Tiger Lucine (codakia orbicularis Linnaeus, 1758) Tiger Lucine (codakia orbicularis Linnaeus, 1758)

Tiger Lucine
Codakia orbicularis Linnaeus, 1758

Tiger Lucine:
“Circled Orb”

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

This beautiful shell, obicular (rounded) in outline, reaches a length of approximately 3 inches. The bivalve is very slightly inflated, and fairly solid with very sharp beaks. It has large hinge teeth and a heart-shaped lunule — the area in front of the beaks. The surface of the warm water-loving mollusk is marked with many radiating ribs and concentric growth lines. This makes the surface look like coarsely-woven cloth.

There is a long, narrow impression on the inner surface of the shell where the adductor muscle is attached. Though the shell does have the muscle scar, there is no pallial sinus (the depression in the area where the siphon was attached). In the fact, Lucines have very short siphons. In many species the huge foot makes a tunnel in the deep, moist sand, up to the shallow water in and under which the bivalve lives. The Lucine's foot forms a tube through which the mollusk takes in nourishing sea water.

The Tiger Lucine shell is most noteworthy because of its symmetry, pretty surface, and because often the white orb has a lovely lavender or pink border on the inside of the shell. The inner shell itself is a delicate pale golden yellow.

The Tiger Lucine may be found on the beaches of Florida and the West Indies.


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