Species Account

Tapes (Polititapes) aureus (Gmelin, 1791)

Veneroidea : Veneridae

Tebble name: Venerupis aurea (Gmelin)
Smith & Heppell name: Tapes aureus (Gmelin, 1791)

Notes on Nomenclature

Ruditapes, Polititapes and Venerupis are used as subgenera rather than genera. Although WoRMS and CLEMAM elevate these to generic standing, the phylogenetic tree presented by Kappner and Bieler (2006) gives very little support to the recognition of these genera.

To size: To 45mm. Shell Structure: Solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral. Beaks in front of midline. Tumidity: Tumid. Outline: Subovate, almost sub-triangular, dorsal margin long and sloping to posterior. Lunule heart-shaped, elongate, radiating ridges. Escutcheon indistinct.

Sculpture: Sculpture consisting of thin concentric ridges and very fine radial lines. Margin: Margin smooth. Ligament: Ligament extending from umbo 1/3rd the dorsal margin length. Hinge: 3 cardinals in each valve, LV central bifid and RV central and posterior bifid. No laterals. Pallial Musculature: Muscle scars roughly equal: Posterior slightly fatter than anterior. Pallial sinus just over a third of whole length of shell, rounded, but ends in a point. Periostracum: Thin, smooth and glossy. Colour: External fawn/pale yellow/dirty-white/brown coloured, and may have red-brown and/or mid-brown zigzag/blotches/lines/streaks. Internal colouration white sometimes with orange/purple/yellow spreading from umbo.

Distribution & Ecology

A shallow burrower in gravels and muds. Intertidal and sublittoral. Distributed around all coasts except for the E of Scotland and NW England.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Tapes (Polititapes) aureus (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.
Mikkelsen PM, Bieler R, Kappner I & Rawlings TA 2006. Phylogeny of Veneroidea (Mollusca: Bivalvia) based on morphology and molecules. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 148: 439-521.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016