Shell of the Week: The Smooth Flame Scallop
The Smooth Flame Scallop, Ctenoides mitis (Lamarck, 1807), is not a true scallop, but a member of the file clam family Limidae. It can can reach in excess of the 70 mm (about 2.76 inches). Its shell is relatively thin, bears a large number of fine radial ribs, and a thin brown periostracum. The Smooth Flame Scallop can be distinguished from the generally similar Rough File Clam, Ctenoides scaber, by the larger number of ribs. The species can be found off the coast of Florida, the Florida Keys, and the Greater Caribbean. The shell in the image was identified in 2003 by Dr Paula M. Mikkelsen, then Curator of Mollusks at the American Museum of Natural History. Illustration created by James F. Kelly for the National Shell Museum’s Digital Imaging Project.