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(Gray J.E., 1824)

Description (shell):
Shell thin, brittle, broadly oval in outline, ventral margin more or less straight. Umbones subterminal, anterior margin extending well beyond beaks; umbonal ridges not pronounced, grading gently into rest of shell. About 12-15 delicate radiating ribs anteriorly, 40-60 posteriorly, fine concentric lines also present; ribbed areas with finely crenulate margins, appearing decussate when viewed with a hand lens, growth stages clear. External sculpture visible on inner side.

Size:
Up to 50 mm long.

Colour:
Shell light tan to deeper brown, with a paler greenish area ventrally between the two ribbed areas; periostracum light brown or olive to deep brown or almost black in large specimens. Inside of shell pale bluish white, with some darker tinges (M. niger-drawing).

Animal:
The mantle forms a distinct incurrent tube in front and an excurrent one behind. The foot is strap-shaped and may be extended until it is a mere thread two or three times the length of the shell.

Habitat:
Occurs offshore, on sandy mud and fine gravel.

Distribution:
Northern distribution. Absent from the southern North Sea (Distr. M. niger).

Musculus niger