Variable coquina

Donax variabilis

Family Donacidae - coquinas

Distinguishing
Characteristics
Bivalve (2 shells); shell sturdy, slightly inflated, elongate; anterior end longer and broadly rounded; posterior end short, more angular; bottom edge of posterior end slightly angled upward, margin straight; beak pointed; shell color varies from yellow, rose, pink, pale blue, lavender, tan, brown, and orange, sometimes with radiating bands of color, sometimes with purple interiors; shells have fine concentric and radial ridges, radial ridges stronger on posterior end; posterior ventral margin crenate (scalloped), inside ventral margin crenulate.
Similar Species
The Texas coquina is smaller (<0.8 cm), more inflated, ventral margin is more rounded, left valve overlaps right valve on ventral margin, and its posterior ribs are lightly beaded.
Habitat
Gulf, bury just beneath the surface of the sand in the surf and shallow subtidal zones
Maximum Size
2.5 cm (1 in)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Comments