The Common shallow-water Mussels of Trinidad: (Mollusca: Mytilidae)

Peter R. Bacon

Abstract


The coasts of Trinidad are very rich in marine life. Sea shells are collected easily from all the varied habitats, such as sand beaches, rocks, coral reefs, mudflats and mangrove swamps. These molluscs include sea cockroaches or pachro (Class Amphineura), snails and conchs (Gastropoda), oysters and chip-chip (Class Bivalvia) and occasional octopus and squid (Class Cephalopoda). No catalogue or handbook of the Trinidad molluscs exists and many of the local shells are not described in available texts such as 'Caribbean Seashells' by Warmke & Abbott (1961). There is need, therefore, for accounts of the Trinidad seashells, as indeed for all groups of marine animals found on our shores, to aid the naturalist and teacher in identifying species and learning something of their natural history. This article is concerned with one group of bivalve molluscs, the Mytilidae or mussels, and describes eight common species.


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