Banded wedge shell (Donax vittatus)
|Researched by||Caroline Farrell||Refereed by||Admin|
|Authority||(da Costa, 1778)|
|Other common names||-||Synonyms||-|
Recorded distribution in Britain and IrelandCommon on all British and Irish coasts, although records are sparse for the north-west of England and much of Ireland and Scotland.
HabitatOccurs intertidally, from mid-shore to depths of around 20 m, burrowing in sandy sediments. It is often abundant on moderately exposed sandy shores and bays.
- Slender wedge shaped shell.
- Umbones posterior of the midline.
- Two shells eqivalve; anterior side broadly rounded, posterior side more steeply rounded.
- Ventral margin crenulate on its inner edge.
- Each valve has two cardinal teeth.
- Right valve has one anterior and two posterior lateral teeth.
- Left valve has single, small anterior and posterior lateral teeth.
- Outer shell surfaces with numerous, fine concentric ridges and grooves, and fine lines radiating from the umbones.
- White, yellowish, light brown or purple, often lighter round the umbones, with pale radiating rays and often with pigmented bands along growth lines.
- Inner surface smooth, white with purple or yellow areas.
- Pallial sinus broadly oval, extending to the midline of the shell.
Additional informationDonax variegatus occurs in similar habitats to Donax vittatus around the south and south-west coasts of Britain but is more regularly oval than Donax vittatus and is distinguished principally by the marginal crenulations which are much finer and feel smooth to the touch. Donax vittatus lives just under the surface of the sediment and is often dislodged by rough seas but the presence of a large, powerful foot enables it to reburrow as soon as disturbance is over and so reduce the dangers of desiccation and predation. If growth is rapid, Donax vittatus can live for two to three years but where growth is slow it may live for up to seven years (Fish & Fish, 1996).
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Last Updated: 17/04/2008