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Cerastoderma edule:   (click for more)

Cerastoderma edule:   (click for more)

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FAO Names
En - Common edible cockle, Fr - Coque commune, Sp - Berberecho común.
3Alpha Code: COC     Taxonomic Code: 3162300203
Diagnostic Features
Shell solid, equivalve; inequilateral, beaks in front of the midline; somewhat broadly oval in outline, with the line of the anterior margin a smooth curve at all growth stages, but the line of the posterior margin becoming less curved in older specimens. Sculptured with 22-28 radiating ribs, each with numerous scale-like spines, and very fine irregular concentric lines. Growth stages prominent. Right valve with two anterior and two posterior lateral teeth. Margin crenulate in front of the anterior lateral tooth to just behind the most posterior lateral, the crenulations continuous with furrows running inside the shell for a short distance only.  Colour dirty white, pale yellow or brown; periostracum yellowish or greenish brown. Ligament a prominent, dark brown, arched band. Inside of shell white, stained brown on and about the posterior adductor scar. 
Geographical Distribution

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From the Barent Sea and the Baltic south to Mauritania, West Africa. Southwestern Mediterranean (rare).
Habitat and Biology
Lives just under the bottom surface on sand, mud and gravel bottoms, intertidal to only a few m deep. The habitats preferred are sandy bays, with some arrival of fresh water. The density of populations can be extremely high: up to 10.000 animals per square meter have been counted.
Maximum length is 5,6 cm; common 3 to 4 cm.
Interest to Fisheries
Commercially fished in the British Isles, The Netherlands and France. In Netherlands about 30 ships are specialized in C. eduleand together with a few 2,500,00,000 specimens each year. Caught with bottom trawls and dredges.
Marketed fresh and canned.The total catch reported for this species to FAO for 1999 was 70 401 t. The countries with the largest catches were Netherlands, (50 888 t) and UK (14 123t).
Local Names
Catalan : Catxel ,  carculla ,  escopinya de gallet ,  gall ,  gallet ,  petxina ratllada .
English : Cockle ,  Common cockle .
French : Coque .
German : Herzmuschel .
Greek : Kárdium methýstra .
Hebrew : Lieya neekhelet .
Italian : Cuore edule .
Serbo-Croat : Casa .
Spanish : Berberecho .
Turkish : Açivades .
The colour ranges from white through cream and yellow to dark brown. Sometimes patterned with small dots of blue, brown or red near the umbos. The number of radiating ribs varies between 22 and 28. The shape is extremely variable. Shells which are perfectly symmetrical and have 25 ribs.
Alegre, M., J. Lleonart & J. Veny. - 1992Espècies Pesqueres d'interès comercial. Nomenclatura oficial catalana. Generalitat de Catalunya.  Departament de Cultura, DARP, TERMCAT.64 pp.
Poppe, G.T. & Y. Goto. - 1993European Seashells. Verlag Christa Hemmen, darmstadt, Germany, vol. II: 221 pp.
Tebble, N. - 1966British Bivalve Seashells. A Handbook for Identification, London Trusties of the British Nuseum (Natural History): 212 pp.
Vera, J. - 1992 Diccionario multilingüe de especies marinas para el mundo hispano.Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación. Secretaria General Técnica .  1282 pp.
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