Solen vagina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Solen vagina image

Synonyms: Solen marginatus Pennat, 1777.

Common names: Engl: Grooved razor clam; Bulg: Diavolski nokt: Rom: Unghiuta; Russ: Cherenok; Turk: Tarak; Ukr: Kologochka.

Order (Scientific): VENERIDA.

Family (Scientific): SOLENIDAE.

Taxonomic descriptions: Shell fragile, equivalve, straight, almost cylindrical, strongly elongated, open at both ends, with a sharp ventral margin and grayish-brown in colour. Dorsal and ventral margins parallel, umbones almost terminal and indistinct. Outer surface of the shell with a deep grove near the anterior margin and patterned with 2 series of growth striae at right angles to each other, following a diagonal line from to umbo to the opposite corner. Valves smooth internally, whitish in colour, bearing 2 muscular scars and the impression of the siphon. Hinge of both valves formed by a single cardinal tooth which is prominent and laterally flattened; white colour or yellow. Maximum length - 13 cm; common length - 10 to 11 cm.

Solen vagina arealIUCN Status:
    World level:
    Black Sea Regional level:
    Subregion level: EN


Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Low-lying beaches, muddy sands bottoms in shallow waters (infralittoral zone). Very common in Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, English Channel and the northern Atlantic. The progressive degradation of the biotops affected by the clogging caused by the laying dawn of a stratum of loess.

Biology: The sexes are distinct and the species is oviparous. Feeds on phytoplankton and suspended organic particles. Burrows sometimes deeply (up to 50 cm). It is extracted by digging into the sand, or by introducing grains of salt into the burrow.

Population trends: After 1970, very small number of individuals in Romanian Black Sea waters. Usually in the bottom samples in the last two decades only empty shells, proving the mortality of populations.

Threats: Terrigenous pollution, hypoxia; increasing turbidity due to the use of various type of bottom gear.

Conservation measures taken:

Conservation measures proposed: Mitigation of the negative environmental impact.


  1. FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Mediterranean and Black Sea, fishing area 37, 2, 1973.
  2. Bacescu, M., G.I.Müller, M.-T. Gomoiu, 1971 - Ecologie marina (Marine ecology) , 4: 357 pp. (In Rom.).

Compiled by: M.-T.Gomoiu, A.Petranu.