Ensis ensis

(Linné, 1758)

Description (shell):
Shell thin and brittle, dorsal and ventral margins distinctly and symmetrically curved about midline of shell; anterior margin rounded. Sculpture of fine lines following growth stages. Left valve with two, projecting peg-like cardinal teeth, and two elongate, posterior laterals, situated one above the other; right valve with one short cardinal and a single, elongate posterior lateral. Adductor scars and pallial line clear; anterior adductor elongate, dorsal, extending to below ligament, posterior small and round, well-spaced from pallial sinus (E. ensis-drawing).

Up to 130 mm long.

Dull white or cream, with pale reddish or purplish brown streaks and spots; periostracum glossy, light to dark olive or green. Inner surfaces white, often tinted blue or purple.

Burrows in fine sand on the lower shore and in the shallow sublittoral.

Distributed from Norway south to the Mediterranean and north-west Africa (Distr. E. ensis).