Species Account

Ensis directus (Conrad 1843)

Solenoidea : Pharidae

Tebble name: n/a
Smith & Heppell name: Ensis americanus (Gould in Binney, 1870) in Binney, 1870)

To size: To 150mm. Shell Structure: Brittle. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks at the anterior end. Outline: Ensiform, broad, dorsal and ventral margins distinctly curved; anterior subtruncate; posterior obliquely truncate.

Sculpture: Of co-marginal lines and growth stops. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: External, a long narrow brown/black band behind the beaks. Hinge: LV with two rather bulbous cardinals and two laminar posterior laterals, one lying above the other; RV with a single laminar cardinal and a single posterior lateral. Pallial Musculature: Pallial sinus S-shaped, separation of posterior adductor scar and pallial sinus less than length of adductor scar. Anterior adductor scar slightly exceeding length of ligament; pedal retractor muscle adjacent to end of ligament. Periostracum: Green to dark brown anteriorly. Colour: Dirty white to gray with some cream mottling, internally some tinged buff/mauve.

Distribution & Ecology

A burrower in sand. From low in the intertidal to nearshore shelf depths. An alien species first reported from the Netherlands in 1984 and from the UK in 1989. Now spreading over the southeast coast of England.<http://www.jncc.gov.uk/page-1716>. Discovered in Milford Haven in 2002 and again further west at Dale in 2003.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Ensis directus (Conrad 1843). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Conrad T A 1843. Descriptions of nineteen species of Tertiary fossils of Virginia and North Carolina. Proceedings of the Academy Science Philadelphia. I (33): 325.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016