Lutraria lutraria

(Linné, 1758)

Description (shell):
Shell elongate, elliptical, gaping at each end; umbones anterior to midline. Sculpture of fine concentric lines, developing as fine ridges anteriorly and posteriorly; growth stages clear. Right valve with two thin cardinal teeth anterior to chondrophore, and a single, poorly developed posterior lateral tooth. Left valve with two cardinals forming a solid, forked structure; a third, very fine posterior cardinal, and very thin, single anterior and posterior laterals. Adductor scars and pallial line distinct, anterior adductor larger and more elongate than posterior; lower edge of pallial sinus distinct from pallial line.

Up to 130 mm long.

White or yellowish, often tinted pink or purple, glossy; periostracum olive, thick, brittle and peeling readily in dead specimens. Inner surfaces dull white.

The animal is white; the mantle edges close for two-thirds of their extend and are fringed with white. The siphons are connected throughout their total length. The large, thick foot is capable of considerable extension.

Burrows in mixed soft substrata, from the lower shore to about 100 m.

Distributed from Norway south to the Mediterranean and West Africa (Distr. L. lutraria).