Species Account

Spisula elliptica (Brown, 1827)

Mactroidea : Mactridae

Tebble name: Spisula elliptica (Brown)
Smith & Heppell name: Spisula elliptica (Brown, 1827)

To size: To 32mm. Shell Structure: Solid, brittle. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks just to the anterior. Tumidity: Fairly tumid. Outline: Ovate-trigonal. Anterior dorsal margin slightly shorter and broadly curved to angular anterior margin. Posterior dorsal margin almost straight, slightly convex to the angular posterior margin which is slightly lower than the anterior. Ventral margin broadly curved. Contour: No gape. Anterior dorsal area demarcated by a protruding lunule.

Sculpture: Concentric lines. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: External tiny, thin, dark brown band behind beaks. Internal set in triangular chondrophore. Hinge: LV three cardinals, extend for most of the height of the hinge plate, two set in an inverted v-shape, the third just behind then, small and fragile. Single anterior and posterior laterals. RV two cardinals and double anterior and posterior laterals. Upper and lower surfaces of LV laterals and inner surfaces of RV laterals are serrated. Pallial Musculature: Shallow pallial sinus reaching to posterior end of chondrophore. Periostracum: Thin, pale brown to dark brown. Colour: White to cream.

Distribution & Ecology

Widely distributed on the shelf, primarily associated with high energy environments such as sand waves.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Spisula elliptica (Brown, 1827). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Brown T 1827. Illustrations of the recent conchology of Great Britain and Ireland WH & D Lizars, Edinburgh. 125pp, 52pls.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016