Lady-in-Waiting Venus (Chione intapurpurea Conrad, 1849)

Lady-in-Waiting Venus
Chione intapurpurea Conrad, 1849

Lady-in-Waiting Venus:
A Few Premature Wrinkles

By Patricia B. Mitchell.

The prettily-named Lady-in-Waiting Venus is yellowish, off-white, or white. Sometimes the surface is freckled with tan, squarish markings. The interior of the shell is white, with a purplish splotch on the posterior inner surface. The sturdy shell reaches a length of 1¾ inches, and is marked with many crowded concentric ridges. These ridges are wrinkly on the posterior end of the bivalve shell. The lower margin (or “edge”) of the shell is serrated. The beaks (pointy parts) are prominent, but low, and face toward the anterior of the shell.

The Lady-in-Waiting is a member of the Venus Clam family, a family with more than 400 species worldwide. All the Venuses have strong hinges (which hold the two valves together), and a well-developed escutcheon (a depression behind the beak, often encompassing an external ligament) and lunule (a depression in front of the beak). There are two muscle scars connected by a pallial groove on the inner surface of Venus clamshells.

Venus clams are found in all seas. The Lady-in-Waiting is found in fairly shallow water from North Carolina to the West Indies.


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