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Scaphander lignarius

Scaphander lignarius

Woody Canoe-bubble

   Scaphander lignarius is a mollusc with a shell up to 6 to 7 cm long. The shell is solid, ovoid, winding on itself like a cone, with a wide anterior opening narrowing toward the apex. Its colour varies, green, yellow or brown. Its glossy surface is covered with spiraled ligns, very close to each other, and crossed by longitudinal ligns irregularly spaced. The white or yellow body can be twice the shell's length, thus, the shell can not accommodate the entire body. The head, without tentacle, is flattened so that the animal can burrows in sand or mud. The foot bears on each side large flattened lobes, called the parapodial lobes, which have a natatory use. The woody Canoe-bubble feeds on worms and bivalves.
Scaphander lignarius lives on muddy sand bottoms between 5 and 700 meters deep, in the Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel. Specimens from the North Sea are seldom reported .


 (source: European Register of Marine Species)

  • Mollusca [Phylum]
  • Conchifera [Subphylum]
  • Gastropoda [Class]
  • Heterobranchia [Subclass]
  • Opisthobranchia [Infraclass]
  • Cephalaspidea [Order]
  • Cylichnidae [Family]
  • Scaphander lignarius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Page glossary

Apex : shell's end.
Natatory : used to swim.


Top photograph :
© Javier santiago. Published with author's kind permission :
Scaphander lignarius, Ria de Muros, Galicia, North-West of Spain. Depth 14 meters.
Text :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2020.
Translation :  Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007-2020.

How to cite this page in publications

Bay-Nouailhat A., May 2007, Description of Scaphander lignarius, Available on line at http://www.european-marine-life.org/14/scaphander-lignarius.php, consulted on 10 July 2020.
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