Dog cockle

Dog cockle ©Nigel Phillips

Dog Cockle

Scientific name: Glycymeris glycymeris
This long-lived bivalve can be found buried in the sand on the south and west coasts of the UK.

Species information

Statistics

Length: up to 6.5cm Average Lifespan: up to 100 years!

Conservation status

Common

When to see

January to December

About

The Dog Cockle lives just below the surface of gravelly and sandy seabeds, out beyond the low tide mark and out to depths of 100m. It has a thick, round, clam-like shell covered with brick-red concentric markings on a pale background. They are spectacularly long-lived, reaching the grand old age of 100! We know this by counting the growth lines in their shell - much like you can count the growth rings of a tree!

How to identify

A fairly smooth, clam-like shell, creamy in colour and densely flecked with brick-red, zigzag markings. They have 6-12 teeth on the inside of the shell.

Distribution

Found around the south and west coasts of the UK.

Did you know?

Dog Cockles are a seafood delicacy in European countries and are called 'Amandes de mer' by the French, meaning 'Sea Almonds' because they have a sweet, almond-like taste. Yum!

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts are working with fishermen, researchers, politicians and local people towards a vision of 'Living Seas', where marine wildlife thrives. Do your bit for our Living Seas by supporting your local Wildlife Trust or by checking out our Action pages.