Taxon profile


Nuculidae Gray, 1824

kingdom Animalia - animals »  phylum Mollusca - mollusks »  class Bivalvia - bivalves »  order Nuculida »  superfamily Nuculoidea


Shell aragonitic, with prismatic outer, lenticular nacreous middle, and nacreous inner layers. Outline triangular to ovate, inequilateral, equivalve. Umbones opisthogyrate, posterior. Sculpture absent or of various combinations of radial and concentric riblets or striae. Periostracum thick, polished in many, dull in others, yellow to dark brown. Lunule strong to weak or absent; escutcheon wide, frequently long. Hinge plate strong, with anterior and posterior series of V-shaped teeth separated by deep resilifer. Adductor muscle scars subequal. Pallial line simple but obscure. Mantle lobes free. Hypobranchial gland present. Gills small to medium sized. Labial palps large; palp probóscides developed. Foot large, with planar sole and byssal groove, but adult not byssiferous. Alimentary canal with type 1 stomach, strongly chitinized, with two ducts leading to the digestive diverticula; style sac and mid-gut conjoined; intestine long, convoluted, on right side of stomach, passing through ventricle of heart.
The family comprises at least four living genera containing approximately 160 species distributed in all oceans. They have small, inflated shells and lack siphons. There is an anterior to posterior water current. Species are shallow infauna on friable substrata where they are deposit feeders. The large active foot, with wide planar sole, is well suited for active movement through the substratum. Known from the Silurian.
Source: Coan, E. et al., 2000. Bivalve Seashells of Western North America. Marine bivalve mollusks from Arctic Alaska to Baja California.
Author: Jan Delsing

Included taxa

Number of records: 4

genus Acila H. & A. Adams, 1858
genus Brevinucula Thiele, 1934
genus Ennucula Iredale, 1931
genus Nucula Lamarck, 1799

Links and literature

EN Australian Faunal Directory [895e497f-60b4-4694-946c-d5493b2b4526]

ABRS (2009-2015): Australian Faunal Directory [], Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra [as Nuculidae J. Gray, 1824]
Data retrieved on: 22 July 2015
CZ Pfleger V. (1999): České názvy živočichů III. Měkkýši (Mollusca), Národní muzeum, (zoologické odd.), Praha, 108 pp. [as Nuculidae]
Data retrieved on: 11 November 2013
EN Carter J. et al (2011): A Synoptical Classification of the Bivalvia (Mollusca) [], Paleontological Contributions 4 [as Nuculidae J. Gray, 1824]
Data retrieved on: 6 April 2014

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