Uncommon Smooth Crassatella (Giant Cockle) found at Brighton, SA

July 9, 2014|Posted in: Molluscs

On 3rd July 2014, Society member David Muirhead found a single half of a ‘Giant Cockle’ valve (105mm max diameter) in a sand dune cutaway at Brighton beach, South Australia. David took a series of photographs of the specimen, including the following images: –

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The half valve with brown adductor scars

 

According to David, the ‘Giant Cockle’, Eucrassatella donacina, is now being called the Smooth Crassatella.

“Currently only 9 records are ‘up’, all from SA and WA, mainly SA. The Malacological Society booklet 2011 classifies it as Uncommon, and the Australian Faunal Directory says that it is endemic to southern Australia,” said David. “It is an uncommon local marine species in Gulf St Vincent to around 20m depth,” he said.

A specimen of Eucrassatella donacina found by Peter Muirhead was previously reported in our October 2011 newsletter, No.386. According to the report “The Giant Cockle, Eucrassatella donacina, fisherman Peter Muirhead had asked David Muirhead to identify a bivalve mollusc from this photograph that he had taken: –

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Bivalve mollusc (Taken by Peter Muirhead)

Peter had said, “We pulled (the bivalve mollusc) up attached to a piece of weed on a snapper spot south east of the Glenelg Tyre Reef a couple of weeks ago (mid-August 2011). Personally, I haven‘t seen anything resembling it, but perhaps it‘s a common occurrence for you divers. It‘s similar in size to the large cockle that occurs in the River Murray.”

David‘s brief reply to Peter explained that it was Eucrassatella donacina. It occurs in sand, sub-littoral to 20m depth, and is said to be quite common. Peter‘s reply to David was “That cockle must have been right at its depth limit because it was smack on 20 metres where we pulled it from its hiding spot on a strand of weed.

Peter‘s photo of the cockle, Eucrassatella donacina, was placed in to our Photo Index. It is image No.5135.

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society’s extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

2 Comments

  1. Julie Marcus
    January 20, 2016

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    just in case it’s of interest: Recently, I found on the beach 2 complete E donacina specimens at Silver Sands. I have never seen them before. Julie Marcus

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