lucinidae found along the barrier islands of SW Florida. There are at least 13 lucinid species found on local beaches—the Buttercup Lucine, Anodontia alba, is probably the best known among them. Lucinid clams are known to host chemosynthetic bacteria in their body tissues; these bacteria derive their life energy from simple chemical reactions (in contrast to plants, which derive their energy from sunlight, in the process known as photosynthesis). Lucinid clams derive part or most of their food from those bacteria.
The Miniature Lucine, Radiolucina amianta, from Sanibel. Photos by José H. Leal.