PORT PHILLIP BAY


Feathered Venerid 

Tawera gallinula (Lamarck, 1818)

View scientific description and taxonomy

Scientific Details

This very large family includes over 500 species worldwide and are found in almost all seas. The family is characterised by a strong hinge with three cardinal teeth in each valve, anterior laterals may be present, but are weak. Shells of this family are moderate to large, often thick and solid, vary greatly in shape from elongate, ovate and quite flattened, to orbicular and inflated. Umbones are approximately median, ligament elongate, external. Shell exterior usually smooth or with concentric sculpture, a few with radial ribs. Periostracum is variable, maybe absent. Adductor muscle scars usually more or less equal, pallial sinus present in most venerids, often shallow. Byssus is usually absent in adults. The closely related Tawera lagopus (distribution WA to NSW) has a very similar shell but can be separated by the shell exterior being mostly cream, the interior white and the concentric ridges being finer and more numerous.

Taxonomy

Phylum:
Mollusca
Subphylum:
Conchifera
Class:
Bivalvia
Subclass:
Heterodonta
Order:
Veneroida
Superfamily:
Veneroidea
Family:
Veneridae
Subfamily:
Chioninae
Genus:
Tawera
Species:
gallinula

Other Names

  • Chicken Venus
  • Hen Venus

General Description

Shell elongate, solid, quite heavy and more or less rectangular in outline. Exterior sculpture of numerous, strong, well-defined concentric ridges with fine radial lines (striae). Exterior shell cream to fawn colour with poorly defined markings. Interior colour pink to deep purple toward the margins. Shell up to 4 cm across.

Biology

This species is preyed upon by sea snails (gastropod species in the family Naticidae and Muricidae), sea stars, fish.

Habitat

In sand off sheltered ocean beaches, from low tide to depth of 36 m.

Soft substrates

Coastal shores

Distribution guide

South-eastern Australia, excluding Tasmania.

Species Group

Sea snails and shells Bivalves

Depth

Shore (0-1 m)
Shallow (1-30 m)
Deep ( > 30 m)

Water Column

On or near sea floor

Max Size

4 cm

Diet

Organic matter

Commercial Species

No

Species Code

MoV 1753

Conservation Status

  • DSE Advisory List : Not listed
  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Not listed

Author

article author Boyd, S.

Sue Boyd is an Honorary Associate in marine invertebrates at Museum Victoria.

citation

Cite this page as:
Boyd, S., 2011, Feathered Venerid, Tawera gallinula, in Taxonomic Toolkit for marine life of Port Phillip Bay, Museum Victoria, accessed 23 Nov 2017, http://portphillipmarinelife.net.au:8098/species/5642

Text: creative commons cc by licence