Pholas dactylus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the mollusc Pholas dactylus. For the band, see Pholas Dactylus (band).
Pholas dactylus
Pholadidae - Pholas dactylus.JPG
Shell of Pholas dactylus from Sicily on display at the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Myoida
Family: Pholadidae
Genus: Pholas
Species: P. dactylus
Binomial name
Pholas dactylus
Linnaeus, 1758
  • Pholas callosa Cuvier, 1817
  • Pholas callosa Lamarck, 1818
  • Pholas dactylina Locard, 1886
  • Pholas dactylus var. decurtata Jeffreys, 1865
  • Pholas dactylus var. gracilis Jeffreys, 1865
  • Pholas edwardsi Monterosato, 1878
  • Pholas hians Lightfoot, 1786
  • Pholas jordani van Hoepen, 1941
  • Pholas marmoratus Perry, 1811
  • Pholas muricatus da Costa, 1778
  • Pholas mytiloides Bory de Saint-Vincent, 1827
  • Zirphaea julan H. Adams & A. Adams, 1856

Pholas dactylus or common piddock is a bioluminescent clam-like species of marine mollusc found on the coasts of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. It bores into gneiss. It was once a highly esteemed food in Europe.[2] [1]

Pholas dactylus: 1. Animal in the shell a) foot b) siphons c) inhalant orifice d) exhalant orifice. 2. shell e) accessory valves or plates

It is sensitive to light, retracting into its shell when exposed to it.[3]

Ancient history[edit]

Pliny spoke of luminescence in the mouths of people who ate Pholas, the rock-boring shell-fish, and of such importance is this phenomenon that it is even said to have gained the first king of Scotland his throne.[4]


  1. ^ a b Gofas, S. (2012). Pholas dactylus Linnaeus, 1758. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at on 2012-02-23
  2. ^ "Pholas dactylus (clam) - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Retrieved 2011-09-24. 
  3. ^ Selig Hecht (1927). "The kinetics of dark adapatation". The Journal of General Physiology. 10 (5): 781–809. doi:10.1085/jgp.10.5.781. PMC 2140923Freely accessible. PMID 19872361. 
  4. ^ [1] Author: Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria, Volume: v.21, 1904-1905, Subject: Natural history; Natural history, Publisher: [Melbourne] Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, Year: 1884, Possible copyright status: NOT_IN_COPYRIGHT, page 93