Species Account

Donacilla cornea (Poli, 1791)

Mactroidea : Mesodesmatidae

Tebble name: n/a
Smith & Heppell name: Donacilla cornea (Poli, 1795)

To size: To 24mm. Shell Structure: Thick, solid, robust. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks to anterior. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Triangular to wedge-shaped. Anterior dorsal margin shorter than posterior, which is almost straight. Smaller specimens are more wedge-shaped, becoming almost triangular as they age.

Sculpture: Fine concentric lines. Growth stages clear. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: External, dark-brown, thin half length of posterior dorsal margin and slightly in front of beaks. Internal sits on crescent-shaped chondrophore, is mid-brown and shiny and exists in old specimens. Hinge: RV two cardinals and single anterior and posterior laterals. LV one cardinal behind chondrophore, double anterior and posterior laterals. the lower posterior is thickened and could be mistaken for a cardinal tooth, but on pairing the valves the RV lateral fits in between the laterals. Pallial Musculature: fairly deep pallial sinus to beneath beaks. Periostracum: Thin, yellowy-brown. Colour: White, yellow, some with radiating rays in light brown-orange, some with patches of dark blue-purple.

Distribution & Ecology

An intertidal species with its northern limit in southern Brittany.

Depth Range

Additional Information & Related Species

Related Species

Mactroidea : Mesodesmatidae


Listed are literature citing Donacilla cornea (Poli, 1791). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Poli J X 1791. Testacea Utriusque Siciliae eorumque historia et anatome. Vol.1 Parma, Regio Typographeio. 1-74, pls 1-18.
Whiteley D A A, Owen D F & Smith D A S 1997. Massive polymorphism and natural selection in Donacilla cornea (Poli, 1791) (Bivalvia: Mesodesmatidae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 62 (4): 475-494.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016