Q:

What is a coquina clam?

A:

Quick Answer

Coquina is the common name for Donax variabilis, a small clam found along the eastern shores of the United States from New York to Texas. The clams are edible and are also used for decoration.

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Full Answer

Coquinas are easily identified by their colorful triangular shells that resemble the wings of a butterfly when spread out. The colors range from yellow through orange and red, and also to lavender and blue. The clams are filter feeders that live in the intertidal zone. They provide food for many species of fish and shore birds. Their presence in large numbers indicates a healthy beach habitat of naturally-formed sand.

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