BIOTIC Species Information for Venerupis senegalensis
Researched byWill Rayment Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Scientific nameVenerupis senegalensis Common namePullet carpet shell
MCS CodeW2124 Recent SynonymsVenerupis pullastra, Venerupis corrugata, Venerupis saxatilis

PhylumMollusca Subphylum
Superclass ClassPelecypoda
Subclass OrderVeneroida
Suborder FamilyVeneridae
GenusVenerupis Speciessenegalensis

Additional InformationVenerupis saxatilis has a more sculptured shell than Venerupis senegalensis and is typically found attached to firm substrata in rocky crevices. It is unclear whether Venerupis saxatilis is a separate species or an ecophenotype of Venerupis senegalensis (Hayward et al., 1996).
Taxonomy References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Howson & Picton, 1997, Smith & Heppell, 1991,
General Biology
Growth formBivalved
Feeding methodActive suspension feeder
Environmental positionInfaunal
Typical food typesSuspended organic matter, particularly unicellular algae HabitBurrow dwelling
Bioturbator FlexibilityNone (< 10 degrees)
FragilityIntermediate SizeSmall-medium(3-10cm)
HeightInsufficient information Growth Rate1.3 mm/month
Adult dispersal potential100-1000m DependencyIndependent
General Biology Additional InformationAbundance
Johanessen (1973a) recorded Venerupis senegalensis (studied as Venerupis pullastra) from a sheltered beach in Norway at a mean density of 31 individuals per 0.25 m². Potential production was calculated to be 20 g ash free dry weight per m²/year, including a loss of 9 g due to mortality.

Growth rate
Growth rate of Venerupis senegalensis varies according to environmental conditions. Quayle (1952) investigated growth rates of Venerupis senegalensis (studied as Venerupis pullastra) from Millport, Scotland. In the first year following settlement, mean monthly growth rate was 1.3 mm per month over the growing period of 6 months. Growth rate was found to increase for the first 4 years of life (maximum growth rate was ca 9 mm per season) after which it began to decrease. Within each growing season, growth rate was found to increase up to the point of spawning, after which it levelled off and then decreased. Johannessen (1973b) investigated growth of Venerupis senegalensis (studied as Venerupis pullastra) from a sheltered beach in western Norway. The spherical shell of the free swimming larvae developed into an oblong shape after settlement, presumably to aid burrowing. At a shell length greater than 40 mm, the shell shape tended towards a flattened circular form, the biological significance of which is unclear. The shell growth rate was found to be approximately constant (ca 15 mm per season) up to a shell length of 40 mm, after which it decreased. Short and/or young individuals were found to grow faster than long and/or old ones.

Beiras et al. (1993) investigated the effect of increasing food rations on Venerupis senegalensis (studied as Venerupis pullastra). Increased rations of algal food were found to increase ingestion rate and growth. This relationship was found to hold true up to the maximum ration of 300 algal cells/µl. However, at high food concentrations the returns diminished due to decreased absorption efficiency. The optimum food concentration for growth (i.e. maximum increase in biomass per unit weight of food) was 100 cells/µl.
Biology References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Johannessen, 1973a, Johannessen, 1973b, Quayle, 1952, Beiras et al., 1993,
Distribution and Habitat
Distribution in Britain & IrelandRecorded from all around the coast of Britain and Ireland where suitable habitat occurs
Global distributionRecorded in Europe from northern Norway to the Mediterranean and in north west Africa
Biogeographic rangeNot researched Depth rangelower shore to 35 m
MigratoryNon-migratory / Resident   
Distribution Additional Information

Substratum preferencesGravel / shingle
Muddy gravel
Muddy sand
Fine clean sand
Coarse clean sand
Physiographic preferencesStrait / sound
Enclosed coast / Embayment
Biological zoneLower Eulittoral
Sublittoral Fringe
Upper Infralittoral
Lower Infralittoral
Upper Circalittoral
Lower Circalittoral
Wave exposureSheltered
Very Sheltered
Extremely Sheltered
Tidal stream strength/Water flowModerately Strong (1-3 kn)
Weak (<1 kn)
SalinityFull (30-40 psu)
Variable (18-40 psu)
Habitat Preferences Additional Information
Distribution References Fish & Fish, 1996, Hayward & Ryland, 1995b, Hayward et al., 1996, Johannessen, 1973b, JNCC, 1999, Picton & Costello, 1998, Bruce et al., 1963, Connor et al., 1997(a),
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonSee additional information Reproductive LocationInsufficient information
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life span6-10 years Age at reproductive maturity1 year
Generation time1 year FecundityInsufficient information
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeInsufficient information
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage11-30 days   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationThe reproductive characteristics of Venerupis senegalensis vary according to the environment. In Scotland, Quayle (1952) recorded breeding between May and September. However, in northern Spain, spawning occurred in March, April and May (Perez Camacho, 1980). Spawning occurred 2 or more times in a season in a population in western Norway (Johannessen, 1973b) and it has been recorded that spawning can occur up to 4 times per season in Venerupis senegalensis (studied as Venerupis pullastra) raised in a microsystem (Jara-Jara et al., 2000). The Spanish population of Venerupis senegalensis (studied as Venerupis pullastra) experienced constant mortality of 17.7% per annum between shell lengths of 11 and 50 mm (Perez Camacho, 1980) whereas the Norwegian population exhibited low mortality up to year 8 followed by mass mortality attributed to senility (Johannessen, 1973b).
Reproduction References Fish & Fish, 1996, Johannessen, 1973b, Quayle, 1952, Perez Camacho, 1980, Jara-Jara et al., 2000,
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