Species Account

Tapes (Polititapes) rhomboides (Pennant, 1777)

Veneroidea : Veneridae

Tebble name: Venerupis rhomboides (Pennant)
Smith & Heppell name: Tapes rhomboides (Pennant, 1777)

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 65mm. Shell Structure: Robust, thick shelled. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral. Beaks in front of midline. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Rhomboidal to sub-ovate, dorsal margin long, gently sloping, almost angular. Lunule heart-shaped, clearly defined. A darker colour than rest of shell and with radiating ridges. Escutcheon poorly defined.

Sculpture: Sculpture consisting of thin concentric ridges and grooves. Margin: Margin smooth. Ligament: Ligament extending from umbo halfway to posterior. Hinge: 3 cardinals in each valve, LV centre bifid, anterior becoming bifid, but need to look closely and RV centre and posterior bifid. No laterals. Pallial Musculature: Muscle scars roughly equal: Posterior slightly fatter than anterior. Pallial sinus extends 1/3rd of way to posterior, rounded. Periostracum: Thin, smooth, satin sheen. Colour: External cream/yellow/pink-brown/pink-cream coloured, but with reddish brown/mid-brown rays/blotches/zigzags. Sometimes has no pattern. Internal colouration white sometimes with pink/orange spreading from umbo.

Distribution & Ecology

Widely distributed in all areas living from low in the intertidal to moderate shelf depths. A burrower into gravel/shell-gravel/sandy gravel/muddy gravel/coarse sand.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Tapes (Polititapes) rhomboides (Pennant, 1777). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Ansell A 1961. The functional morphology of the British species of Veneracea (Eulamellibranchia). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 41: 489-517 .
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.
Pennant T 1777. British Zoology vol.IV. Crustacea, Mollusca, Testacea London, B. White. 154pp, 93pls.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016