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Overview

Brief Summary

Pullet carpet shells regularly wash ashore along Dutch beaches. They are more or less rectangular in shape with a far off-centered hinge. You see obvious growth rings. Fossil specimen are darker and often date back to the Eemian, around 100,000 years old. There are several species of pullet carpet shells, which are not always easy to tell apart. These shellfish are very tasty. They are cultivated in Italy for consumption and known under the name 'vongole'.
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Comprehensive Description

Description

 An oval, bivalve shell that reaches 5 cm in length. The exterior is sculptured with concentric ridges and faint radiating lines. White, cream or grey in colour, sometimes with purple or brown markings.Venerupis saxatilis has a more sculptured shell than Venerupis senegalensis and is typically found attached to firm substrata in rocky crevices. It is unclear whether Venerupis saxatilis is a separate species or an ecophenotype of Venerupis senegalensis (Hayward et al., 1996).
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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 476 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 9 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 56
  Temperature range (°C): 10.295 - 12.348
  Nitrate (umol/L): 3.550 - 12.040
  Salinity (PPS): 32.851 - 35.363
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.151 - 6.605
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.351 - 0.653
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.147 - 7.673

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0 - 56

Temperature range (°C): 10.295 - 12.348

Nitrate (umol/L): 3.550 - 12.040

Salinity (PPS): 32.851 - 35.363

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.151 - 6.605

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.351 - 0.653

Silicate (umol/l): 2.147 - 7.673
 
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 40 - 61

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 40 - 61
 
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 Venerupis senegalensis occurs in wave protected areas such as sheltered inlets and sea lochs. It burrows to a depth of 5 cm in mixed sandy substrata, often attached to small stones or shells by byssal threads. It occasionally inhabits rock crevices. It occurs from the lower shore to the lower circalittoral but is most abundant in the shallow subtidal.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Venerupis corrugata

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Wikipedia

Venerupis corrugata

Venerupis corrugata, the pullet carpet shell, is a species of bivalve mollusc in the family Veneridae. It is found buried in the sediment on the sea bed in shallow parts of the eastern Atlantic Ocean. It is harvested for human consumption in Spain and other parts of Western Europe.

Contents

Description [edit]

Empty valves

The pullet carpet shell has a pair of hinged, oblong valves that grow to about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in length. The umbone or beak is about one third of the way along the shell. The anterior part of the hinge forms an angle with the posterior part and there are 3 cardinal teeth on each valve. The shell is sculptured on the outside with fine radial ribs running from the umbone to the margin and with fine concentric striations. The colour is cream, grey or pale brown, sometimes with irregular streaks or rays of darker colour. The inside of the shell is glossy white, sometimes with purple markings near the umbone. The adductor muscle scars and the pallial line are clearly visible and there is a large, rounded pallial sinus.[2] The siphons are joined for their full length, a fact that distinguishes this species from the otherwise similar Ruditapes decussatus.[3]

Distribution and habitat [edit]

This species is found in shallow waters in the East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. The clam's range extends from the coasts of Norway south to West Africa. It lives in a shallow burrow just under the surface in sand, mud or gravel.[2] It occurs in the intertidal zone down to about 40 metres (130 ft).[3]

Biology [edit]

This bivalve extends its siphons to the surface of the sediment in which it is buried, and draws in water through one of them and expels it through the other. While the water is passing through the gills, phytoplankton and other organic food particles are filtered out. Individuals clams are either male or female, and breeding takes place mostly in summer by the liberation of gametes into the water. The resulting larvae drift with the currents as part of the plankton for about two weeks before settling on the seabed, undergoing metamorphosis and becoming juveniles known as "spat".[3]

Fishery [edit]

The pullet carpet shell is cultivated in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy for human consumption. The clam fishing industry in Spain grew rapidly in 1926 and 1927 with clams of all sizes being dug out of the sands indiscriminately. By 1956, 250 boats were involved in the industry near San Simon in Galicia.[3] In subsequent years, over-harvesting caused a drop in natural populations.[3]

Currently farmers in the area have "parks", areas of the seabed that they cultivate and maintain. Hatcheries rear larvae and the resulting spat is grown on in nurseries. The small clams are then seeded onto the seabed, where the animals quickly bury themselves. Maintenance consists of removing seaweed, restricting predation by crabs and starfish, and ensuring that the sediment is sufficiently oxygenated. Harvesting is done 12 to 28 months after seeding, using specially designed shovels and rakes.[3]

References [edit]

  1. ^ a b Huber, Markus (2012). "Venerupis corrugata (Gmelin, 1791)". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Venerupis senegalensis". Mollusca of the North Sea. Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Venerupis pullastra (Montague [sic], 1803)". FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department. Retrieved 2012-05-20. 
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