Why I Love to Find a Dosinia Clam Shell

Where I live the white, very flat, dosinia shell is a rare find. On the west / gulf coast of Florida they are more abundant. It’s one reason I love to find them on my beach-combing adventures. Also, they are simply very pretty shells.

The Dosinia below is an Elegant Dosinia, I believe and it was collected from Sanibel Island years ago. The beginnings of a hole on top was probably made by a predatory gastropod of some type. They drill into shells and eat the insides, killing the mollusk.

Dosinia in black and white
Elegant Dosinia

The Differences Between Disc Dosinias and Elegant Dosinias

Dosinias are easy to spot because they are nearly flat, unlike other types of clams which are more sloped. One major difference between the Disc and Elegant dosinia shells is the ridges. Both types contain tightly spaced horizontal ridges, but the Elegant dominica’s ridges are more easily seen. Most of the shells I collect here on the East coast of Florida are disc dosinias. They are very smooth with small ridges – see the shells below.

disc dosinia seashells
Disc Dosinia Seashells

I’ve added more Dosinias to my collection as time goes on. The large white one below was picked up by my youngest son on New Smyrna Beach. He knows I have an interest in shells so he always keeps an eye out for something I may want. I was very excited when he showed it to me.

Dosinia clam shells in all sizes
Dosinia seashells

The smaller shells in my photos were collection on an island near Disappearing Island at Ponce Inlet. I don’t know why, but that area had a large collection of very tiny Dosinias. I think it may have been a hatchery for the mollusk.

Dosinia, jingle shells, Lightning Venus clam
Dosinia, jingle shells (white and black), Lightning Venus clam

Sometimes the Dosinia is found in one piece, with both parts of the bivalve still attached. It’s rare to find a shell like this near rough surf as the waves tend to break shells apart. The Lightning Venus clam in the photo above is a rare find for me as well. I think it’s the only one I have in my collection.

dosinia seashell
A Dosinia in one piece

At least the bivalves cannot be inhabited by hermit crabs so when I find one, I am able to collect it without worry. Since I have quite a few in my collection at this point, I only collect the outstanding Dosinias I find these days.

Below is a collection of shells that include a Dosinia at the bottom with a hole in the shell. Shark’s Eye mollusks are a gastropod that will eat Dosinias. Other clams shown here are arks and a channeled duck clam. Read more about black seashells on my post here, and see shells that are commonly found along the Florida coastline.

Collection of seashells
Black shells: Jingle shell, Ark, Channeled Duck Clam, and also: broken Olive shells, yellow arks, Dosinia shell