Imperial Venus (Chione latilirata Conrad, 1841)

Imperial Venus
Chione latilirata Conrad, 1841

Imperial Venus:
Thick and Ridged

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

The surface of this shell looks like it has been contour-plowed, with deep furrows between its 5-8 broad, concentric ribs. The ribs do not narrow markedly as they near the margins of the shell. The bivalve, a hard-shelled clam, may reach a length of 1½ inches, and is cream- to grayish-white, sometimes touched with brown. It is very sturdy and only slightly inflated. Its outline is vaguely triangular. When fresh, the shell is very glossy.

This handsome shell may be found all the way from the coast of North Carolina to Texas, and also on beaches in the West Indies. The living bivalve inhabits moderately deep water, burrowing just below the surface of sand or mud.

At one time it was called a “Broad-Ribbed Chione.”


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