Species Account

Protocuspidaria colpodes Dautzenberg & Fischer H 1897

Verticordioidea : Cuspidariidae

Tebble name: n/a
Smith & Heppell name: n/a

To size: To 10mm. Shell Structure: Thin, fragile. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Subequilateral, close to or slightly behind the midline. Tumidity: Moderately tumid. Outline: Body of shell deep, subcircular; anterior and ventral forming a broad continuous curve. Rostrum very short less than length of body, broad, dorsal margin straight to slightly concave, ventral margin slightly concave corresponding to a shallow sulcus at junction of rostrum and body.

Sculpture: Of co-marginal raised threads and lines becoming slightly lamellose on rostrum. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: Ligament internal, small, in a shallow resilifer behind the beaks. Hinge: With a single, weak, anterior laminar tooth in RV. Pallial Musculature: Obscure. Periostracum: Thin, straw in colour. Colour: Shell white. Additional Characters: The genus Protocuspidaria is recognised primarily from the structure of the septum, which has a primitive appearance in that the pores are poorly developed and the original filamental structure is visible.

Distribution & Ecology

Known from the southern part of the study area in depths of 2000-5000m.

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

Additional Information & Related Species

Key Features & Similar Species

Allen & Morgan (1981) described three species in the genus Protocuspidaria. They acknowledged that the shells were variable and externally very similar. The species are separated on the character of the presence or absence of the anterior hinge teeth. Our experience is that there is variable expression of these teeth and a review is needed to assess the significance of this character. Protocuspidaria colpodes = verityi has a single anterior lateral in the RV; P. simplis has no anterior lateral teeth; P. atlantica has a single anterior lateral in both LV and RV. Externally these species are, to us, inseparable.

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Protocuspidaria colpodes Dautzenberg & Fischer H 1897. Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

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.


  • Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland
    Provides resources for understanding, identifying, recording, and conserving molluscs
    Check List of European Marine Mollusca
  • MarLIN
    The Marine Life Information Network for Britain and Ireland (MarLIN) provides information for marine environmental management, protection and education. It is a centre of excellence in spatially based and time-series marine biological information and supports good stewardship in the marine environment.
  • NBN Gateway
    National Biodiversity Network's Gateway. Use it to explore UK biodiversity data, as contributed by participating data providers.
  • BivAToL
  • MarBEF
  • Malacological Society
  • Unitas Malacologica
  • Census of Marine Life
  • MarBEF
    MarBEF, a network of excellence funded by the European Union and consisting of 94 European marine institutes, is a platform to integrate and disseminate knowledge and expertise on marine biodiversity, with links to researchers, industry, stakeholders and the general public.

Record last modified: 22/03/2016