Species Account

Nucula sulcata Bronn, 1831

Nuculoidea : Nuculidae

Tebble name: Nucula sulcata Bronn
Smith & Heppell name: Nucula sulcata Bronn, 1831

To size: To 20mm. Shell Structure: Solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, the beaks lie 28-30% of dorsal margin length from posterior. Tumidity: Moderately inflated. Outline: Ovate triangular: height of shell approximately 80% of length; antero-dorsal margin long, gently curved and sloping; postero-dorsal margin almost straight, moderately steeply sloping with angled junction at posterior margin; anterior, posterior and ventral margins all moderately rounded; escutcheon elongate heart-shaped, projecting (more so in smaller individuals), with poorly defined edges; lunule long, lanceolate with poorly defined edges, barely raised with transverse corrugations.

Sculpture: Decussate with well defined, closely spaced, raised concentric lines, and very slightly weaker, numerous, very fine, closely-spaced, radial riblets. Margin: Inner margin crenulate in correspondence to radial riblets. Ligament: Internal, opisthodetic, with the ligament seated in a well-developed, elongate triangular resilifer. A thin, barely visible, external ligament lies anterior to the beaks. Hinge: Taxodont: Broad and continuous hinge plate with a well-developed resilifer. Teeth long and pointed, usually 12-14 posterior and 24-29 anterior. A peg-like tooth lies to the posterior of the resilifer. Pallial Musculature: Pallial line continuous with no pallial sinus. Adductor muscle scars oval, more or less equal in size and indistinct. Periostracum: Relatively thick, matt surface, ranging from grey green or olive to dark brown, almost black, with a fine but distinct mesh-like structure. Shells often coated with deposits of manganese and hardened mud, particularly over the dorsal part of the shell. Umbos often eroded. Colour: White. Inside of shell nacreous.

Distribution & Ecology

Mostly off western and northern coasts. Absent from the English Channel and most of the North Sea.
North-east Atlantic, Mediterranean, west Africa. Lives in mud and silt, or sandy/gravel substrates with a high muddy element, mostly in depths ranging from 40-200m.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Nucula sulcata Bronn, 1831. Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Allen J A 1954. A comparative study of the British species of Nucula and Nuculana. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 33: 457-472.
Bronn H G 1831. Italiens Tertiär-Gebilde und deren organische Einschlüsse Heidelberg. 176pp, 1pl.


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Record last modified: 17/05/2016