Tidewater Mucket

Leptodea ochracea



  • size: mid-sized; maximum 80 mm
  • thickness: thin
  • shape: oval, males more pointed at posterior end; low wings occasional on either side of beaks.
  • width: inflated to very inflated, even in very young
  • surface: smooth
  • color/markings: light yellow, reddish or greenish to brown; plain or with thin, obscure green rays throughout the shell
  • beaks: inflated, slightly above hinge line, sculptures: 5-6 single looped ridges
  • sexual dimorphism: usually obvious: posterior usually pointed at end of posterior ridge in males while squared or rounded in females. Adult males grow larger than females; females more inflated than males.
  • pseudocardinal teeth: small and compressed/ lamellate and situated well anterior from beaks; hinge line is straight to slightly curved
  • lateral teeth: thin, curved
  • nacre: white, commonly pinkish (predominantly in posterior half)

SOFT PARTS: ------------------

Similar species/lookalikes: Most similar to L. cariosa within its Canadian distribution. L. cariosa shares the same general shape but reaches a larger size, has a slightly thicker shell and a curvier hinge line. Nacre is more rarely pinkish and raying is usually confined to posterior end - when present - in L. cariosa. In L. cariosa pseudocardinals are also thicker and - more importantly - positioned much closer to beaks, a feature that is probably the most useful in differentiating the two species when internal features are available. Lastly, winging on hinge is absent in L. cariosa .







Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, some rights reserved (CC BY), https://www.flickr.com/photos/serc_biodiversity/38568290922/
  2. (c) Dwayne Sabine, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/43494669
  3. (c) Dwayne Sabine, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/43494696
  4. Daderot, no known copyright restrictions (public domain), http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leptodea_ochracea_-_Springfield_Science_Museum_-_Springfield,_MA_-_DSC03459.JPG
  5. (c) Lauren Hallden, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/56873678
  6. (c) Dwayne Sabine, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/23865718
  7. Adapted by Philippe Blais from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptodea_ochracea
  8. (c) Philippe Blais, some rights reserved (CC BY-ND)

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