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Noble pen shell. Nacra

Pinna nobilis


Is a large species of Mediterranean clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Pinnidae, the pen shells. It can reach 120 cm in length and live more than 20 years. Its insertion in the seabed is vertical, it usually inhabits the posidonia meadows.
Es una especie de molusco bivalvo de la familia Pinnidae endémico del mar Mediterráneo. Puede alcanzar 120 cm de longitud 1​ y vivir más de 20 años. Su inserción en el lecho marino es vertical, suele habitar en los prados de posidonia y suele tener un color oscuro.


Salt-water coastal lagoon of Mar Menor (Murcia, Spain).
Laguna costera salada del Mar Menor (Murcia. España).


Species in extreme danger of extinction. This is the biggest mollusk in the Mediterranean sea where most of its population has died.
My video of some live Pinna nobilis:

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Felix Fleck
Felix Fleck 3 years ago

Great spotting! Congrats, Eulalia.

DanielePralong 3 years ago

Congratulations Eulalia, your noble pen shell is featured as our Spotting of the Day:

"Our Spotting of the Day, the noble pen shell (Pinna nobilis), is the largest and most emblematic mollusc of the Mediterranean Sea. As a filter feeder it plays an important ecological role in contributing to water clarity. Yet a recent drastic reduction in its population has led to its listing as an endangered and protected species by the European Council. In the salt-water coastal lagoon of Mar Menor (Murcia, Spain), where this spotting was made, an area with more than 50 live specimens has been found which has now been fenced off by protective nets.
Make sure the check the spotting for more images, a video, and plenty of detailed information about the mass mortality event of Pinna nobilis.
Project Noah is grateful to Eulalia and her sister Isabela for continuing to report about conservation efforts at Mar Menor.
For more information: "



Isabela 3 years ago

Congratulations, Eulalia, for this nomination. Pinna nobilis is not an attractive or beautiful species such as butterflies, birds, little mammals, etc, but it is important to raise awareness of the importance of its protection.

They are the largest mollusks in the Mediterranean sea; they filter large amounts of detritus and retain a high percentage of their organic matter.

They provide a surface that can be colonized by other species as you can see in Eulalia's photos (sea anemones and algae).

In the past buttons and other jewelry objets where made from the mother pearl of this bivalve. Besides in the antiquity, gloves where also made with the fibres (sea silk) which hold this mollusk to the bottom of the sea.

To know more:

eulalia rubio
eulalia rubio 3 years ago

In the lagoon of the Mar Menor, an area with more than 50 live specimens has been found. The government has fenced this area with nets so that it is not crossed by motor boats.

En la laguna de el Mar Menor se ha encontrado una zona con más de 50 ejemplares vivos. El gobierno ha cercado esta zona con redes para que no la crucen las embarcaciones a motor.

eulalia rubio
eulalia rubio 3 years ago

The mass mortality of the bivalve Pinna nobilis in the Mar Menor salt lagoon has been more than 90%. It has taken place at the same time as the mass mortality in the Western Mediterranean sea due to the epidemy of Haplosporidium pinnae which has killed most of the population of this endemic mollusk. Haplosporidian parasite has been found in digestive glands of infected individuals in the Mediterranean sea but not in the glands of the ones in the Mar Menor. That's why it doesn't seem to have been the cause of the mortality of pen shells or fan mussels in the coastal lagoon as there is no evidence this parasite. Fortunately a few groups of individuals have survived in the lagoon due to the highest level of salinity of this place.

triggsturner 3 years ago

Such a sad situation. I hope we are not looking at a dead mollusk walking. So many of our species are facing this. Thank you so much Eulalia for sharing this with us.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 3 years ago

Yes I want to draw some eyes on photo 3.

Maria dB
Maria dB 3 years ago

I especially like the third photo

AshleyT 3 years ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

DanielePralong 3 years ago

So interesting Eulalia! I'll make sure to bring this to attention.

eulalia rubio
eulalia rubio 3 years ago

Thanks, Irene.

Irene Brady
Irene Brady 3 years ago

Excellent photo series! Thanks.

eulalia rubio
eulalia rubio 3 years ago

Thanks, Isabela.

Isabela 3 years ago

Great series of this species in extreme danger of extinction. This is the biggest mollusk in the Mediterranean sea where most of its population has died.

However in the coastal lagoon Mar Menor a number of them have been found alive! You can see them in Eulalia's photos.

eulalia rubio
Spotted by
eulalia rubio

San Javier, Región de Murcia, Spain

Spotted on Sep 9, 2018
Submitted on Sep 9, 2018

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