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  • José H. Leal

Shell of the Week: The Little Knobby Scallop

Caribachlamys pellucens (Linnaeus, 1758) measures up to 37.4 mm (about 1.5 inches) in height. The shell has about 8–10 radial ridges festooned with small knobs or thick scales. The valves in this species may show strong yellow hues internally. We assume that the coloration is not advantageous for visual communication of any kind, because other animals cannot see the inside of a shell. Bright colors and strong patterns usually serve to warn predators of poisonous substances present, or to attract a mate, or for camouflage, but all these require that the color pattern should be visible. (A large reproduction of this illustration is on display in the In Focus exhibition at the National Shell Museum.)

The Little Knobby Scallop, Caribachlamys pellucens, from off Palm Beach, Florida. Photos by James F. Kelly.

#littleknobbyscallop #caribachlamyspellucens #pectinidae #florida

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