Species Account

Arctica islandica (Linnaeus, 1767)

Arcticoidea : Arcticidae

Tebble name: Arctica islandica (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Arctica islandica (L., 1767)

To size: To 130mm. Shell Structure: Solid, heavy. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Slightly inequilateral, beaks slightly infront of midline. Tumidity: Moderately inflated. Outline: Small and medium sized shells roundly oval, large shells expanded posteriorly and subcircular. Contour: Umbo prominent, beaks projecting forward but lunule not defined.

Sculpture: Numerous fine concentric threads and ridges in adults; juveniles with regularly spaced concentric threads. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: External, large as a dark brown arched band behind the beaks; set on a prominent nymph and extending along half the length of the posterior dorsal margin. Hinge: Heavy, RV with 3 strong cardinal teeth and one posterior lateral posterior of the ligament, in front of anterior cardinal is a pit bordered by irregular knobs and ridges; LV with 3 cardinal teeth, anterior as a small knob, posterior as narrow ridge, single posterior lateral and irregular crenulations in front of anterior cardinal. Pallial Musculature: Pallial line entire but slightly indented below the posterior adductor scar. Periostracum: Straw coloured in juveniles becoming darker with age and finally black. Colour: Shell white under periostracum.

Distribution & Ecology

Across the shelf, sporadically intertidal.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Related Species

Arcticoidea : Arcticidae


Listed are literature citing Arctica islandica (Linnaeus, 1767). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Linnaeus C 1767. Systema Naturae. Editio duodecima. 1. Regnum Animale. 1&2 Homliae, Laurentii Salvii. 1-532: 533-1327.
Thompson I, Jones D S & Dreibelbis D 1980. Annual internal growth banding and life history of the ocean quahog Arctica islandica (Mollusca: Bivalvia). Marine Biology. 57(1): 25-34.


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Record last modified: 17/05/2016