Species Account

Tropidomya abbreviata (Forbes, 1843)

Verticordioidea : Cuspidariidae

Tebble name: Cuspidaria (Tropidomya) abbreviata (Forbes)
Smith & Heppell name: Cuspidaria abbreviata (Forbes, 1843)

To size: To 10mm. Shell Structure: Fragile, hyaline. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Equilateral, beaks more or less on the midline. Tumidity: Moderately inflated. Outline: Body of shell subovate; anterior dorsal margin slightly concave, anterior broadly rounded, ventral curved. Rostrum short, bluntly triangular, dorsal slope straight, ventral margin weakly concave corresponding to weak sulcus at junction of rostrum and body.

Sculpture: Of distantly spaced concentric undulations and very fine concentric striations on body of shell; Rostrum demarcated by a single sharp carina, otherwise mostly smooth. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: Internal, on a very shallow chondrophore lying close to the dorsal margin and supported by a large lithodesma. Hinge: Both valves with a small cardinal peg in front of the chondrophore. Lithodesma prominent. Pallial Musculature: Indistinct. Periostracum: Very thin, obscure. Colour: Greyish-white. Additional Characters: In both valves a large, flat, semi-circular ‘buttress’ lies within spout parallel to the dorsal margin.

Distribution & Ecology

Has a wide distribution along the entire Atlantic margin from the shelf edge and upper slope but also found in shallower water in sea lochs in the west of Scotland. Carnivorous.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)
Continental Margin Zone (200 - 500m)
Bathyal (500 - 2000m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Tropidomya abbreviata (Forbes, 1843). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Allen J A & Morgan R E 1981. The functional morphology of Atlantic deep water species of the families Cuspidariidae and Poromyidae (Bivalvia): an analysis of the evolution of the septibranch condition. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B. 294: 413-546.
Forbes E 1843. On the species of Neaera (Gray) inhabiting the Egean Sea XI. Proceedings of the Zoological Society London. 75.
Olabarria C. 2005. Patterns of bathymetric zonation of bivalves in the Porcupine Sea Bight and adjacent abyssal plain, NE Atlantic. Deep-Sea Research I. 52: 15-31.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016