Zoological Illustrations/VolI-Pl55

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Zoological Illustrations Volume I Plate 55.jpg

SOLEN ambiguus.

Ambiguous Solen.

Generic Character.

Testa bivalvis, æquivalvis, transversissimè elongata, utroque latere hians. Dentes cardinales parvi, fragiles, numero variabiles, rarò divaricati. Ligamentum externum; animal ad extremitatem anteriorem pede subcylindraceo; ad posteriorem siphone brevi duos alteros conjunctos continente. Lamarck.

Typus Genericus Solen Vagina Pennant.

Shell bivalve, equivalve, very transversely elongated, open at both ends. Cardinal teeth small, fragile, variable in number, and rarely divaricated. Ligament external. Animal with a sub-cylindrical foot at the anterior end, and at the other a short tube containing two others united together. Lamarck.

Generic Type Solen Vagina Pennant.

Specific Character.

S. testâ lineari, crassâ, rectâ, pallidâ, obscurè radiatâ; cardinibus unidentatis, margine anteriore sub-approximantibus.
Shell linear, strong, straight, pale, obscurely radiated. Cardinal teeth one in each valve, placed near the anterior extremity.
Solen ambiguus. Lam. Syst. vol. iii. p. 452. no. 7.

Under the genus Solen (vulgarly called Razors or Pods) are comprehended a variety of shells having the common character of both extremities open or gaping when the valves are together, yet differing materially in their form, teeth, and general appearance: some are long, slender and straight; others more or less curved; a few short and oval, or with one end only lengthened. Modern writers have, however, retained nearly all these in the genus as left by Linnæus; and this method for the present is more desirable than that of creating a multiplicity of genera. Dr. Turton, in his very useful Conchological Dictionary, enumerates thirteen species as found on the British coast, including the Solen Novacula of Montagu, which the Doctor suspects is not truly a species. The original specimens which Montagu described I have carefully inspected at the British Museum, and have no doubt in my own mind they are in reality no other than S. Siliqua with one of the cardinal teeth broken off; a circumstance which, from their fragility, frequently happens, even in opening the recent shell.

Solen ambiguus was first described by Lamarck, who says it is from North America. Two or three specimens are in my possession; but it is a rare species, much thicker, and with larger teeth than any other; the epidermis is pale-brown, and in some parts obliquely lineated.