The Gulf Cockle (Trachycardium panamense) is a beautiful, sturdy seashell found on beaches from the Gulf of California to Central America.
This heavy seashell is fairly easy to identify with its 20 +/- broad, strong, triangular radiating ribs and rather well-rounded shape. On the scalloped posterior edge of the shell, the ridges end in a sawtooth fashion. The exterior of this solid seashell is whitish in color, while the inside of the Gulf Cockle is somewhat smooth and white. Our specimens show a beautiful, purple-pink shading on the “teeth” side of the interior.
The hefty Gulf Cockle lives near the surface in sand or sandy mud in shallow water. This Pacific beauty can grow up to 4 inches in diameter.
About 200 species of cockles (family Cardiidae) are found worldwide. Strong and compact, this family of clams is heart-shaped when viewed from the side (with both valves intact).
We rate the Gulf Cockle: ♥♥♥♥♥