MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

A bivalve mollusc (Astarte sulcata)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Researched bySusie Ballerstedt Refereed byAdmin
Authority(da Costa, 1778)
Other common names- Synonyms-

Summary

Description

Astarte sulcata has a thick, broadly oval, equivalve shell up to 3 cm long. It is white or pink with a thick, mid to dark brown periostracum, and is often encrusted and stained black around its prominent umbones. The shell has about 20 bold concentric ridges. There is a distinct and deep heart-shaped depression dorsally anterior to the beak (lunule) and a deep elongate depression dorsally posterior to the beak (escutcheon), both are split longitudinally by the hinge line. The adductor scars and pallial line are clear. The inner shell margin is crenulate.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded at sites in Shetland and Orkney, the Northumberland coast south to Druridge Bay; the Llyn Peninsula and the Irish Sea, south Isle of Man and the west coast of Scotland. Also recorded from Torr Head to Carlingford Lough in Ireland.

Global distribution

Found from southern Norway, south to north west Africa and the Mediterranean.

Habitat

Found sublittorally in muddy sands to gravels from 5 m to considerable depths.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Shell broadly oval.
  • White or pink shell with thick, brown periostracum.
  • Up to 3 cm long.
  • Distinct and deep heart-shaped depression dorsally anterior to the beak (lunule).
  • Distinct and deep elongate depression dorsally posterior to the beak (escutcheon).
  • Left valve has 2 prominent cardinal teeth below the umbone.
  • Right valve bears a thick anterior cardinal tooth and a posteriorly slender tooth.
  • Approximately 20 bold, concentric ridges on valves.
  • Inner margin of shell crenulate.

Additional information

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Listed by

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Further information sources

Search on:

NBN WoRMS

Bibliography

  1. Bruce, J.R., Colman, J.S. & Jones, N.S., 1963. Marine fauna of the Isle of Man. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  2. Foster-Smith, J. (ed.), 2000. The marine fauna and flora of the Cullercoats District. Marine species records for the North East Coast of England. Sunderland: Penshaw Press, for the Dove Marine Laboratory, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  6. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  7. Mackie, A.S.Y., Oliver, P.G. & Rees, E.I.S., 1995. Benthic biodiversity in the southern Irish Sea. Studies in Marine Biodiversity and Systematics from the National Museum of Wales. BIOMOR Reports, no. 1.

  8. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  9. Saleuddin, A.S.M., 1964. The gonads and reproductive cycle of Astarte sulcata (Da Costa) and sexuality of A. elliptica (Brown). Proceedings of the Malacological Society of London, 36, 141-148.

  10. Seaward, D.R., 1982. Sea area atlas of the marine molluscs of Britain and Ireland. Peterborough: Nature Conservancy Council.

  11. Seaward, D.R., 1990. Distribution of marine molluscs of north west Europe. Peterborough: Nature Conservancy Council.

  12. Tebble, N., 1976. British Bivalve Seashells. A Handbook for Identification, 2nd ed. Edinburgh: British Museum (Natural History), Her Majesty's Stationary Office.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Ballerstedt, S. 2008. Astarte sulcata A bivalve mollusc. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1742

Last Updated: 17/04/2008