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Musculium (Sphaerinova) tasmanicum tasmanicum (Tenison Woods, 1876)

Diagnostic features

The umbones are shifted posteriorly. "This species is one of the most variable among Australian sphaeriids .Variability of the shell shape, position of the umbo and the shape of the nephridium (to a lesser extent) shows clear geographical pattern."(Korniushin, 2000).


Musculium (Sphaerinova) tasmanicum tasmanicum (Tenison Woods, 1876)

Common name: Pea shell

Class Bivalvia  

Subclass Heteroconchia

Superorder Heterodonta

Order Cardiida

Superfamily Sphaeroidea

Family Sphaeriidae

Genus Musculium Link, 1807

Subgenus Sphaerinova Iredale, 1943

Original name: Cyclas tasmanica Tenison Woods, 1876. Tenison Woods J. F. (1876). On the freshwater shells. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 1875: 66 - 82.

Type locality: Swansea, east coast of Tasmania.

Synonyms: Sphaerium translucidum Sowerby in Reeve, 1876; Sphaerium macgillivrayi E.A. Smith, 1883; Sphaerinova victoriana Iredale 1943; S. nundialis Iredale, 1943; S. terenda Iredale, 1943; Australpera bradena Iredale, 1943.

Biology and ecology

Shallow burrower in sand/mud and amongst roots in slow flowing or still water, in creeks, ponds, lakes and swamps. Suspension feeder. Larvae brooded.

Additional information on the biology and ecology of members of this family can be found in Fauna of Australia, vol. 5A, p. 355.


Southern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Further reading

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.

Shea, M. (1995). Freshwater molluscs of Sydney. Australian Shell News 88: 4-6.

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.