Species Account

Lutraria lutraria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Mactroidea : Mactridae

Tebble name: Lutraria lutraria (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Lutraria lutraria (L., 1758)

To size: To 127mm. Shell Structure: Thin, solid, brittle. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks to anterior. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Broadly ovate, anterior dorsal margin equal to two thirds of the posterior dorsal margin. Anterior and posterior margins broadly curved, dorsal margin dips slightly to beak. Lowest point of ventral margin is roughly mid-point. Contour: Large posterior and anterior gape so that the valves only meet at the hinge and a small region of the ventral margin.

Sculpture: Concentric lines and ridges. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: External small, dark brown and deep. Internal part on a large spoon-shaped chondrophore, the top is just under the beaks and the bottom angled to the bottom left of the valve. Hinge: LV two cardinals in inverted v-shape anterior to ligament pit and a single thin lateral behind these just in front of the ligament pit that is easily broken off. RV two straight cardinals, diverging 80°-90° to the anterior and one single posterior lateral. Pallial Musculature: Deep pallial sinus to beaks. Pallal sinus not confluent with pallial line at all and ends in a narrow v. Periostracum: Thin, flakey olive-brown. Colour: White.

Distribution & Ecology

Distributed widely from low in the intertidal to mid shelf depths. A deep burrower in sand, sandy mud and gravel.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Lutraria lutraria (Linnaeus, 1758). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

Holme N.A. 1959. The British Species of Lutraria (Lamellibranchia), with a description of L. angustior Philippi. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 38: 557-568.
Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.
Smriglio C, Mariottini P & Ciommei C 1994. Molluschi del mar Tirreno centrale, contributo IX: segnalazione di un consistente spiaggiamento di Lutraria lutraria (Linne, 1758). Bollettino Malacologico. 30 (5-9): 189-194.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016