Species Account

Pteria hirundo (Linnaeus, 1758)

Pterioidea : Pteriidae

Tebble name: Pteria hirundo (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Pteria hirundo (L., 1758)

To size: To 80mm. Shell Structure: Solid but brittle, margins flaky. Equivalve: Inequivalve, right valve a little flatter with a byssal notch under the anterior ear. Equilateral: Strongly inequilateral, beaks close to the anterior margin. Tumidity: Somewhat compressed. Outline: Wing-shaped, dorsal margin long, straight; posterior ear many times longer than anterior ear in adults less so in small specimens; posterior embayment normally large but smaller in juveniles; body of shell broadly rounded. Contour: Dorsal area long, narrow; posterior slope roundly angled demarcating a distinct posterior area and wing.

Sculpture: Surface flaking, of comarginal lines and scales. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: External covering about one third of the posterior dorsal area. Hinge: Right valve with a small pit below the beak, left valve with a corresponding tubercle. Pallial Musculature: Single adductor scar almost central, circular with a dorsal extension which marks the byssus retractor muscle. Periostracum: Obscure. Colour: Tan grey brown often with dark brown radial bands, blotches or stripes. Internal lustrous except for a broad margin coloured as external.

Distribution & Ecology

A southern species restricted to the extreme southwest of Britain and southwest Ireland. Attached by a byssus in mixed sediments offshore and shelf edge.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Pteria hirundo (Linnaeus, 1758). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.


  • Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland
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Record last modified: 17/05/2016