Species Account

Cuspidaria cuspidata (Olivi, 1792)

Verticordioidea : Cuspidariidae

Tebble name: Cuspidaria cuspidata (Olivi)
Smith & Heppell name: Cuspidaria cuspidata (Olivi, 1792)

To size: To 19mm. Shell Structure: Robust. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Slightly inequilateral, beaks slightly in front of midline. Tumidity: Inflated. Outline: Body of shell deep, as high as long; anterior sloping steeply, almost straight; ventral curved. Rostrum short approximately equal to length of body, narrowly triangular, dorsal slope straight, ventral margin distinctly concave corresponding to prominent sulcus at junction of rostrum and body.

Sculpture: Of fine concentric lines and growth stops, becoming coarser on rostrum. Margin: Inner margin smooth. Ligament: Internal, on a narrow, posteriorly projecting, chondrophore. Hinge: Cardinal teeth absent; RV with a prominent posterior flange like lateral and corresponding marginal projection in LV. Pallial Musculature: Pallial sinus shallow. Periostracum: Often persistent, greyish to rusty brown. Colour: Dirty white.

Distribution & Ecology

Found in muddy sediments from relatively shallow shelf depths to the upper slope. Allen & Morgan (1981) give a bathymetric range of 20-1850m. This is the most common cuspidariid to be found on the shelf. The deep water records may be suspect.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)
Continental Margin Zone (200 - 500m)
Bathyal (500 - 2000m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Cuspidaria cuspidata (Olivi, 1792). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Allen J A & Morgan R E 1981. The functional morphology of Atlantic deep water species of the families Cuspidariidae and Poromyidae (Bivalvia): an analysis of the evolution of the septibranch condition. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B. 294: 413-546.
Olivi G 1792. Zoologia Adriatica, ossia catalogo ragionato degli animali del golfo e della lagune di Venezia Bassano, Venecia. 334pp, 9pls.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016