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

Smooth Artemis (Dosinia lupinus)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.
Only coastal and marine records shown



Dosinia lupinus is a bivalve with a solid shell that is almost circular in outline, moderately concave and grows to a maximum of about 4 cm in diameter. Both valves are similar in shape and colour (equivalve).The prominent beak at the hinge points to the right and is slightly anterior to the mid line (inequilateral). The shell is off-white, fawn or light brown in colour with a sculpture of fine concentric lines on the outside. It is glossy white on the inside and the line joining the two adductor muscle scars (pallial line) has a deep U-shaped indentation (pallial sinus).

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widely distributed around British coasts, except in the south east, and found around Irish coasts.

Global distribution

Found from Iceland south to the Mediterranean, the Canary Isles and west Africa.


Dosinia lupinus occurs on shores of varying wave exposure where it burrows deeply into soft sediments that include fine or coarse sand, sand and mud mixtures or shell gravel. It is found on the lower shore and sublittorally to a depth of about 120 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Solid, almost circular bivalve up to 4 cm in diameter.
  • Fine concentric ridges.
  • Off-white, fawn or brown in colour.
  • Inner surface white and glossy.
  • Inner margins of shell smooth.
  • 3 small teeth on the inner surface of each shell just below the hinge.
  • The line joining the two adductor muscle scars has a marked U-shaped indentation.

Additional information

Dosinia lupinus is very similar to the rayed Artemis, Dosinia exoleta. They can be distinguished by the fine detail of the shell around the hinge area (Hayward et al., 1996).

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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

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

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

  4. 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.]

  5. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from:  Accessed 01 April 2017

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


This review can be cited as:

Avant, P. 2006. Dosinia lupinus Smooth Artemis. 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. [cited 20-08-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 02/11/2006