Species Account

Ledella messanensis (Jeffreys, 1870)

Nuculanoidea : Nuculanidae

Tebble name: n/a
Smith & Heppell name: Ledella acuminata (Jeffreys, 1870)

Notes on Nomenclature

Nuculanidae in place of Yoldiidae
Killeen & Turner (2009) use Nuculanidae instead of Yoldiidae in agreement with Ockelmann & Warén (1998) who explan that the distinguishing characters between these two families has never been well documented. Until the Yoldiidae can be clearly distinguished from the Nuculanidae we shall treat them under the single family Nuculanidae.

To size: To 5mm. Shell Structure: Moderately solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Slightly inequilateral, beaks just in front of midline, approximately 40% of total length from anterior end. Becomes more inequilateral with growth. Tumidity: Moderately tumid. Outline: Elongated oval to rounded trigonal with a pointed rostrum: shell height approximately 65-75% of length; antero-dorsal margin slightly convex and moderately steeply sloping; postero-dorsal margin almost straight; rostrum narrowly rounded to almost pointed; postero-ventral margin flexuous; ventral margin deeply rounded. Umbo relatively broad and prominent, projecting above the dorsal margin.

Sculpture: Younger part of shell with very fine, irregular concentric lines. The lines increase in coarseness and prominence towards the outer margins. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: Internal, amphidetic, rounded triangular seated in a well-developed resilifer. Hinge: Taxodont: Broad, robust hinge plate with 8-9 long, solid, blunt chevron-shaped teeth either side of the ligament. Periostracum: Satiny surface with the colour ranging from pale straw to olive green. Colour often darkens towards the outer margins. Colour: Bluey white, inside of shell lustrous. Additional Characters: A single coil on the right side of the body and 4-5 coils on the left side.

Distribution & Ecology

Widely distributed in the NE Atlantic and Mediterranean in depths ranging from 200 to >3000m.

Depth Range
Continental Margin Zone (200 - 500m)
Bathyal (500 - 2000m)
Abyssal Rise (2000 - 4000m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Ledella messanensis (Jeffreys, 1870). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Allen J A & Hannah F J 1989. Studies on the deep sea Protobrancha (Nuculanidae). Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History. 55: 123-171.
Jeffreys J.G. 1870. Mediterranean Mollusca. Annals and magazine of natural History. (4) 6: 65-86.
Warén A 1978. The taxonomy of some North Atlantic species referred to Ledella and Yoldiella (Bivalvia). Sarsia. 63: 213-219.
Warén A 1989. Taxonomic comments on some protobranch bivalves from the northeastern Atlantic. Sarsia. 74: 223-259.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016