Species Account

Donax (Capsella) variegata (Gmelin, 1791)

Tellinoidea : Donacidae

Tebble name: Donax variegatus (Gmelin)
Smith & Heppell name: Donax variegatus (Gmelin, 1791)

To size: To 39mm. Shell Structure: Thin, solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks behind midline. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Narrowly ovate/ elongate, wedge-shaped, posterior region half the length of the anterior region. Posterior margin more narrowly rounded than anterior.

Sculpture: Concentric growth lines and fine lines. Margin: Finely serrated but smooth to the touch. Ligament: Small, but prominent dark brown arched band. Hinge: Two cardinals in each valve. In LV anterior bifid, posterior weak. In RV posterior bifid anterior short. In RV two posterior and one anterior lateral, in LV one anterior and one posterior lateral; both rather weak. Pallial Musculature: Pallial sinus deep extends just past the midline. It is confluent with the pallial line for some of its length. Cruciform muscle scars not visible. Periostracum: Thin, satin. Colour: White/pale yellow/olive green sometimes with pale cream splotches and one radial ray of cream/orange/reddish-brown.

Distribution & Ecology

Many old records from localities across the SW of England and SW Ireland but records of living individuals over the last 50 years are very few. In wave action sands (surf zone).

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species

Related Species

Tellinoidea : Donacidae


Listed are literature citing Donax (Capsella) variegata (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.
Salas-Casanova C. 1987. The Donacidae of the Bay of Malaga (Spain). Taxonomy. Basteria. 51: 33-50.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016