Species Account

Parvicardium exiguum (Gmelin, 1791)

Cardioidea : Cardiidae

Tebble name: Parvicardium exiguum (Gmelin)
Smith & Heppell name: Parvicardium exiguum (Gmelin, 1791)

To size: To 20mm. Shell Structure: Thick shelled. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks distinctly in front of the midline. Tumidity: Tumid. Outline: Sub quadrate; anterior dorsal margin very short sloping and a little excavated; posterior dorsal margin short. Posterior margin long, almost straight; ventral margin gently curved, anterior roundly angled. Contour: Posterior angle distinct, posterior area broad and flattened. Lunule oval, smooth.

Sculpture: 20-22 radial ribs, angular in profile and with regularly spaced incisions on their margins; interspaces narrower than riblets. Ribs with large widely spaced blunt nodules these persisting on anterior but frequently eroded on median and posterior areas. Juveniles: Distinctly inequilateral, umbonal keel weak, beak small projecting. Posterior riblets bearing prominent spiny scales, other riblets initially smooth but then bearing widely spaced blunt nodules these gradually appearing on all ribs by when the posterior spines are largely worn away to give the adult appearance. Margin: Crenulated by interlocking ribs and interspaces. Furrows not extending into the umbonal cavity except in juveniles below 5mm. Ligament: Prominent, on short nymph. Hinge: Weak, RV with 2 anterior laterals, 1 posterior lateral, 2 cardinals. LV with single anterior and posterior laterals and 2 cardinals. Pallial Musculature: Obscure. Periostracum: Persistent often as a fringe on the ribs. Colour: Off-white some with patches tinged brown.

Distribution & Ecology

A shallow burrower into sand, muddy sand and mud from low in the intertidal to shallow shelf depths. May extend into estuaries. Widely distributed.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Parvicardium exiguum (Gmelin, 1791). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Gmelin J F 1791. Carli Linnaei systema Naturae per regna tria naturae. Editio decimatertia, aucta, reformata, Vermes Testacea 1 (6). Lipsiae. 3021-3910.
Jelnes J.E., Høpner Petersen G. & Russell P.J.C. 1971. Isozyme taxonomy applied on four species of Cardium from Danish and British waters with a short description of the distribution of the species. (Bivalvia). Ophelia. 9: 15-19.
Van Aartsen JJ & Goud J 2000. European marine mollusca: notes on less well-known species. XV. Notes on Lusitanian species of Parvicardium Monterosato, 1884, and Afrocardium richardi (Audouin, 1826) (Bivalvia: Heterodonta: Cardiidae. Basteria. 64: 171-186.


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Record last modified: 17/05/2016