Species Account

Bathyarca philippiana (Nyst, 1848)

Arcoidea : Arcidae

Tebble name: n/a
Smith & Heppell name: Bathyarca philippiana (Nyst, 1848)

To size: To 10mm. Shell Structure: Thin but not fragile, opaque. Equivalve: Slightly inequivalve, left valve slightly larger, right valve sitting inside left valve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks in front of midline at about 1/3 the length of the dorsal margin from the anterior. Tumidity: A little tumid. Outline: Oblong, posteriorly expanded, umbos prominent; dorsal margin long, straight; posterior broadly rounded, ventral straight or gently curved mostly with a slight byssus indentation; anterior much narrower than posterior rounded. Contour: Dorsal area narrow, flat; posterior angle rounded; median area with a shallow sinus most distinct in smaller shells.

Sculpture: Primarily radial of numerous fine riblets, these interrupted by growth stops. Everywhere with short thin erect scales arising from the riblets, these strongest over posterior area and persisent mostly around the margins; when worn appears weakly nodulose. Margin: Inner margin of larger left valve weakly crenulate adjacent to a submarginal groove; right valve smooth. Ligament: Duplivincular, chevrons developing from the posterior of the dorsal area. Hinge: Taxodont, strong teeth in two series set on a gently curved hinge plate; no or little edentulous space between series; anterior set with up to 8 teeth, posterior set up to 14; all set slightly oblique. Pallial Musculature: Anterior adductor scar about 2/3 size of posterior. Periostracum: Of fragile straw coloured bristles arranged in radial rows especially over the posterior and anterior slopes, forming comarginal frills medially; posterior slope bristles much longer than those elsewhere. Colour: White.

Distribution & Ecology

Attached by a narrow, stalked byssus to small stones, gravel and coral debris. Found at the shelf edge and upper slope. Distributed along the entire western seaboard.

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

Additional Information & Related Species

Key Features & Similar Species

Differs from B. pectunculoides in being more elongate, having a more distinct byssal sulcus and carrying scales on the riblets. Bathyarca glacialis has a convex ventral margin, weaker sculpture and indistinct byssal sulcus and sinus.

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Bathyarca philippiana (Nyst, 1848). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Nyst P H J 1848. Tableau synoptique et synonymique des espèces vivantes et fossiles de la familie des Arcacées. pt. 1 Genre Arca. Mémoires de l'Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique. 22: 1-79.
Oliver G & Allen J A 1980. The Functional and Adaptive Morphology of the Deep-Sea Species of the Arcacea (Mollusca: Bivalvia) from the Atlantic. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B. 291: 45-76.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016