Species Account

Acanthocardia aculeata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Cardioidea : Cardiidae

Tebble name: Acanthocardia aculeata (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Acanthocardia aculeata (L., 1758)

To size: To 100mm. Shell Structure: Thin but not fragile. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Slightly inequilateral, beaks just infront of midline. Tumidity: Inflated. Outline: Broadly oval becoming subquadrate-oblique with a long almost straight posterior margin contrasting with more narrowly rounded anterior. Contour: Umbonate, posterior angle weak.

Sculpture: 20-22 strong radial ribs, each carrying a row of narrow spines arising from the midline of the rib. On the posterior angle and posterior area the spines are long and resemble thorns. In the largest shells the spines on the anterior and middle area become more broad with the upper faces excavated and the tips bending to the posterior. The concentric sculpture is weak and shell other than spines appears rather smooth. Margin: Deeply crenulated, interlocking ends of ribs and interspaces. Ligament: External, a prominent raised band set on a prominent nymph. Hinge: RV with 2 cardinals the posterior slightly the larger; 2 anterior and 1 posterior laterals: LV with 2 cardinals and single anterior and posterior laterals. Pallial Musculature: Pallial line entire. Periostracum: Thin. Colour: White, straw to pale olive-brown.

Distribution & Ecology

A southern species ranging into British waters only in the western English Channel.

NBN records outside of this area are likely to be erroneous

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Acanthocardia aculeata (Linnaeus, 1758). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.


  • Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland
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    Check List of European Marine Mollusca
  • MarLIN
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  • NBN Gateway
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  • BivAToL
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  • Malacological Society
  • Unitas Malacologica
  • Census of Marine Life
  • MarBEF
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Record last modified: 17/05/2016