Species Account

Pteria colymbus (Roding, 1798)

Pterioidea : Pteriidae

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

To size: To 9cm. Shell Structure: Solid but brittle, margins flaky. Equivalve: Inequivalve, LV more tumid than RV. Equilateral: Strongly inequilateral, beaks close to anterior margin. Tumidity: Much of shell compressed but inflated at anterior half. Outline: Alate or wing-shaped. Contour: Dorsal area extremely extended.

Sculpture: Concentric flaky lines. Margin: Smooth, but very fragile. Ligament: External, covering about one third of posterior dorsal area. Hinge: Right valve has a small pit below the beak and the left valve a corresponding tubercule. Pallial Musculature: Single adductor scar woth dorsal extension marking byssys retractor muscle. Periostracum: Thin, brown irregular. Colour: Brown with pink tinted nacreous internal, darker pruple at the margins.

Distribution & Ecology

Anchored using byssus to gorgonians, offshore corals, sea fans and man-made structures.

In its native range population densities can be great. Native to the west Atlantic from North Carolina to southern Brazil.

St Ives, Cornwall (Turk, 1988).

Depth Range

Additional Information & Related Species

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Pteria colymbus (Roding, 1798). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Roding 1798. Museum Boltenianum sive Catalogus cimeliorum e tribus regnis naturae quae olim collegerat Joa. Fried. Bolten M. D. p. d. Pars secunda continens Conchylia sive Testacea univalvia, bivalvia et multivalvia. 199.
Turk S.M. 1988. Christopher Columbus and Pteria colymbus.. Conchologists’ Newsletter. 105: 93-96.


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Record last modified: 03/03/2022