Species Account

Nuculana minuta (Müller, 1776)

Nuculanoidea : Nuculanidae

Tebble name: Nuculana minuta Müller
Smith & Heppell name: Jupiteria minuta (Müller, 1776) 1776

Notes on Nomenclature

Nuculanidae in place of Yoldiidae
Killeen & Turner (2009) use Nuculanidae instead of Yoldiidae in agreement with Ockelmann & Warén (1998) who explan that the distinguishing characters between these two families has never been well documented. Until the Yoldiidae can be clearly distinguished from the Nuculanidae we shall treat them under the single family Nuculanidae.

To size: To 20mm. Shell Structure: Thin, brittle. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, the beaks lie approximately 65% of dorsal margin length from posterior. Tumidity: Moderately tumid. Outline: Elongate-oval with a long, truncated rostrum: antero-dorsal margin rounded and sloping, anterior end deeply rounded; postero-dorsal margin long and slightly concave, postero-ventral margin slightly concave; escutcheon short and indistinct; lunule long, lanceolate, conspicuously raised with well defined, raised, sharp edges; a second well defined ridge radiates posteriorly to form the rostrum which has a straight, truncated end. Contour: Rostrate.

Sculpture: Prominent, well defined, regularly-spaced raised concentric ridges, more prominent and raised near the outer margins, also very fine, widely spaced radial lines. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: Internal, opisthodetic, with a rounded triangular ligament seated in a well-developed resilifer. Hinge: Taxodont: relatively solid, continuous hinge plate, anterior part curved (convex), narrow below the beaks, broadening towards the anterior end. Posterior part long and concave. Hinge plate with a well-developed resilifer. Teeth chevron-shaped, moderately long and pointed, usually 15-18 posterior and 18-20 anterior of the resilifer. Pallial Musculature: Pallial sinus shallow and indistinct. Periostracum: Matt surface, grey-green to olive coloured, sometimes with orangey or brown coloured bands. Shells sometimes coated or speckled with deposits of manganese. Colour: White.

Distribution & Ecology

All around the coasts of Britain and Ireland from depths ranging from 20m inshore to 180-200m at the outer shelf.
Substrates ranging in size from silty sand to coarse gravel but usually always with a muddy element.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Nuculana minuta (Müller, 1776). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.


  • Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland
    Provides resources for understanding, identifying, recording, and conserving molluscs
    Check List of European Marine Mollusca
  • MarLIN
    The Marine Life Information Network for Britain and Ireland (MarLIN) provides information for marine environmental management, protection and education. It is a centre of excellence in spatially based and time-series marine biological information and supports good stewardship in the marine environment.
  • NBN Gateway
    National Biodiversity Network's Gateway. Use it to explore UK biodiversity data, as contributed by participating data providers.
  • BivAToL
  • MarBEF
  • Malacological Society
  • Unitas Malacologica
  • Census of Marine Life
  • MarBEF
    MarBEF, a network of excellence funded by the European Union and consisting of 94 European marine institutes, is a platform to integrate and disseminate knowledge and expertise on marine biodiversity, with links to researchers, industry, stakeholders and the general public.

Image Gallery

Record last modified: 22/03/2016