Species Account

Neopycnodonte cochlear (Poli, 1795)

Ostreoidea : Gryphaeidae

Tebble name: n/a
Smith & Heppell name: Neopycnodonte cochlear (Poli, 1795)

To size: To 80mm. Shell Structure: Solid but brittle. Chalky layer of shell honeycombed. Equivalve: Inequivalve, upper valve flat sitting inside deeply concave lower cemented valve. Equilateral: Inequivalve. Outline: Suboval to subcircular, upper valve rather regular, lower valve with irregular wavy margins.

Sculpture: Upper valve with concentric ridges and irregular laminar layers, lower valve similar but surface drawn out into irregular extensions especially around the attachment point. Margin: Inner margin with vermiculate (irregular ridges) chomata on the anterior dorsal edge, simple chomata on the posterior dorsal edge. Ligament: Alivincular in a shallow triangular resilifer set on a deeply cleft dorsal area. Pallial Musculature: Adductor scar subcircular, colour as shell. Colour: Buff to greenish yellow to dirty white.

Distribution & Ecology

A deep water oyster found along the continental margins and on the slope. So far only from the Celtic Sea margins.

Depth Range
Continental Margin Zone (200 - 500m)
Bathyal (500 - 2000m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Key Features & Similar Species

This is the only deep water oyster to be found in the region. The honeycombed chalky layer is characteristic of the Gryphaeidae and not seen in the true oysters, Ostrea, Tiostrea or Crassostrea.

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Neopycnodonte cochlear (Poli, 1795). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Poli J X 1795. Testacea Utriusque Siciliae eorumque historia et anatome. vol. 2 Parma, Regio Typographeio. i-lxxvi. 75-264, pls 19-39.


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Record last modified: 17/05/2016