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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.

Up to 50 mm long.

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).

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.

Occurs offshore, on sandy mud and fine gravel.

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

Musculus niger