Scaphander lignarius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Woody canoe-bubble

Scaphander lignarius

Ria de Muros, Spain, 14 meters, 2007, JS


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.

Image satellite: © Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.

Données de distribution : Scaphander lignarius (Linnaeus, 1758) in GBIF Secretariat (2019). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2021-12-01.


Source : World Register of Marine Species

Biota (Superdomain)
Animalia (Kingdom)
Mollusca (Phylum)
Gastropoda (Class)
Heterobranchia (Subclass)
Euthyneura (Infraclass)
Tectipleura (Subterclass)
Cephalaspidea (Order)
Philinoidea (Superfamily)
Scaphandridae (Family)
Scaphander (Genus)
Scaphander lignarius (Species)

Page glossary

Apex : shell's end.

Natatory : used to swim.


Text : Anne Bay-Nouailhat © 2007 - 2021.

Photos : © Javier Santiago. Published with his kind permission.
Websites and reference works : Consult bibliography

How to cite this page

Bay-Nouailhat A., May 2007, Description of Scaphander lignarius, [On line], consulted on 2021 December 01.


Photographie de Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Anne Bay-Nouailhat

Project manager in marine environment
Professional diver - Naturalist

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