Depth range (m): 0 - 70
Depth range (m): 0 - 70
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Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Limaria hians
Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.
See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.
Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.
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Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Limaria hians
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
These bivalves make sticky threads which bind stones and pieces of shell debris into a felt-lined nest. Flame shell nests accumulate over time, forming reefs. Holes in the reef allow fresh seawater to flow through, preventing stagnation. These reefs support a diverse marine ecosystem. one study has shown six nest complexes supporting 19 species of algae and 265 species of invertebrates.
This species is found in the northeast Atlantic, ranging from Lofoten to the Canary Islands, including the Mediterranean Sea. In the British Isles, the distribution of this species is primarily in the west coast of Scotland from the sublittoral (below low tide), down to 100m, although there are patchy records of the species being found in more southerly regions of the United Kingdom. There are a number of well-known colonies on the sea bed in Loch Carron, below Strome Castle. In 2012 a bed of 100 million flame shells covering an area of 75 hectares was found during a survey of Loch Alsh undertaken by Heriot-Watt University on behalf of Marine Scotland. Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment said: "The flame shell must be considered among the most remarkable species in our waters, with a dazzling array of orange tentacles. Many would place such an exotic species in far-flung tropical reefs - not realising they dwell under the waves just off the coast of Skye. This important discovery may be the largest grouping of flame shells anywhere in the world." 
- "Flame shell beds". http://www.snh.gov.uk. Scottish National Heritage. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
- "Marine Scotland survey uncovers 'huge' flame shell bed". BBC News Online. 2012-12-26. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- Hall-Spencer JM & Moore PG (2000) Limaria hians (Mollusca: Limacea): a neglected reef-forming keystone species. Aquatic Conservation 10, 267-277.
- Dr Harvey Tyler-Walters 2008. Limaria hians. Gaping file shell. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 29/11/2014]. Available from: <http://www.marlin.ac.uk/speciesinformation.php?speciesID=3679>
- British Beasts - Flame Shell & Horse Mussel
- Marine Life Information Network - Limaria hians
- WoRMS info for this species
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