Species Account

Mya arenaria Linnaeus, 1758

Myoidea : Myidae

Tebble name: Mya arenaria Linnaeus
Smith & Heppell name: Mya arenaria L.,1758

To size: To 150mm. Shell Structure: Solid. Equivalve: Inequivalve, RV slightly more convex than LV. Equilateral: Subequilateral beaks at or just in front of the midline. Outline: Subelliptical, elongate; anterior broadly rounded, ventral rather straight; posterior ventral and posterior dorsal tapering to a narrowly rounded almost pointed posterior.

Sculpture: Of co-marginal lines and low ridges with scattered faint radial lines. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: Primarily internal on a large spoon shaped projecting chondrophore in LV and corresponding concealed resilifer beneath the umbo in RV. Small external part, concealed and attached to posterior part of chondrophore. Hinge: Hinge without teeth. Pallial Musculature: Pallial sinus deep extending to beneath the beaks, lower arm not confuent with pallial line. Periostracum: Periostracum thin, straw coloured. Colour: Shell white.

Distribution & Ecology

A deep burrower in sand, sandy mud and muddy gravel in estuaries and sheltered shores from low in the intertidal and nearshore to about 50m. Widespread.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Mya arenaria Linnaeus, 1758. Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.
Strasser M. 1999. Mya arenaria—an ancient invader of the North Sea coast. Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen. 52: 309–324.
Vermeij GJ 2005. From Europe to America: Pliocene to Recent trans-Atlantic expansion of cold-water North Atlantic molluscs. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences. 272(1580): 2545–2550.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016