Species Account

Nucula nitidosa Winckworth, 1930

Nuculoidea : Nuculidae

Tebble name: Nucula turgida Leckenby & Marshall
Smith & Heppell name: Nucula nitidosa Winckworth, 1930

To size: To 12mm. Shell Structure: Solid but slightly thin. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, the beaks lie approximately 25-30% of dorsal margin length from posterior. Tumidity: Moderately tumid. Outline: Rounded triangular: height of shell approximately 80% of length; antero-dorsal margin long, slightly rounded, sloping with a slightly angled junction; postero-dorsal margin slightly concave to almost straight, steeply sloping with prominent angled junction at posterior margin; anterior and posterior margins narrowly rounded; ventral margin moderately rounded; escutcheon elongate heart-shaped, slightly projecting, with scarcely defined edges; lunule long, lanceolate with poorly defined edges.

Sculpture: Primary sculpture of numerous very fine, closely-spaced, radial riblets which are visible through much of the shell surface. Some comarginal lines and growth stops. Older individuals have a slightly decussate surface near the outer margin. Riblets visible on inside of shell. Margin: Inner margin crenulate in correspondence to riblets. Ligament: Internal, opisthodetic, with the ‘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 11-14 posterior and 20-30 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: Thin, smooth, glossy surface, grey-green to olive coloured, often with purple grey lines or narrow bands, very occasionally with orange or purple-grey coloured rays. Colour: White to bluey grey, slightly nacreous. Inside of shell nacreous.

Distribution & Ecology

Occurs all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.
North-east Atlantic, Mediterranean. Lives in mud and sands, occasionally gravels but always with a silty or sandy element. Lives from the near sub-tidal to the outer continental shelf (180-200m depth).

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Nucula nitidosa Winckworth, 1930. 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 1930. Notes on nomenclature 5. Some new names for British marine bivalves. Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London. 19: 14-15.


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Record last modified: 17/05/2016