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

Banded venus (Clausinella fasciata)

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



Clausinella fasciata is a solid, flat, sub-triangular shell growing up to 2.5 cm long. The outer surface colour is variable, red, pink, purple, yellow or brown but typically with radiating bands and streaks of colour on a paler background. There may be up to 15 broad concentric ridges in older individuals. The margin of the shell may be finely ridged (crenulate). The inner surfaces of the shell are dull white in colour.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Common around all coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution



Found in coarse gravels, usually with sand or shell fragments, from the sublittoral down to depths of about 100 m.

Depth range


Identifying features

  • A small, solid, compressed sub-triangular shell with prominent umbones.
  • Colour variable, white to yellow, brown, pink or purple, typically with bands or streaks of colour on a paler background.
  • Inner surface dull white or tinged purple.
  • Up to 15 broad, bold, concentric ridges with fine concentric striations between them.
  • Inner shell margin finely crenulate.
  • Pallial sinus small and U-shaped.
  • Three cardinal teeth in each valve.

Additional information

Clausinella fasciata resembles the striped venus, Chamelea gallina, but Chamelea gallina has finer concentric ridges on the shell.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

Search on:


  1. Allen, J.A. 1962. The fauna of the Clyde Sea area. Mollusca. Millport: Scottish Marine Biological Association.

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

  3. Fish, J.D. & Fish, S., 1996. A student's guide to the seashore. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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

  8. 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.]

  9. Laverack, M.S. & Blackler, D.M., 1974. Fauna & Flora of St. Andrews Bay. Scottish Academic Press (Edinburgh & London).

  10. MBA (Marine Biological Association), 1957. Plymouth Marine Fauna. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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:

Farrell, C. 2008. Clausinella fasciata Banded venus. 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 22-09-2018]. Available from:

Last Updated: 13/05/2008