Peppery furrow shell

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Peppery furrow shell
Scrobicularia plana.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Subclass: Heterodonta
Order: Veneroida
Superfamily: Tellinoidea
Family: Semelidae
Genus: Scrobicularia
Species: S. plana
Binomial name
Scrobicularia plana
(da Costa, 1778)

Scrobicularia plana, the peppery furrow shell, is a bivalve mollusc belonging to the family Semelidae.


Scrobicularia plana is the only species currently recognized by ITIS in the genus Scrobicularia;[1] however some sources recognise other species such as Scrobicularia cottardi [2][3]

The genus Scrobicularia is sometimes placed as the sole genus in a family, Scrobicularidae. It is now often placed instead in the related family Semelidae, as shown in the infobox. However this placement may change as molecular systematics provides new insights into the cladistics of the bivalves.


The shell can be anything from white through yellowish to a pale brownish-grey in colour, up to 6,5 cm in diameter. Its interior is nacreous and white or yellowish in colour. The shell is thin but quite deep, with circular closely packed growth ridges.

It is a filter feeder, with long siphons, burying itself up to 20 cm deep in sand or mud. When buried, it leaves star-shaped markings on the surface, and specimens can be found by looking for these. If the siphons are browsed by fish or other predators, they regenerate in a few days.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is commonly found at quite high densities on sandy or muddy sea coasts and estuaries [4] in northern Europe, the Mediterranean and West Africa.

Commercial use[edit]

The peppery furrow shell is edible and can be found in some fish shops in France, where they are called 'lavignons'.[5]

External links[edit]