Species Account

Tapes (Ruditapes) decussatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Veneroidea : Veneridae

Tebble name: Venerupis decussata (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Tapes decussatus (L., 1758)

Notes on Nomenclature

Ruditapes, Polititapes and Venerupis are used as subgenera rather than genera. Although WoRMS and CLEMAM elevate these to generic standing, the phylogenetic tree presented by Kappner and Bieler (2006) gives very little support to the recognition of these genera.

To size: To 76mm. Shell Structure: Robust, thick shelled. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral. Beaks in front of midline. Tumidity: Tumid. Outline: Rhomboidal to sub-ovate, dorsal margin angular. Lunule heart-shaped, not very well-defined with radiating ridges. Escutcheon extremely reduced.

Sculpture: Sculpture consisting of thin concentric grooves and radial ribs to give decussate appearance, which is stronger to the posterior and anterior parts of the shell. Margin: Margin smooth. Ligament: Ligament extending from umbo halfway to posterior. Hinge: 3 cardinals in each valve, LV centre and anterior bifid and RV centre and posterior bifid. No laterals. Pallial Musculature: Muscle scars roughly equal: Posterior slightly fatter than anterior. Pallial sinus extends to midline, rounded. Periostracum: Very thin, matt. Colour: External fawn coloured, but with red-brown spreading from umbos and/or ventral margin. Internal colouration white with orange spreading from umbo.

Distribution & Ecology

A burrower into a variety of sediments from sand to muddy gravel. Intertidal and sublittoral around all coasts except for east Scotland and northeast England.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Tapes (Ruditapes) decussatus (Linnaeus, 1758). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Ansell A 1961. The functional morphology of the British species of Veneracea (Eulamellibranchia). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 41: 489-517 .
Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.
Mikkelsen PM, Bieler R, Kappner I & Rawlings TA 2006. Phylogeny of Veneroidea (Mollusca: Bivalvia) based on morphology and molecules. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 148: 439-521.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016