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  • José H. Leal

The Stylish Antillean File Clam

File clams (family Limidae) are marine bivalve mollusks with oval shells that resemble “distorted,” or asymmetrical, scallops. There about 130 species in the family. Most file clams are able to use their tentacles to engage in short bursts of irregular swimming, and some species can build cocoon-like nests for protection.

The Antillean File Clam, Limaria pellucida, from Cabo Frio, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil.

The Antillean File Clam, Limaria pellucida (C.B. Adams, 1848), (photo) reaches 25 mm (about one inch), has a thin whitish shell, and relatively large, translucent tentacles festooned with white “rings” over their entire length. Sometime during my college years, I photographed the clam above in my home saltwater tank back in Brazil. The species also is found living in the Caribbean, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico, and shells of the Antillean File Clam have been found on Sanibel at least a couple of times!

Shell of the Antillean File Clam, Limaria pellucida, from Sanibel (from the Museum Collection, BMSM 127245.)


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