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Dieren en planten

Bivalves   Cut trough shell   Rayed trough shell   Thick trough shell   Ducks   Eider   Common scoters   Trough shells   Bivalves   

Cut trough shell


up to 4 centimeters


creamy white




common scoters, eiders, people



  • Dut: Halfgeknotte strandschelp (non), spisula
  • Lat: Spisula subtruncata
  • Eng: Cut trough shell
  • Ger: Gedrungene Trogmuschel
  • Dan: HvŠlvet trugmusling
Cut trough shell, Ecomare

Cut trough shell

Cut trough shells are found in a narrow stroke along the entire North Sea coast. They rarely found any further out to sea. They are often called spisula. This shellfish is the most important source of food for the common scoter. Eiders also forage on spisula when there's not much other food to find. The shells (fresh and fossil) wash ashore in large amounts on the North Sea beaches. In southern Europe, you often find this shellfish in paella. In that case, they are usually caught elsewhere, sucháas the Dutch coast. There are some places where it is forbidden to fish spisula, the Voordelta in Zeeland is an example, where they shellfish are left for the birds.

  • Distribution and habitat

    The cut trough shell is found in large amounts along the entire North Sea coast. They live close together in sandbanks in the sea floor. The banks are located at depths of around 10 meters.

  • Food for sea-ducks

    Spisula is the most important food for the common scoter. Eiders will also go after spisula if cockles are difficult to find. The ducks prefer only two or three areas on the Dutch coast. If the spisula are fished up by the fishermen, then there would be nothing left for the birds. That is why some spisula banks fall under protection, such as those in the vicinity of the Voordelta.