Florida prickly cockle

Trachycardium egmontianum

Family Cardiidae - cockles, heart

Bivalve (2 shells); shell circular to somewhat oblong in older specimens; moderately inflated; color white to tannish to light brown; interior salmon or pinkish color, sometimes with purple; anterior 1/4 of inside shell white; 27-31 radial ribs on outer shell, ribs scaled, scales scoop-shaped, opening toward ventral margin; anterior side of shell with scales that are more solid and round (bead-like); posterior side with a slight rounded ridge from beak to ventral margin, margin of shell serrated.
Similar Species
Similar to the yellow prickly cockle (T. muricata) but the scales the yellow prickly cockle are bead-like whereas the scales on the Florida prickly cockle are hollow, scoop-shaped (except on the anterior end where the scales are more bead-like). Also the yellow prickly cockle has more ribs (30-40) than the Florida prickly cockle (27-31). Interior color in the Florida prickly cockle is a flush of orangish pink to purple with 1/4 of anterior part white. The yellow prickly cockle's interior is white with streaks of yellow or purple radiating from the beaks.
Gulf and bays, sometimes found in seagrass beds, more common in south Texas
Maximum Size
5.1 cm (2 in)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Cardium egmontianum