Species Account

Myrtea spinifera (Montagu, 1803)

Lucinoidea : Lucinidae

Tebble name: Myrtea spinifera (Montagu)
Smith & Heppell name: Myrtea spinifera (Montagu, 1803)

To size: To 26mm. Shell Structure: Thin, solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks to anterior. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Ovate, posterior dorsal margin almost straight, posterior margin squared off, anterior dorsal margin slightly concave and half the length of posterior. Contour: Short, deep lunule, escutcheon long and deep. Both bordered by tubercule-like extension of sculpture.

Sculpture: Concentric ridges which continue to anterior and posterior dorsal margins as raised ‘tubercules’. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: Pale brown, reaching half way to posterior margin. Hinge: One cardinal in RV, two in LV, Single anterior and posterior lateral in both valves. Pallial Musculature: Pallial line continuous. Anterior adductor longer and narrower than posterior. Periostracum: Thin, cream. Colour: White.

Distribution & Ecology

Muddy and silty sands from the sublittoral and shelf depths.

Across the entire shelf but absent from the southern North Sea and eastern English Channel.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Myrtea spinifera (Montagu, 1803). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Allen J A 1958. On the basic form and adaptation to habitat in the Lucinacea (Eulamellibranchia). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B. 241: 421-484.
Dando P R, Southward A J, Southward E C, Terwilliger N B & Terwilliger R C 1985. Sulphur-oxidising bacteria and haemoglobin in gills of the bivalve mollusc Myrtea spinifera. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 23: 85.
Montagu G 1803. Testacea Britannica, or natural history of British shells, marine, land and the fresh-water, including the most minute: systematically arranged and embellished with figures Romsey, London. 606pp, 16pls.


  • 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: 17/05/2016