Identifying The Jackknife Clam Shell

Ensis directus (Conrad, 1843) English: America...The jackknife clam is an unusual shape and you’ll be able to identify it right away as the one that is sometimes called the “fingernail” shell.

Long (3-4 inches) and whitish colored, the shell is curved in a fashion resembling someones overgrown fingernail. We used to find them along the eastern shore of Florida.

My reference book says that the green jackknife (Solen viridis) is often found in north Florida and has more of a straight edge on one side, and the other type is called the minor jackknife (Enis minor).

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. I found mine at Neptune Beach outside Jacksonville, Florida. Had never seen them before. Thank you for this post!

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    1. Dustytoes says:

      You’re welcome 😉

      Like

  2. I loved finding these around the Myrtle Beach area.

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  3. Amanda says:

    I just got back from Old Orchard Beach, ME and found these shells all over the beach. I had never seen anything like it before. Thank you for being here to help me identify them!

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    1. Dustytoes says:

      Glad I helped you. I haven’t been to Old Orchard Beach in many years.

      Like

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