Species Account

Lutraria magna (da Costa, 1778)

Mactroidea : Mactridae

Tebble name: Lutraria magna (da Costa)
Smith & Heppell name: Lutraria magna (da Costa, 1778)

Notes on Nomenclature

WoRMS and CLEMAM consider Lutraria magna (da Costa, 1778) as a junior synonym of Lutraria oblonga (Gmelin, 1791), however, Gmelin’s image does not match our specimens.

To size: To 128mm. Shell Structure: Thick, solid. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Inequilateral, beaks to anterior. Tumidity: Not tumid. Outline: Elliptical, posterior margin concave to give boat-shaped outline. Anterior dorsal margin short and steeply sloping, posterior dorsal margin twice the length of anterior, concave to a broadly rounded posterior margin. Lowest point on ventral margin is roughly mid-point. Contour: Large posterior and anterior gape so that the valves only meet at the hinge and roughly a third 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 cardinal behind these just in front of the ligament pit that is easily broken off. Single small laterals exist. RV two cardinals, no lateral. Pallial Musculature: Deep pallial sinus past mid-point. Pallial sinus confluent with pallial line for most of length. Periostracum: Mid-brown, flaky. Colour: White.

Distribution & Ecology

A southern species ranging into the western English Channel and Channel Islands with records of shells only in the southern Irish Sea. A deep burrower in shell gravel from the sublittoral to moderate shelf depths.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


Listed are literature citing Lutraria magna (da Costa, 1778). Reference containing the species Type Description is highlighted.

da Costa E M 1778. Historia Naturalis Testaceorum Britanniae London: Millan, White, Elmsley & Robson. 254pp, 17pls.
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.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016