Pteria hirundo is a bivalve of up to 7 cm long. It is easily identifiable
thanks to the particular shape of its shell. Valves are round, the left one a little bit more convex
than the right one. The dorsal side is straight with two asymetrical lateral ears. The posterior ear
forms a long pointed outgrowth that can be six time longer than the anterior one, this one being lobed. The inner
side of the shell is nacreous with a brown margin and the outside is brown. Usually, the outer side of
the shell is seldom visible because of the many invertebrates that grow on it: hydroids, bryozoans, sea-squirts ...
The wing oyster develops attached to rocks covered in sand or mud as well as to other animals such
Pteria hirundo is found between 10 and 100 meters deep in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean from Morocco up to the West coasts of the British Isles and in the English Channel.
(source: European Register of Marine Species)
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Top photograph :
© Javier Santiago. Published with author's kind permission :
Pteria hirundo, Ria de Arosa, Galicia, North-West of Spain. Depth 25 meters.
Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2017.
Translation : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2017.