Saloon closed Saturday 4/20 for the (sold out!) Oyster Rama
Saloon closed Saturday 4/20 for the (sold out!) Oyster Rama
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Apr 20, 2009: Jingle Shell, Jingle Shell

Tideflat Critters

Mystery solved! To everyone except native Lilliwaupians the blood oyster is known as a rock oyster, or jingle shell. Officially, the animal is called Pododesmus cepio. Other names include Pacific jingle, blister shell, false jingle shell, green false jingle shell, and money shell. Another official name is Pododesmus macrochisma. The bivalve lives in the low intertidal zone to 300 feet. It's not a scallop (but thank-you to the  people wrote in suggesting that the red meat was actually scallop roe). And it's not a clam. But it isn't really an oyster, either.  Here's a photo of a live one:

'Jingle shell' is used to describe various species of bivalve that extend byssal threads through their bottom shells to attach themselves to rocks (or pilings, or other shells, etc). The delicate, translucent shells make a jingling sound when strung together in wind chimes or necklaces.



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  • Vicki DeBoer on

    Happy to see that you solved the mystery. I came upon it yesterday through some other thread here, and posted info – thinking I had really helped out! LOL Well, it all did lead to my paying a visit today to the oyster store and buying some wonderful Manila clams. Yummers!!!!!!!!

  • Happy Valentine’s Day! on

    […] sensuous  jingle shell/barnacle/oyster shell arrangement takes the cake for being the most romantic photo in our […]

  • OysterFan on

    Well, stay tuned for some more mysteries you can help us with… we just took a beach walk and found lots of strange creepy crawlies. Thanks for checking in!


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