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(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).

Size:
Up to 130 mm long.

Colour:
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.

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

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

Ensis ensis