Temporal range: Arenig - Recent
Nucula nucleus 001.jpg
A whole shell of Nucula nucleus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Mollusca
Class: Bivalvia
Order: Nuculida
Family: Nuculidae
Genus: Nucula
Lamarck, 1799

Nucula is a genus of very small saltwater clams. They are part of the family Nuculidae.

Fossil records

This genus is very ancient. Fossils are known from the Arenig to the Quaternary (age range: from 478.6 to 0.0 million years ago). Fossils are found in the marine strata all over the world.[1]

Fossil valves of Nucula piacentina from Pliocene of Italy


Shells of species within this genus can reach a size of about 30 millimetres (1.2 in). They are equivalve, symmetrical, approximately triangular. The surface has fine concentric growth lines. These clams live in the muddy sand close to the sediment surface at a depth of 20 to 200 meters.[2]


Nowadays there are still many species of this genus, which have had virtually no change in the course of time. Species within the genus Nucula include:[3]

Extinct species

Extinct species within the genus Nucula include:[1]


  1. ^ a b Fossilworks
  2. ^ Marine Microfauna Genus Trait Handbook
  3. ^ WoRMS
  • Powell A. W. B., New Zealand Mollusca, William Collins Publishers Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand 1979 ISBN 0-00-216906-1