Species Account

Ensis ensis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Solenoidea : Pharidae

Tebble name: Ensis ensis (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Ensis ensis (L., 1758)

To size: To 120mm. Shell Structure: Rather thin, brittle. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks at the anterior end. Tumidity: Slender. Outline: Ensiform, narrow , dorsal and ventral margins distinctly and equally curved; anterior rounded, posterior obliquely subtruncate.

Sculpture: Smooth with very fine co-marginal lines. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: External, a long narrow brown/black band behind the beaks. Hinge: LV with two rather bulbous cardinals and two laminar posterior laterals, one lying above the other; RV with a single laminar cardinal and a single posterior lateral. Pallial Musculature: Pallial sinus U-shaped, separation of posterior adductor scar and pallial sinus greater than length of adductor scar. Anterior adductor scar greatly exceeding length of ligament; pedal retractor muscle posterior to end of ligament. Periostracum: Greenish yellow. Colour: Shell white co-marginally banded reddish brown.

Distribution & Ecology

A burrower into fine sand and silty sand. From low in the intertidal and nearshore shelf. Widespread.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


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

Holme N A 1951. The identification of British species of the genus Ensis Schumacher (Lamellibranchiata). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 29: 639-647.
Holme N A 1954. The ecology of British species of Ensis. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 33: 145-172.
Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016