Species Account

Limaria hians (Gmelin, 1791)

Limoidea : Limidae

Tebble name: Lima hians (Gmelin)
Smith & Heppell name: Limaria hians (Gmelin, 1791)

To size: To 30mm. Shell Structure: Thin, robust. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral. Tumidity: Valves rather flat. Outline: Obliquely oval, extended anterio-laterally; posterior curved; anterior almost straight. Ears small, approximately equal, posterior ear projecting, anterior with a small byssal notch below. Dorsal margin straight. Dorsal area wide. In adults both anterior and posterior margins gaping widely, juveniles (less than 10mm) not gaping.

Sculpture: Up to around 50 radiating riblets and raised striae, of these about the median 30 most prominent and creating marginal indentations. Sculpture less prominent in juveniles, in very small shells (less than 5 mm) only a few anterior ventral raised striae are present. Ligament: In a large triangular resilifer on the cardinal area. Hinge: Hinge plate on either side of resilifer smooth. Pallial Musculature: Mostly obscure. Periostracum: Thin, obscure. Colour: Greyish white to dirty white.

Distribution & Ecology

Distributed along the entire western and south-western coastline from the sublittoral to moderate shelf depths. May build a nest of debris and byssus threads amongst stones or Laminaria holdfasts often where currents are high.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Limaria hians (Gmelin, 1791). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Gmelin J F 1791. Carli Linnaei systema Naturae per regna tria naturae. Editio decimatertia, aucta, reformata, Vermes Testacea 1 (6). Lipsiae. 3021-3910.
Hall-Spencer J M & Moore P G 2000. Limaria hians (Mollusca: Limacea): a neglected reef-forming keystone species. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. 10 (4): 267-277.


  • 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