Species Account

Sphenia binghami Turton, 1822

Myoidea : Myidae

Tebble name: Sphenia binghami Turton
Smith & Heppell name: Sphenia binghami Turton, 1822

To size: To 15mm. Shell Structure: Rather thin, brittle. Equivalve: Inequivalve, RV slightly more convex than LV. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks in the anterior 1/2. Outline: Irregular, roughly rectangular, longer than high; anterior typically sloping steeply to rounded anterior ventral margin; ventral straight or sinuous; posterior dorsal slope long, typically subparallel with ventral but also variously sloping to a broad or narrow subtruncate posterior. Posterior area defined by an angular ridge running from the umbo to the posterior ventral junction.

Sculpture: Of co-marginal lines and irregular undulations. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: Internal on a small, shallow, projecting, roundly triangular chondrophore in LV, this extending posteriorly as a narrow shelf; RV with corresponding depression under the umbo. Hinge: Hinge without teeth. Pallial Musculature: Anterior adductor scar long, posterior scar round; pallial line wide, pallial sinus broad reaching the midline but lower arm terminating far from the posterior edge of the shell. Periostracum: Persistent, straw to olive brown in colour. Colour: Shell white.

Distribution & Ecology

A nestling species in vacated borings of other bivalves, in kelp holdfasts and large numbers have been found by us in empty tubes of sand-mason worms. From low in the intertidal, sublittoral and nearshore shelf. Mostly from the south and west, rare in the North Sea.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Juvenile Description

Juvenile shells are subrectangular with an oblique anterior and truncate posterior; the posterior angle is prominent. They resemble small Hiatella arctica but lack the second radial ridge and spines.

Related Species


Listed are literature citing Sphenia binghami Turton, 1822. Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Turton W 1822. Conchylia dithyra Insularum britannicarum. The bivalve shells of the British Islands London. 279pp, 20pls.
Yonge C M 1951. Observations on Sphenia binghami Turton. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 30: 387-392.


  • Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland
    Provides resources for understanding, identifying, recording, and conserving molluscs
    Check List of European Marine Mollusca
  • MarLIN
    The Marine Life Information Network for Britain and Ireland (MarLIN) provides information for marine environmental management, protection and education. It is a centre of excellence in spatially based and time-series marine biological information and supports good stewardship in the marine environment.
  • NBN Gateway
    National Biodiversity Network's Gateway. Use it to explore UK biodiversity data, as contributed by participating data providers.
  • BivAToL
  • MarBEF
  • Malacological Society
  • Unitas Malacologica
  • Census of Marine Life
  • MarBEF
    MarBEF, a network of excellence funded by the European Union and consisting of 94 European marine institutes, is a platform to integrate and disseminate knowledge and expertise on marine biodiversity, with links to researchers, industry, stakeholders and the general public.

Record last modified: 22/03/2016