Dosinia elegans

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Elegant Dosinia.

Dosinia elegans - Elegant Dosinia

Habitat Sand and sandy mud in protected beaches, in lower intertidal zone, rarely to water 3 meters deep

Range From North Carolina to Texas and the Caribbean

Description 4.4-7.6 cm long. Nearly circular, flattened and thick-shelled. The umbones are small, and curved forward. The exterior is white, and the periostracum is thin, grayish, translucent, and varnishlike. It also has crowded, flattened concentric ridges that are separated by fine grooves. The interior is also white, with the pallial sinus being long, narrow, and pointed. The hinge area is broad, and the left valve has a small, low front side tooth and very thin front central tooth that fits into a narrow cleft between two front central teeth in the right valve.

Ecological Notes This species is not found on open beaches, but only within bays or estuaries where it burrows in loose sand. The related Disk Dosinia (Dosinia discus) is found from Virginia to Florida, Texas, and the Bahamas.

Personal Information The specimen was found washed ashore on Cape Hatteras Beach in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The sample was first confused with the very similar Disk Dosinia, and was later identified as an Elegant Dosinia.


Image Courtesy of:

Rehder, H. A. (2014). National Audubon Society; Field Guide to Shells-North America. Alfred A. Knopf.

Additional Information

Moore, Hilary B.; Lopez, Nelia N. “A Contribution to the Ecology of the Lamellibranch Dosinia Elegans.” Bulletin of Marine Science, v. 20 number 4, 1970, p. 980-986.

This paper studied the biomass of Elegant Dosinia and the overall strategies that are used for reproduction within this species. It was found that there is an eighty percent per annum mortality rate.

Norton, Oswald A. “Some Ecological Observations on Dosinia Discus Reeve at Beaufort, North Carolina.” Ecology, v. 28 number 2, 1947, p. 199-204.

The author of this paper focused on comparing Discus Dosinia and Elegant Dosinia. It specifically mentions that Cape Hatteras is the Northern most point that Elegant Dosinia is probably to be found, which is exactly where I found my specimen.

Contributed by Brandon Wise - 2016

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