A bivalve mollusc (Lucinella divaricata)

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



Lucinella divaricata is a small bivalve, growing up to 1 cm in diameter. The shell often has oblique, wavy striations running across fine concentric grooves. The right valve has one cardinal tooth and single anterior and posterior lateral teeth. The left has two cardinals and two anterior and two posterior laterals. The outer surface of the shell is dirty-white to yellowish-white in colour.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Recorded at Bembridge and St Helens on the Isle of Wight.

Global distribution



Found in muddy sand and gravel on the lower shore and into the sublittoral.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • Oblique, wavy striations across fine concentric grooves.
  • Right valve with one cardinal tooth, and single anterior and posterior lateral teeth.
  • Left valve with two cardinal teeth, and two anterior and two posterior lateral teeth.

Additional information

Lucinella divaricata is easily confused with Lucinoma borealis but the cardinal teeth are divided into two by a cleft or notch (bifid) in Lucinoma borealis.

Listed by

- none -


  1. Collins, K.J., Herbert, R.J.H. & Mallinson, J.J., 1990. Marine flora and fauna of Bembridge and St. Helen's Isle of Wight. Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society, 9, 41-85.

  2. 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.

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

  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. Sanderson, W.G., 1996. Rare benthic marine flora and fauna in Great Britain: the development of criteria for assessment. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough. JNCC Report, no. 240.


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

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

  3. OBIS (Ocean Biodiversity Information System),  2024. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2024-02-24


This review can be cited as:

Farrell, C. 2006. Lucinella divaricata A bivalve mollusc. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 24-02-2024]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2159

Last Updated: 02/11/2006