MarLIN

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

Saddle oyster (Anomia ephippium)

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

Summary

Description

Anomia ephippium is an irregularly shaped bivalve with a thin shell, found attached to stones and to other bivalve shells. It is approximatelty circular and up to 60 mm in diameter. The right valve is lowemost and adjacent to the substratum, the left valve is uppermost. It attaches to the substratum by byssal threads though a hole in the right valve. The right valve often takes on an impression of the substratum and this is most obvious when an individual has been attached to a scallop. The edge of the left valve is often shaped to fit exactly onto the substratum. The shell is very thin and brittle, usually white with a blue or pink tinge. The left valve has irregular growth lines on its surface although these can be worn off in older individuals.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common on all coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Found from the intertidal to depths of 150 m on rocks , bivalve shells, often scallop shells and algal holdfasts.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Shell valves unequal. Left valve is convex often overlapping the right valve and has a sculpture of wavy growth lines. The right valve is flat, often taking on the topography of the substratum it is attached to, with a large hole through which the byssum passes for attachment to the substratum.
  • Left valve has three muscle scars in the concavity of the shell.
  • No hinge teeth.
  • Shell white, occasionally with blue or pink tinge.

Additional information

The four species of saddle oysters are easy to recognise as a group but it can be difficult to separate the species. Anomia ephippium is distinguished from other saddle oysters (Anomiidae) by a line of three muscle scars on the inside surface of the convex valve.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford 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. 1990. The marine fauna of the British Isles and 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. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin.

  6. Tebble, N., 1966. British Bivalve Seashells. A Handbook for Identification, 2nd ed. Edinburgh: British Museum (Natural History), Her Majesty's Stationary Office.

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. IBIS Project Data. Occurrence dataset: https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) data for Great Britain and Ireland - restricted access. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/4bsawx accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  5. Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 2018. Mollusc (marine) data for Great Britain and Ireland. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/aurwcz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  6. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.uk/home.html accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  7. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  8. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  9. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  10. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1995 to 1999. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/lo2tge accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  13. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  14. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  15. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-11-17

  16. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Molluscs (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/jos5ga accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  17. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Neal, K.J. 2004. Anomia ephippium Saddle oyster. 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 17-11-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2053

Last Updated: 14/06/2004