Species Account

Bathyspinula subexcisa (Dautzenberg & Fischer, 1897)

Nuculanoidea : Bathyspinulidae

Tebble name: n/a
Smith & Heppell name: Spinula subexcisa (Dautzenberg & Fischer, 1897)

To size: To 5mm. Shell Structure: Relatively solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Equilateral, beaks located at, or slightly anterior of midline. Tumidity: Slightly inflated. Outline: Oval with a pointed rostrum: antero-dorsal and postero-dorsal margins relatively short, almost horizontal, or only sloping very gently; anterior and ventral margins deeply rounded; posterior end concave; rostrum well defined and sharply pointed. Umbo relatively narrow, rounded, prominent above the dorsal margin.

Sculpture: Sculpture of numerous, relatively evenly spaced, sharply incised lines. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: Amphidetic, internal part, rounded and relatively large, and seated in a resilium but without a projecting chondrophore; external part long and relatively prominent anteriorly, shorter and less prominent posteriorly, visible from lateral view. Hinge: Taxodont. Solid, v-shaped, narrow near the umbo and broadening towards each end, with long, roundly pointed chevron-shaped teeth, up to 12 anterior and 9-10 posterior. The teeth are positioned towards the bottom side of the hinge plate. Periostracum: Glossy, iridescent, translucent white. Colour: White. Additional Characters: The hind-gut forms a series of rounded coils on the right side of the body.

Distribution & Ecology

An Atlantic deep water species recorded from the West European basin including the Rockall Trough mostly from lower bathyal and abyssal depths.

Depth Range
Bathyal (500 - 2000m)
Abyssal Rise (2000 - 4000m)
Abyssal Plain (4000m +)

Additional Information & Related Species

Additional Comments

Genus Spinula Dall, 1908 is a junior homonym of Spinula Herrich-Shaefer, 1856 and hence the subfamily Spinulinae designated by Allen & Sanders, 1982 is replaced by Bathyspinulinae Coan & Scott, 1997. CLEMAM has elevated the subfamily to family level, which we have chosen to follow.

Related Species

Nuculanoidea : Bathyspinulidae


Listed are literature citing Bathyspinula subexcisa (Dautzenberg & Fischer, 1897). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Coan E.V. & Scott P.H. 1997. Checklist of the Marine Bivalves of the Northeastern Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. 1-28:
Dautzenberg P & Fischer H 1897. Dragages effectués par l'Hirondelle et par la Princesse Alice 1888-1896. Gastropodes et Pélécypodes. Mémoires de la Société Zoologique de France. 10: 139-234, pls 3-7.
Olabarria C. 2005. Patterns of bathymetric zonation of bivalves in the Porcupine Sea Bight and adjacent abyssal plain, NE Atlantic. Deep-Sea Research I. 52: 15-31.
Sanders H L & Allen J A 1982. Studies on deep-sea Protobranchia (Bivalvia); the subfamily Spinulinae (Family Nuculanidae). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard. 150: 1-30.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016