Definitions

peppery

Peppery furrow shell

The peppery furrow shell, Scrobicularia plana, also known as a sand gaper, is the only species currently recognized by ITIS in the genus Scrobicularia; however some sources recognise other species such as Scrobicularia cottardi. It is a bivalve mollusc commonly found on sandy or muddy sea coasts and estuaries in northern Europe, the Mediterranean and West Africa. They may be found at quite high densities.

The shell can be anything from white through yellowish to a pale brownish-grey in colour, up to 65 cm in diameter. Its interior is nacreous and white or yellowish in colour. The shell is thin but quite deep, with circular closely-packed growth ridges. It is a filter feeder, with long siphons, burying itself up to 20 cm deep in sand or mud. When buried, it leaves star-shaped markings on the surface, and specimens can be found by looking for these. If the siphons are browsed by fish or other predators, they regenerate in a few days.

The genus Scrobicularia is sometimes placed as the sole genus in a family, Scrobicularidae. It is now often placed instead in the related family Semelidae, as shown in the infobox. However this placement may change as molecular systematics provides new insights into the cladistics of the bivalves.

The peppery furrow shell is not regarded as edible.

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