Species Account

Hemilepton nitidum (Turton, 1822)

Galeommatoidea : Kelliidae

Tebble name: Lepton nitidum Turton
Smith & Heppell name: Semierycina nitida (Turton,1822)

Notes on Nomenclature

Here previously as Semierycina nitida.

To size: To 3mm. Shell Structure: Thin, translucent. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Subequilateral, beaks just behind midline. Outline: Roundly subquadrate, slightly extended anteriorly; dorsal anterior and posterior shouldered, posterior margin less curved than anterior, ventral curved.

Sculpture: Smooth, with faint co-marginal lines. Microscopic pits on the umbos ventral of the larval shell. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: Internal, small on a very shallow depression behind the beaks. Hinge: Teeth well developed; RV with paired anterior and posterior laterals and a single cardinal peg; LV with single laterals and a strong cardinal tooth. Pallial Musculature: Obscure, pallial line entire. Periostracum: Thin, pale yellow. Colour: Shell white.

Distribution & Ecology

In coarse sandy to sandy gravel sediments. Not known to be commensal. Living at inner shelf depths from the sublittoral to 150m. Widespread but sporadic.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Key Features & Similar Species

May easily be overlooked as a juvenile venerid but hinge distinctive. Externally when alive the adductor muscles and mantle edge can be seen through the shell, the latter is entire and siphons are lacking. The ligament is entirely internal so cannot be seen and under high magnification the pits on the umbo are characteristic.

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Hemilepton nitidum (Turton, 1822). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Daan R, Duineveld GCA, Lavaleye MSS & Mulder M 2001. Four marine mollusc species new to the Dutch recent fauna. Basteria. 65: 93-99.
Kallonas M, Zenetos A & Gofas S 1999. Notes on the Ecology and Distribution of Microbivalvia in Greek Waters. La Conchiglia. 291: 11-20.
Turton W 1822. Conchylia dithyra Insularum britannicarum. The bivalve shells of the British Islands London. 279pp, 20pls.
Van Aartsen JJ 1996. Galeommatacea and Cyamiacea Part II. La Conchiglia. 281: 27-53, + 61.
Van Aartsen JJ 1996. Galeommatacea and Cyamiacea. La Conchiglia. 279: 31-36, + 61.


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Record last modified: 17/05/2016