Very solid shell up to about 13cm in length. The surface is sculptured with numerous irregular fine concentric raised lines. The outside of the shell is white, yellow or brown. The inside is white, sometimes with a pink tint. The pallial line is not indented with a pallial sinus.
- Pallial line not indented with a pallial sinus
- Crenulations on hinge plates in from of the anterior cardinal tooth.
Shallow burrower in muddy sand where it feeds by filtering phytoplankton.
In the southern part of its range live animals are restricted to deeper waters but to the north it can also be found intertidally.
In one report from the Journal of Conchology, Rendall (1954) indicates that large, live specimens could be found at the extreme low-water mark in St. Catherine’s Bay, Stronsay, Orkney (follow the link to read the original report). By following the tideline and walking slowly shorewards, Rendall observed a, "regular and graduated decline in size as one approached the sides of the bay, until at last I was picking up complete specimens scarcely the size of a shilling". The author also noted that at, "the south side of the sands Cyprina islandica was closely associated with Dosinia lupinus, which also occurred there in considerable numbers". Razor shells, otter shells and the ocean quahog were all part of the diet for islanders. Interestingly, he reported that even larger individuals were said to be taken from Linga Holm, an uninhabited island at the mouth of the bay.
Common. Distributed from Norway south to the Bay of Biscay.
The map provided here shows the distribution of the species based on Conchological Society data held by the National Biodiversity Network (NBN). See terms and conditions.
The following datasets are included:
- Conchological Society of Great Britain & Ireland: marine mollusc records
Open an NBN Atlas interactive map of this data in a new window.