Note: Backeljau et al., (1994), indicated that Chamelea gallina was predominantly a Mediterranean species and that the species present in UK waters was Chamelea striatula (see also García Souto et al., 2017). These findings are not currently reflected in the distributional data available through either MolluscaBase or the National Biodiversity Network and therefore two distribution maps are provided here. Both species are also listed in the UK Species Inventory maintained by the Natural History Museum, London.
Shell solid, somewhat triangular, up to about 4cm long. Dirty white, cream or pale yellow usually with three red-brown rays. Sculpture of numerous concentric ridges. Periostracum extremely slight and thin. Inside sometimes shows purple stain around the lunule. Inner margin of shell crenulate.
- Exterior of shell sculptured with numerous concentric ridges
- Three red brown rays on valve surface
Shallow burrower in clean or muddy sand where it feeds by filtering phytoplankton.
Very common. Recorded from the North of Norway to Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
The maps provided here show the distributional data, as currently stored, for C. gallina and C. striatula (based on Conchological Society data).