Species Account

Nucula hanleyi Winckworth, 1931

Nuculoidea : Nuculidae

Tebble name: Nucula hanleyi Winckworth
Smith & Heppell name: Nucula hanleyi Winckworth, 1931

To size: To 18mm. Shell Structure: Solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Conspicuously inequilateral, the beaks lie approximately 15% of dorsal margin length from posterior. Tumidity: Slightly compressed. Outline: Ovate triangular: height of shell approximately 80% of length; antero-dorsal margin very long, gently curved and sloping; postero-dorsal margin almost straight, steeply sloping with angled junction at posterior margin; anterior and ventral margins moderately rounded; escutcheon elongate heart-shaped, slightly projecting, generally with defined edges in older individuals; lunule long, lanceolate with poorly defined edges, barely raised.

Sculpture: Primary sculpture of numerous very fine, closely-spaced, radial riblets, most visible near the outer margin. Some concentric lines and growth stops. Older individuals may have a slightly decussate surface near the outer margin. Margin: Inner margin crenulate in correspondence to riblets. Ligament: Internal, opisthodetic, with the elongate pyriform ligament seated in a well-developed resilifer. A thin, barely visible, external ligament lies anterior to the beaks. Hinge: Taxodont: Broad and continuous hinge plate with a well-developed resilifer. Teeth long and pointed, usually 12-14 posterior and 22-27 anterior. The teeth extend across the top of the resilifer. Pallial Musculature: Pallial line continuous with no pallial sinus. Adductor muscle scars oval, more or less equal in size and indistinct. Periostracum: Smooth, silky to matt surface, grey-green to olive coloured, sometimes darker brown, very frequently with orange or reddish coloured rays, purple grey lines or narrow bands. Darker concentric bands may be present. Shells sometimes speckled with deposits of manganese around the posterior end. Colour: White. Inside of shell nacreous.

Distribution & Ecology

South-west, Irish Sea to south-west Scotland, English Channel, southern North Sea. North-east Atlantic from the Mediterranean to western Britain in 10-50m depth. Lives in relatively clean substrates, sand, gravel, shell gravel, rarely in muddier habitats.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Nucula hanleyi Winckworth, 1931. Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Allen J A 1954. A comparative study of the British species of Nucula and Nuculana. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 33: 457-472.
Gofas S & Salas C 1996. Small Nuculidae (Bivalvia) with functional primary hinge in the adults. Journal of Conchology. 35: 427-435.
Winckworth R 1931. On Nucula nitida. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London. 20: 280-281.


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Record last modified: 15/01/2014