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Trichomya hirsuta (Lamarck, 1819)

Description: Shape equivalve, inequilateral, elongate, with umbo at anterior end; variable in shape between specimens. Dorsal margin slightly convex; postero-dorsal end extended, broadly rounded. Hinge with a few rounded knobs, merging into crenulations around whole shell margin except for byssal gape. Ligament long. Interior scars of posterior pedal retractor muscle and adductor muscle combined to give a single elongate scar posteriorly. Exterior with fine radial riblets. Colour of exterior brown to bluish black; interior white to purplish black, iridescent. Periostracum thin, dark brown, covered with dense, hairs that are serrated on only one side and readily fall off dead shells.

Size: Up to 78 mm in length.

Distribution: Known from Port Douglas, Qld, southwards and around southern Australia, to Ceduna, South Australia, and possibly further west; also Tasmania.

Habitat: Abundant in dense aggregations in estuaries at lower tidal level.

Comparison: Similarly sculptured to Brachidontes rostratus but distinguished by the dense, hairy periostracum.

Remarks: The shell of this species varies in shape depending on the degree of crowding when growing.

Fig.1: Port Jackson, Sydney, NSW (C.089955)

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