Hardshell Clam, Quahog, Top-Neck Calm, Little-Neck Clam, Cherrystone Clam
Appearance: The shell is heavy and fairly thick across the hinge. Numerous concentric lines are obvious on the shell surface and are especially evident near the hinge area. Sizes range greatly depending on the grade. Quahogs (pronounced kway-hog) can reach 6 inches in width, but more typically measure from 1 to 2 inches. The shells typically are dull gray to brownish in color. The meat (see photo 2 at left) is generally cream to pinkish in color. This is the most important North Carolina commercial shellfish species. Usually sold live, they may also be found shucked and canned.
Typical Range: Florida to Canada.
Public Health Significance: Approved for human consumption if properly handled and labeled or tagged.