Species Account

Modiolus barbatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Mytiloidea : Mytilidae

Tebble name: Modiolus barbatus (Linnaeus)
Smith & Heppell name: Modiolus barbatus (L., 1758)

To size: To 65mm. Shell Structure: Thin but not fragile. Equivalve: Equivalve. Equilateral: Strongly inequilateral, beaks very close to the anterior margin. Tumidity: A little inflated, umbos low. Outline: Modioliform, wedge shaped; ligament margin straight sloping steeply and distinctly angled with rather straight posterior dorsal margin; posterior rounded; ventral straight; anterior slightly curved but almost indistinct from ventral.

Sculpture: Smooth with comarginal lines and growth stops. Margin: Smooth. Ligament: Deeply sunken extending for about 2/3 of the ligament margin. Hinge: Hinge plate narrow, smooth. Pallial Musculature: Obscure. Periostracum: Pale brown-brown; of densely spaced, long lamellar bristles these serrated on one side. Colour: Reddish brown to yellow brown. Internal lustrous, white often tinged purple brown.

Distribution & Ecology

A southern species extending into the English Channel, Celtic and Irish Seas and west of Ireland. Records in the North Sea are doubtful. Lives in the low intertidal and sublittoral but also recorded offshore.

Depth Range
Continental Shelf (to 200m)

Additional Information & Related Species


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

Linnaeus C 1758. Systema Naturae. Editio decima. 1. Regnum Animale Holmiae, Laurentii Salvii. 824pp.
Mladineo I, Peharda M, Orhanović S, Bolotin J, Pavela-Vrančić M & Treursić B 2007. The reproductive cycle, condition index and biochemical composition of the horse-bearded mussel Modiolus barbatus. Journal Helgoland Marine Research. 61 (3): 183-192.


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Record last modified: 22/03/2016