Florida Prickly Cockle (Trachycardium egmontainum Shuttleworth, 1856)

Florida Prickly Cockle
Trachycardium egmontainum Shuttleworth, 1856

Florida Prickly Cockle:
Craft Project Favorite

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

The Florida Prickly Cockle, Trachycardium egmontianum, could, at first glance, be mistaken for a Yellow Cockle, Trachycardium muricatum. However, if you notice the overall shape of each of the bivalves, you will see that the Florida Prickly Cockle is slightly oval, whereas the Yellow Cockle is more circular. Moreover, the Florida Prickly Cockle has more pronounced, erect scales on its ribs than does the Yellow Cockle. It also has a larger number of ribs.

The Florida Prickly Cockle shell is thinner and more inflated than the Yellow Cockle. (The Yellow Cockle shell is yellowish and sometimes splotched with brownish-purplish red markings on the outside, and yellow or white inside.) The Florida Prickly Cockle's interior surface ranges in color from salmon to reddish purple. The anterior part of the inner surface is pink to white. The exterior of the Florida Prickly Cockle is yellow mottled with purplish brown. The margins of the valves are finely scalloped. The Florida Prickly Cockle, sometimes called the China Cockle, is as long as 2-1/2 inches. It inhabits shallow water from North Carolina to Florida. The shell is particularly popular for use in craft projects.


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