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Southwest Florida Shells

José H. Leal

Mercenaria campechiensis

(Gmelin, 1791)

Family Veneridae

Southern Quahog

Shell size to 150 mm; shell thick, more inflated than in Mercenaria mercenaria, ovate-trigonal. Sculpture of irregular lines, more separated than in M. mercenaria. Lines never absent in middle of valve. Lunule as long as wide. Color dull-white to gray. Internally sometimes stained with purple. This species hybridizes with M. mercenaria in the southeastern United States. Juvenile shells (additional photo, size 30 mm) have purple zigzag lines; do not confuse these with Chione elevata or Chionopsis intapurpurea.

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