Biodiversity & Conservation

Venerupis senegalensis and Mya truncata in lower shore or infralittoral muddy gravel


<i>%Venerupis senegalensis%</i> and <i>%Mya truncata%</i> in lower shore or infralittoral muddy gravel
Distribution map

SS.IMX.FaMx.VsenMtru recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats
  • UK_BAP

Marine natural heritage importance

Listed under EC Habitats Directive
UK Biodiversity Action Plan
National importance Scarce
Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1) Large shallow inlets and bays

Biotope importance

Intertidal and shallow subtidal mud and sand flats are important nursery areas for fish such as plaice, Pleuronectes platessa, as well as feeding areas for bass, Dicentrarchus labrax, dab, Limanda limanda, sole, Solea solea, and flounder, Platichthys flesus. They feed predominantly on polychaetes, immature bivalves and bivalve siphons (see review by Elliot et al., 1998). The biotope is probably an important feeding area for mobile epifauna, such as shore crabs, Carcinus maenas (Feder & Pearson, 1988). Shorebirds predate bivalves (Meire, 1993) but the biotope is probably not accessible for long enough for it to be a very important food source.


Venerupis senegalensis is a very important commercial shellfish in Spain. It is harvested from the wild and raised in aquaculture (Jara-Jara et al., 2000). There is no literature concerning its harvest in the UK. Other species in the biotope which are exploited commercially include Arenicola marina (Fowler, 1999), Cerastoderma edule (Hall & Harding, 1997), Ensis ensis (Fowler, 1999) and Mya arenaria (Emerson et al., 1990).

Additional information icon Additional information

This review can be cited as follows:

Rayment, W.J. 2001. Venerupis senegalensis and Mya truncata in lower shore or infralittoral muddy gravel. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 27/11/2015]. Available from: <>