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Musculium (?Sphaerinova) problematicum (Gabriel, 1939)


Musculium (?Sphaerinova) problematicum (Gabriel, 1939)

Common name: Pea Clam

Class Bivalvia

Subclass Heteroconchia

Superorder Heterodonta

Order Cardiida

Superfamily Sphaeroidea

Family Sphaeriidae

Genus Musculium Link, 1807

Subgenus Sphaerinova Iredale, 1943

Original name: Sphaerium problematicum Gabriel, 1939. Gabriel, C. J. (1939). The Freshwater Mollusca of Victoria. Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria 11: 100-139.

Type locality: Murray River, Merbein, Victoria.

Biology and ecology

Shallow burrower in sand/mud in river. Suspension feeder, larvae brooded.


Murray River, Merbein, Victoria.


This species differs from other Musculium (Sphaerinova) species by their elongate shell outline however the shape of the muscle scars and ligament resemble Sphaerinova. There is a possibility that M. problematicum may just be a local form of M. tasmanicum (Korniushin, 2000).

Further reading

Beesley, P. L., Ross, G. J. B. & Wells, A., Eds. (1998). Mollusca: The Southern Synthesis. Parts A & B. Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing.

Heard, W. H. (1977). Reproduction of fingernail clam (Sphaeriidae: Sphaerium and Musculium). Malacologia 16: 421–455.

Korniushin, A. V. (2000). Review of the family Sphaeriidae (Mollusca: Bivalvia) of Australia, with the description of four new species. Records of the Australian Museum 52: 41-102.

Kuiper, J. G. J. (1983). The Sphaeriidae of Australia. Basteria 47: 3-52. 

Lamprell, K. & Healy, J. (1998). Bivalves of Australia, volume 2. Leiden, Backhuys Publishers.

Smith, B. J. & Kershaw, R. C. (1979). Field guide to the non-marine Molluscs of South-eastern Australia. Canberra, A.N.U. Press.

Smith, B. J. & Kershaw, R. C. (1981). Tasmanian Land and Freshwater Molluscs. Hobart, University of Tasmania.